Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Do You Read YA? + Cover Reveal

(I had déjà vu after I wrote this, so I might have already posted on this topic.)

In 2011, I attended an Oregon SCBWI retreat, and one of the guest speakers was Ellen Hopkins. (Click to visit her website.) She's the author of over a half-dozen YA bestsellers. These are gritty, thought-provoking contemporary novels written in verse, such as:

CRANK. Loosely based on Ellen's older daughter’s story of addiction to crystal meth.
GLASS. A sequel to CRANK, to continue the character Kristina's story.
IMPULSE. 3 young people's lives intersect in a psych hospital after attempted suicides.
PERFECT. A sequel to IMPULSE. Four high- school seniors' goals toward perfection, and the different paths they take to get there.
BURNED. A young woman struggles in the face of abuse by the person she most adores: her father. She questions her family, her faith, and her ability to love and be loved.

What do these and her other books have in common? They are all New York Times bestsellers. Ellen's initial question at our retreat was: "How many of you have heard of me?" After a show of hands, she said it wasn't to sound conceited or egotistical, but that we SHOULD have heard of her. And that's true.

This is simply because if we as writers are focusing on writing Young Adult fiction, we should be familiar with the bestsellers in YA. We must know what else is out there, the books being published and selling well. Reading in our age category—and also in our genre—keeps us current about the market. As writers, we can also dissect these books, and analyze why they're popular.

So! Have you read Ellen's books, and/or read these YA bestsellers?
1. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
2. THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
3. MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs
4. THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
5. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
6. THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner
7. HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick
8. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
9. LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green
10. MATCHED by Ally Condie
11. THE LOST HERO by Rick Riordan  NOTE: I later discovered this one is actually MG!
12. SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

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Today is the celebration of a cover reveal for PK Hrezo's new and fascinating New Adult novel, BUTTERMAN (TIME) TRAVEL, INC. Isn't this a great cover? Congrats to PK on the imminent launch of her book!

Coming soon on November 12, 2013. If you enjoy a good time travel tale shot through with romance, this is the book for you! Visit PK's blogsite HERE, and her website HERE.


YOUR TURN
How many books on this bestseller list have you read?
What other NY Times bestsellers have you read, that aren't on this list?
If you could walk into a time travel agency and book a time trip, where and when would YOU go?

17 comments:

  1. Hi! Nice to meet you. I'm also revealing PK's cover today. I write sci-fi/thriller so I don't read much YA, but I totally agree that one should read in the genre one writes in to keep up with trends and know all the players.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  2. Thanks Carol! I totally agree with reading those bestsellers. We need to be aware of them and why they sell. I've been meaning to read Divergent forever but cant get around to it. lol

    Thanks so much for sharing my cover today! You rock! :D

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  3. Not only have I heard of, but I've read all but 2 of those books, and that just because I'm boycotting one of those authors. (Not intentionally. It's the inner rebel.) But seriously, if you write a genre, you should be familiar with it. I find when friends ask for recommendations for books, my response isn't the first ten that pop into mind, it's, "What is your preference in reading?" And then based off that I'm able to recommend at least 5 to 10 titles specific to their preference I personally found amazing.

    To write well is to read well.

    Yay for Pk!

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  4. Hi, Carol,
    It is important to keep up with what's happening in the marketplace. I've been wanting to read the one by Riggs, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

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  5. Oh, so cool you got to meet Ellen Hopkins. I'm friends with her on Facebook. I've read Perfect.

    From your list, I've also read:
    So! Have you read Ellen's books, and/or read these YA bestsellers?
    1. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
    2. (I own The Book Thief, but I haven't read it yet).
    5. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
    6. THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner
    7. HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick
    8. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
    9. (Not this one, but I did read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green)
    10. MATCHED by Ally Condie
    12. SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

    Nice to see PK here!

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  6. I've only read 6 of them, some I couldn't get into. Um ah!!!

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  7. I've read three on the list. You do need to read what you write. There's such a variety oh YA books out there.

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  8. Haven't read any of these books. Just stopping by to see where you would time trave, and to say HELLO, of course :)

    ..........dhole

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  9. Hangs head low... Sadly, I am familiar with some of these authors, but I haven't read their books. Something to definitely correct!

    Hi, Carol ..
    You didn't tell us where YOU WOULD go....

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  10. Since I've only read six of the books on your list, I'm making a list of the others! Thanks, Carol.

    Congratulations to PK!! That is awesome...and I love time travel. ^_^

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  11. I read 5 out of the 12 and all of Hopkin's books.

    Congrats to PK. I've been seeing her cover everywhere.

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  12. Uh-oh. I've only read three of them. I actually write MG, but I should probably have my eye on what's happening with the older readers as well. Thanks for the list.

    BTW: I left an award for you on my 4th Wish blog.

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  13. I've read half of those, and PK's new book looks and sounds fascinating!

    I gave you a Shout-Out on my blog today. :)

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  14. I've read 2, 8, and 9. Some of the authors I know of but currently am not interested in reading. But I love YA! Right now I'm reading Claire Legrand's Mrs cavendish's Home for Boys and Girls. Actually, it's MG but, you know, when I was young (ha ha) we didn't have these divisions. I mean, really, just because you turn 13 you start reading different books? Pfft.

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  15. Thanks for the list, Carol. I have read three of them, but I'm always looking for other authors to read in my chosen genre. I also read other genres because they can offer something to us in terms of style and voice. It's always exciting to find a new author to fall in love with, although I often re-read Austen, the Brontes and Dickens. Always looking to learn.

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  16. I've read all of the books except Maze Runner, but it is on my shelf, waiting for me. And how great that you had a chance to meet Ellen Hopkins. I've seen her speak at a couple conferences. She is amazing and inspiring.

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