There is nothing quite like the thrill and chase of a good spy novel and solving the story’s complex mysteries. With the recent release of Talia Vance’s Spies and Prejudice and the ever-growing love for Elizabeth Wein’s critically acclaimed Code Name Verity, Young Adult enthusiasts are looking for more titles to satisfy their need to sleuth. To help with that search, we’ve compiled a list of exciting YA reads that will keep you up all night trying to crack the case!
Last week, we shared some of our favorite self-published authors in our article on the rise of self-publishing. One of the authors we spotlighted was Keary Taylor, the inventive writer behind the Fall of Angels series and, most recently, the Eden Trilogy, a Young Adult dystopian series. Set in a world where a cybernetic technology has taken over the human race, the series started earlier this year with The Bane and continues with The Human. Taylor’s journey to publication hasn’t been easy, but it has most definitely been rewarding. Today, the author discusses her writing experiences, the inspiration behind her bestselling Eden Trilogy and provides insightful advice for writers looking to self-publish.
Can you describe how your experience in self-publishing has been so far? Have there been any particular challenges and what's the most important thing you've learned?
If you've yet to pick up any of the books in Fiona Paul's Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy, you're missing a whirlwind adventure perfect for anyone looking for a Renaissance Venice-set romance. Teen heroine Cassandra Caravello's life as one of Venice's elite is picture-perfect, until she discovers the body of a woman murdered in her own backyard. Swept up in a world of intrigue, secrets and danger, Cass can't help but be drawn to mysterious artist. In Belladonna, Cass' adventures continue, but she's faced with a big decision: Stay with her fiancé Luca, or return to Flaco, the man who broke her heart. Today we ask the author about her series, the gorgeous backdrop of Venice and offer readers the complete first chapter for download at the end of this post!
Belladonna is the second novel in your Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy. What do readers new to the series need to know about Venom before they start Belladonna?
Katie McGarry's latest contemporary tale Dare You To not only delivers a heaping dose of drama, but takes us inside the very personal, emotional love story between a high school jock and a bad girl living in a Southern town. Both are recovering from past hardships, but can two seemingly complete opposites find comfort in each other? We asked the author about her new book, what it was like writing characters from two very different backgrounds and what we can expect next in the author's series.
Your debut, Pushing the Limits, is an unbelievably moving story of two very hurt teens helping each other heal from past traumas. How is your new release, Dare You To, tied into this world?
Heather Anastasiu's heroine has fought a good fight against the corrupt government that holds human thought hostage by controlling people's brains with computer chips, not to mention she's finally getting the hang of her new telekinetic powers. But Zoe isn't done fighting yet. In the last in the author's Glitch trilogy, Shutdown, Zoe and company must take down the evil Chancellor. Today we asked the author about the finale and what it's been like writing a world filled with superheroes over the course of three books.
The "Community", where your Glitch trilogy takes place, seems pretty spectacular — no pain or war. But the trade off is a world where your very thoughts and emotions are controlled. I don't know too many people that would willingly give up their identity even if it meant eradicating the negative parts of living. What brought about the Community in your series?
Step aside, Jason Bourne — there’s a new, younger assassin in town, who may soon be entertaining audiences on the big screen. That’s the hope, at least, as Sony Pictures holds the film rights to Boy Nobody, the latest YA novel by Allen Zadoff. The movie’s possible development and production remain a long ways off, but in the meantime, readers can become acquainted with the teen assassin who befriends kids his age in order to target their parents. We caught up with Zadoff to hear about his new book, his background as a writer and common themes in his work.
What kinds of books did you like to read when you were younger? How do these preferences affect what you like to write about now?
Teri Brown's Born of Illusion is an imaginative, detailed and truly enchanting story about Anna, a teen who may or may not be the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini, and her struggle to control her growing powers to see the future. Secrets, love and danger will take readers on a whirlwind of an adventure set during New York's Jazz Age. Author Teri Brown is here today to discuss the research process for the story, how it all led to the creation of the book, and sheds some light on the sequel!
Born of Illusion was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had researching a book. I got to interview magicians, watch reels of 1920’s NYC footage, listen to jazz, read biographies on one of the greatest escape artists who ever lived and delve into the facts and myths behind the oldest and one of the most secretive paranormal investigative clubs in the world.
The moment I saw the cover for Bethany Hagen’s upcoming Young Adult novel, Landry Park, I fell in love and was hungry for more. As soon as I read the synopsis, I was positively hooked. With a science-fiction flair, a headstrong female lead, and a hint of romance, Landry Park seems to have it all. The sad part? We have to wait until February 4, 2014 until we can read this powerful debut.
But don’t despair too much, fellow readers, because remember the cover I mentioned? Well, it’s stunning and you get to see it for the first time right here! I just love the simplicity of the overall image, and how the plain background draws your eyes right to the title treatment and the images within the text. The building behind the girl is absolutely beautiful and I can’t help but wonder what lies inside. The block text further illustrates the futuristic setting of the story and it evokes a sense of power and strength.
Author Bethany Hagen couldn’t be more thrilled with the cover! She said, “When I first saw the cover for Landry Park, I immediately fell in love. It does something that I hope I accomplished in the book, which is to say that it pulls together science fiction and romance with a historical flair. I am so excited for the rest of the world to see it!”.
So what exactly is this book about, you ask? Well...
In Amanda Sun’s debut Ink, the first in the Young Adult Paper Gods series, American protag Katie Green finds herself living with her aunt in Japan after her mom dies. As Katie struggles to assimilate to her new surroundings, she meets Tomohiro, a tortured and magnetic boy she can’t stay away from. When Katie discovers Tomohiro’s ability to make his drawings come to life, she is thrown into a dangerous world where the descendents of gods are wanted by the Japanese mafia. While the book’s beautiful setting and fresh take on Asian mythology help make Ink an outstanding debut, the illustrations truly take the story to the next level.
Inside of her novel, the author treats readers to sketches of dragons, birds, and flowers, all of which act as pages from Tomohiro’s sketchbook. In the print version, the illustrations act as flip-art, while in the e-version, the more central illustrations actually move, which truly adds to the wonder and creativity of the story.
The New Adult workshops at RT’s convention were standing room only, as everyone wanted to learn what was going on with this hot new genre. With heavy hitters like Abbi Glines, Cora Carmack, Jennifer L. Armentrout (who writes New Adult as J. Lynn), Molly McAdams and more, we had the genre’s superstars on hand to impart their wisdom. Here are five take away points:
(L to R) Authors Sophie Jordan, Cora Carmack, Molly McAdams, Abbi Glines and RT Editor Elissa Petruzzi
1. New Adult: Not Just Contemporary. The panelists all expressed hopes that subgenres within New Adult will start popping up soon. They encouraged the audience to start writing (and reading) suspense, paranormal, dystopian and any other angle that might interest them. Panelists explained that the only way New Adult will survive is by growing and expanding. There’s proof of that happening already, as J. Lynn’s upcoming Frigid has a fun suspense subplot, and Stephanie Tyler’s amazing Defiance is a (deep breath) post-apocalyptic, motorcycle club, New Adult.