My needs are few:
- a protagonist who is relatable, or at least empathetic in some minor light
- avoidance of cliches, stereotypes and anything else that will make my eyes roll into the back of my head
- a romance (if there happens to be one) that evolves instead of hitting with the unexpected force of a traffic collision
- avoidance of teen speak or try-hard quirkiness.
- something to say about the human condition without being hit over the head with heavy handed 'issues'.
I don't think that's asking for too much...do you?
Turns out that my wish fulfillment was just turning the corner. While I will be reviewing these books in the upcoming weeks, I wanted to tell you what I am currently gushing over.
Late to the party
I am still kicking myself. Why haven't I been reading this lady's work the past year?
Siobhan Vivian is the epitome of everything I want in a contemporary author. Someone who realises there doesn't have to be a splash, just a lot of ripples. I read Same Difference a month ago and have just received Not That Kind of Girl and A Little Friendly Advice in the mail. I have demolished them all and have been raving like a loony (possibly Bieber-esque) fangirl ever since.
My fangirl flag is waving with scary intensity.
Stephenie Perkins needs to write faster.
After reading her debut Anna and the French Kiss I was hungry for more. Not only did she have a romance that evolved but she accurately depicted what it is like to be living in a foreign country with all the fear, shyness and whoa-factor associated with it. Siobhan was a late find so there were books to read. In this scenario all I have is a long wait until Lola and the Boy Next Door is released in Fall 2011 .
My review for her debut will be up on PSnark tomorrow :)
Let's hear it for the boys...
Yeah, I used a Footloose reference...so sue me. I have been making a concerned effort to read more male authored contemporary at the moment - it is an area of YA that I tend to neglect. While John Green might fit some people's dude quota, it's good to stretch into someone else's XY chromosome authored goodness too. I picked up Daniel Ehrenhaft's Friend Is Not A Verb while I was in NYC last month and loved how low key, introspective and genuinely quirky is was.
Aussie Aussie Aussie
Cath Crowley has been on the Australian YA radar for a few years but apparently bleeped in my blind spots. It wasn't until the US release of A Little Wanting Song that I found out how beautiful her lyrical work is. It has just made me all the more keen to get my hands on Graffiti Moon!
Flying patriotic flag with scary intensity!
Why have I chosen to highlight these four authors?
1) they talked me off the edge of the bitter ledge with their delightfully crafted characters, and
2) at this point of the year, all of them are gracing my top 10 releases of 2010.
Thank you for the many fantastic contemporary suggestions in response to my request for help - the suggestions continue to come and are creating one awesome list of to-reads. that continue to pour in. I am feeling much more confident in contemporary now and I hope you can accept my apology for the month of rants.