I don’t have time to write this post because I’m about to go off and do super huge life changing non-writing related stuff and there’s about a bazillion things on my things to do list that are SCREAMING at me. Not the least of which is getting some words down on this ghost story I’m writing that really isn’t a ghost story but I’m calling it a ghost story for lack of anything better and I’m getting sick of calling it the-slowest-project-ever because that seems self-determining. But I digress…
I recently went to Emery Lord’s website to check her pub date (it’s April 15, 2014 by the way and when her book OPEN ROAD SUMMER publishes, you’re going to want to read it, so please go and mark that date on your calendar. I promise I’ll be here when you get back.)
Back already? Okay!
So one of the cool things that Emery does on her website is recommend books. And I LOVE reading book recommendations from writers whose own work I love. In general I usually find one or two things I didn’t know about and end up scratching my head to find that my favorite authors are huge fans of books I
hated didn’t like. But that’s the subjectivity of reading.
Back to Emery…one of her categories is YA/crossover books. And it made me think because two of my favorite books of the past year(s) were shelved as adult books (honestly, the whole age thing really annoys me) although they both had teen protagonists. Each got a ton of attention in the general world of books and words, but were more or less overlooked by YA book readers. And that’s a shame because each of these books is really amazing in its own way and whenever anyone asks for book recommendations - particularly if they label themselves a reader of YA - these are two of the books I recommend.
Anyhow…so the first is my favorite book of 2012. Amber Dermont’s The Starboard Sea is set in a privileged prep school in the late 1980’s. Jason Prosper, Dermont’s protagonist, is flawed, damaged, intelligent and all-together fascinating. A champion rower, he and his old rowing partner and best friend had a relationship that could be called complicated at best and Jason’s emotions are as volatile as the 1980’s stock market. Guilt, betrayal, revenge, some great mentions of 1980’s music. This book has it all and Jason is one of the best and most fleshed-out protagonists I’ve read since Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and at times both equally infuriating and captivating.
The second book is Abigail Tarttelin’s Golden Boy. Max, the teen protagonist of the book is intersex, both male and female which we learn on the book’s first pages. Tarttelin also opens with one of the gutsiest scenes of any book I can think of: shocking and painful to read it’s also completely appropriate for the story. What is fascinating about this book is that not only is Max keeping secrets from everyone in his life, most notably the girl he begins to fall for, but his family is keeping secrets from him and you could even make a case that he’s keeping secrets from himself.
So while I’m away and why you’re waiting oh so patiently for THESE GENTLE WOUNDS (because I'm not waiting patiently at all) to drop on May 8th, give those two books a read and leave a comment. I love to chat about great books!!!