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Yesterday RT spotlighted a newly launched YA website, The Contemps, which is run by a group of twenty-one authors who love contemporary YA fiction. (Learn more here.) Today we go in-depth with some of these authors to get their take on what’s going on in the YA sub-genre that they love so much. Authors April Henry, Denise Jordan, Mindi Scott, Courtney Summers, Melissa Walker and Sara Bennett Wealer share why they write YA novels, which titles introduced them to the genre (ahem, Judy Blume, ahem) and they list their favorite recent contemporary YA reads!
Why are contemporary YA stories so important? What do they offer that readers may not get from other genres?
RT loves The Contemps, a new website that brings authors and readers together to discuss what’s going on in contemporary YA fiction. The site launched on August 17th and already has 21 authors who have gathered together to "celebrate books that feature true-to-life settings, characters and situations." These authors are are blogging, tweeting and sharing their experiences as teens. The Contemps is more than just a gathering place for contemporary YA fans, it also shows publishers that readers are interested in a reading about a wide range of YA tales. So be sure to join in the discussion at The Contemps — you can expect these authors' reflections to be honest and their passion for contemporary YA fiction to be contagious!
The Website Breakdown
One of my favorite aspects of YA fiction is the special touch authors use when writing sisters. Teen sisters have a built-in audience for their paths of self-discovery. Big sisters have someone to look out for and little sisters have someone to look up to. And whether a heroine loves her sisters or hates them, part of her character is always defined in relation to them. The relationship between sisters also shapes how they deal with their parents, their friends and even strangers. It is always interesting to watch the complex relationships between sisters unfold over the course of a YA novel.
After finishing Mockingjay, the last of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy — in which heroine Katniss’ actions are all motivated by her desire to protect her little sister — I wanted to continue my “sisters story” reading theme. I was pleasantly surprised when I took a chance on Zen & Xander Undone by Amy Kathleen Ryan (you can read the *Web Exclusive Review* of the novel here). Ryan’s latest novel was a deft exploration of the changes that Zen and Xander’s relationship undergoes as they grieve for their mother.
Check out two YA-friendly giveaways from RT magazine!
It's a simple question: Zombies or Unicorns? And our "Zombies Vs. Unicorns" contest has the answer! Well, kinda. At the very least, our contest gives you a chance to win a copy of the new anthology Zombies Vs. Unicorns, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, out September 21st from Margaret K. McElderry.
Want to play? E-mail Elissa@RTBookReviews.com with a haiku — in the traditional format of five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables — rhapsodizing about your preferred creature. The winning verses will be posted online on Sept. 21, and will receive a copy of the book.
The entire RT office was waiting with bated breath for the release of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy ender, Mockingjay. We got ready for Mockingjay's August 24 release date with giveaways (of the series starter and series schwag) and reports back from the official pre-release party. We were so excited about Mockingjay that four of the six RT editors already had their copies in hand by 10:00 on the morning of the book's release.
And the RT editors aren't the only ones who rushed out to get their copies ...
Diver's newest release Revamped, the second in her Young Adult Vamped series was released yesterday, while earlier this week Lang's Historical Urban Fantasy Lady Lazarus hit bookstores.
We told you we are psyched to celebrate YA all month long. And now the seventeen authors taking part in September's Smart Chicks Kick It book tour have given us another reason to cheer. This month some of the most popular YA authors will participate in a two-week book tour that's not just cross-country but cross continent! And the authors headlining the tour have put together an AWESOME giveaway for RT readers at the end of the post.