I don't know Elizabeth Scott all that well. We've traded emails when we've scheduled interviews or I've been fortunate enough to win one of her competitions.
But I feel like I know her. Her author photo endeared her to me. Her blog makes me a more knowledgeable participant in the YA-world. Her vlogs make me feel like I've had a conversation with her. It's completely superficial but her books make me feel like I know her as a friend. None of this is fact, it's all feeling.
But Elizabeth Scott makes me feel good just knowing she's out there (and on the shelves.)
She's like a writing machine...or it seems like that. By the end of this year she will have had eight titles published inside of four years. Really quite impressive when you think of it. She's often compared to Sarah Dessen, who is more widely recognised, and I don't believe it does Scott that much justice.
Yes, Scott writes lovely little contemporary romance driven YA like Bloom, Something, Maybe, The Unwritten Rule or Perfect You. But she's more than that. Living Dead Girl and the upcoming Grace are indications of that - she's not afraid to tackle raw, challenging and frankly troubling subject matter.
But I am not going to speak about any of those titles. Though I am very curious to read Grace which comes out later this year.
I want to talk about Love You Hate You Miss You that was published last year (as is out in paperback now). Released only two months after Something, Maybe it didn't make the splash that it deserved in the YA blogosphere or in the general reading community. I figure the combination of close release dates might have impacted the attention that was swung in this books direction - though I am positive not one Scott-fan had a problem with two titles appearing in such a small time frame. Love You Hate You Miss You is my favourite Scott novel and it seemingly melted away into the ether. I have no facts or figures to back this up, only my feelings.
It disappointed me greatly.
Scott isn't afraid to try new things. She reminds me of Melina Marchetta in the way she challenges herself to flit from genre to genre, tone to tone, and doing all with great success. Even better (with the exception to Living Dead Girl) they all incorporate humour in a way that remains true to the protagonist, the reader and the teen experience.
I am not going to go on and on about Love You Hate You Miss You. I could relate it somewhat to Courtney Summers work but that wouldn't be fair to either of them - comparisons only get a reader so far. We've seen many a mean girl in YA of late but the experience of LYHYMY's mean girl is unique. The parental situation alone in this book is startlingly different. They make an impact immediately. There's the extremely realistic teen boy who speaks very little...you know, like every guy you've known at school? And yet, Scott managed to make a relationship develop authentically without springing a personality shift on the kid. The protagonist is also a red head, that's something I can get behind :) More than anything it depicts teens as fallible creatures that make mistakes time and time again. It's cynical and raw and brittle - it was my kind of read. You can read my review here for more of my thoughts but I hope I have intrigued you enough as it is.
Love You Hate You Miss You made my top ten reads of 2009. At the time I called it:
Elizabeth Scott is fantastic at the warm, amusing romantic reads but LYHYMY has bite. Amy is a brittle and hurt young woman who's best friend died tragically. It's in working through her grief, guilt and anger that she is able to grow. One of the most interesting depictions of parents in recent years.So I ask...have you read Love You Hate You Miss You?