Books Make Me Happy, Pop Culture Shenanigans

A New YA Author To Love

I was needed some easy but engrossing reading last week during the anxiety insanity of a potential pregnancy loss. I decided to start with Every Day by David Levithan because I’d heard so much about it already, and it had just come out. I basically stayed up all night reading it…it was THAT good.

The lead of the book, “A”, wakes up in a new body every day. I attribute the gender male to him, because the author is male and he falls in love with a girl, but in reality he doesn’t have a gender. It’s a great take on who we are as it compares with how we look. I won’t tell any more, but I was thrilled with it and could not pick up another book of his fast enough.

Next I went for Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List because E recommended that one. That one was about best friends (Straight Girl, Gay Guy) who have a big falling out. I love the way the author handles the conflict and the tension of teenage drama. And how it can feel like such a big thing, until you realize how much easier it is to get over it and preserve the friendship and…it was just great. I might have liked Every Day better, though.

Then…THEN…I realized he did a collaboration with JOHN GREEN! WOO HOO! It was Will Grayson, Will Grayson which I had heard about but hadn’t read because I wasn’t sure about the collaboration effect. But since I knew I liked the other author too? I thought I’d give it a try.

This was a great example of a collaboration. One of the Will Graysons is really dark and depressed and his journey actually fascinated me the most. But the ending was really poignant and sweet and I love their serendipitous encounter.

Next I read Boy Meets Boy which in general, I loved.

But here’s the thing. At first? I was just laughing at the entire story. The main character lives in what can only be called: GAY UTOPIA. He is a fully confident Gay Teen with supportive friends, family and peers. He is surrounded by tons of LGBT teens who have very little conflicts over their sexuality. The high school’s star football player is also a transsexual who goes by Infinite Darlene and wears heels and fake nails to school and NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE.

I had a hard time imagining that this world was anything other than fantasy.

BUT…once I accepted this fantasy world and got over it? I really loved it. And it made me cry at the end.

Basically – this author is exactly what I wanted: Easy and Engrossing. It’s easy reading that pulls you in and keeps you distracted from life if that’s what you’re needing. They are good Young Adult fiction and he writes gay characters really well, which I appreciate greatly.

Have you read any of his books? What should I read next?

14 thoughts on “A New YA Author To Love”

  1. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist!!!!!!!! (read before watching the film – Michael Cera and Kat Dennings are awesome)

    I have read Naomi and Ely and WGWG 😀 I love John Green’s writing style anyway so to find someone who kinda fits along side him is awesome. Rachel Cohn (who writes Nick and Norah with David) is also an awesome writer

  2. I adore David Levithan (and John Greene, of course). I haven’t read Everyday, though. Hurray! I can’t think of many YA books to recommend that you probably haven’t already read, especially having a teenage son with great taste in books. Do you like Middle Grade, at all? I’m a bit biased because it’s an old college friend of mine who wrote it, but Storybound is a very cute and engrossing read, but it’s much younger than the ones you just read. More plot than self discovery. But it’s also longer than a lot of other MG books, which is good for distraction!

  3. 1. The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman (a quickly addictive YA suspense novel in which high school and college students try to unravel/decode a mysterious document. Seriously, read this!)

    2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (a YA novel set in a medieval era world, presumably in a Russia-like country. The main character discovers she has a previously unknown power that both kicks her into a higher class of citizen but also makes her a potential pawn. Through this she must try to save her world. First in a series of 2 or 3 novels.)

    3. 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (three teenagers win a trip to the moon where things start to go wrong, very wrong.)

    4. Blood Red Road by Moira Young (Yet another gripping post apocalyptic novel… I can’t seem to get enough of them. When armed horsemen abduct her twin brother, Saba sets out to find him.)

  4. I just saw a review of Every Day somewhere else that made it sound very interesting. Now you like it too, so I’ll definitely have to check it out!

    Reading YA (specifically dystopian YA) was how I distracted myself through my last IVF cycle and a very difficult first trimester last summer. But I think you’ve read all of those books. Let’s see…recent YA I’ve liked: Silence by Michelle Sagara. And I just read the first three Hex Hall books, which were pretty fun. I really liked Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi and I saw there’s a sort of sequel to that out now.

  5. I read “Boy Meets Boy” and was confused because I wrote about it in the entry above, but then I realized I confused it with WG/WG. I’m an idiot. This is what happens when I blog on little sleep. I adjusted the entry now. DUMB KIM.

  6. I tweeted this suggestion to E a couple of weeks ago when he was looking for suggestions and I should have included you too: all of Alice Kuiper’s books are outstanding. She’s a British author that lives in Canada (just a few blocks from me!) so her books might be hard to find in stores in AL, but has at least three of them: Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did, and Lost for Words. I love them ALL!

  7. I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. It is YA fantasy. Do you like that genre? I just finished Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, which is also YA fantasy. I could not get into the next book I read because I couldn’t get out of Seraphina’s world. So now I am just reading that one again.

    Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn was great. They are the same team who wrote Nick and Nora, I think.

    I’m adding to my reading list from the suggestions above…

  8. I’m going to keep suggesting Dairy Queen/The Off Season/Front and Center trilogy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock until you tell me to stop. Also, The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman

  9. “Every Day” sounds interesting, thanks for the tip. And, in the Everything New Is Old department, check out “Bodyguard”, an old sci-fi short by Evelyn Smith. I thought of it immediately upon reading your description. Very different, of course, but some similar notions.

  10. I just finished David Levithan’s Love is the Higher Law, which is about 9/11. Very short, and not too heavy on the heart. I teared up in the first few chapters because the feelings of confusion and loss are so real.

    As for a suggestion: I’m evangelical for Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments. Read it with YouTube nearby because you’ll want to play the music it references. It’s a West Coast road trip story set in that magical summer between high school and the rest of your life.

  11. I’m a 7th grade language arts teacher and I am thinking of using this book in my “book club.” Is there a movie I could show as a reward for finishing the book that has a similar theme?


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