Top 10 Auto Read YA Authors (in no particular order)1. Gayle Forman. The first time I read her debut, If I Stay, I couldn't finish it. At that time in my life, it was too intense, too personal. I had to put it down. Several months later, I decided to try reading it again. I'm so glad I did because it was so heartbreakingly beautiful. When I heard she was writing a sequel, I was skeptical. But it was even better than the first book. And now she's come out with another "duet" as she calls it, Just One Day and Just One Year. Both of these duets feature a romance where the first book is from the girl's perspective and the second book is from the guy's perspective. I like that I don't have to commit to a whole series with her, but I also get a little more story than can fit in just one book. I also love her ability to write so realistically from different perspectives. I met her and she was a really great, funny, genuine person.
2. Adele Griffin. I picked up her book Amandine at the library on a whim when I was a teenager. It absolutely blew my mind. She writes these amazing thrillers (as well as a popular middle grade series) that continue to surprise and mesmerize me. I had the pleasure of meeting her not too long ago, and she was so gracious and lovely.
3. Courtney Summers. When I read Some Girls Are, something shifted for me. All of a sudden the rules changed. Girls didn't have to be nice in YA anymore. Well, it's not that simple, but it's such a refreshing change, it gives me hope for the future. It's okay for male characters to be lovable assholes, but when girl characters are written that way, people say, "No offense, but she's kind of a bitch. Can't you make her nicer?" Courtney Summers says no thank you sir, I will write my characters whatever way I want. Girls don't have to be nice.
4. Sarah Dessen. My favorite book of all time is her novel The Truth About Forever. I've read this book so many times I've lost count. Every time I read it, I just become completely immersed in the world of the novel which is populated by achingly real characters. I love her contemporary fiction because they are high-stakes even though they aren't high concept. Her books operate on the premise that just because your life doesn't seem exciting, it doesn't mean your story doesn't matter. Her last book, What Happened to Goodbye, disappointed me, not because it was a bad book, just because it paled in comparison to her previous novels. But you can't hit it out of the park every time, and I'm with Dessen for the long haul.
5. Gabrielle Zevin. Her book Elsewhere blew my mind, and she's been an auto read author ever since. Her new series, which begins with All These Things I've Done, is amazing. I went to an event where she was interviewing Jasper Fforde, and I went up to her afterward and was like, Yeah I really came here to see you, and started telling her how much I love her books and gushing about the Dickensian influences in her new series and she told me a little bit about what's in store for the third book in the series. Such a fangirl moment.
6. E. Lockhart. Her Ruby Oliver series is still one of my favorites. I just wanted to be friends with Ruby, and I love the way Lockhart portrays all the different ways members of the opposite sex can come into your life as a teenager. It's not always as a boyfriend. Sometimes, it's that guy who ogles you in class, that guy your parents made you go on a date with, that guy you thought you were going out with, that guy you were going out with who then just stopped talking to you, and on and on. It's laugh out loud funny, but it's emotional as well (Noel/Ruby OTP). She also writes great stand alones, and Frankie from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is an example of the kind of female character I'd like to see more of in YA. I just want to help her take down a secret society, and then maybe have tea.
7. Jaclyn Moriarty. I don't know why she isn't more popular in the US, because she's really popular in Australia. She's written four contemporary novels that take place in the same town, so they're not sequels per se, but the characters in her different novels tend to have mutual friends or know each other. They're all epistolary, told in emails, letters, notes, scraps of paper, etc. I've never read anything like her books. There's no one else out there who writes like she does. She absolutely amazes me. The perks of being an intern allowed me to get my hands on the manuscript for her upcoming novel, which is non-epistolary. I'm so excited to read it I can't even explain it in words.
8. Lauren Oliver. When I read her debut novel, Before I Fall, I knew I had found a new favorite author. Her writing is so lyrical and she's not afraid to put her characters in difficult situations and ask the really hard questions. I was surprised that her next project was a dystopian trilogy, but Oliver quickly put my doubts to rest. I can honestly say that my most anticipated read this spring is the conclusion to the Delirium trilogy. REQUIEM COME TO ME.
9. Lauren Myracle. I first read her TTYL series, where the stories are told entirely through instant messages sent between three friends. Some people saw this as a gimmick, and the books as being somewhat shallow. I think this is a total misjudgment. The format of instant messages was the perfect medium to depict the dynamic between three friends. Sometimes they all chatted together, but sometimes just two of them would chat, and say things to each other they didn't share with the other friend. Or would they would talk about that other friend. All of her books deal with the fragility of friendship and its shifting dynamics, and she always executes it beautifully. Most recently, she wrote a book called Shine which I still think about. It broke my heart and put it back together. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's such a worthwhile read.
10. Ned Vizzini. The only problem with Ned Vizzini is that he's not as prolific as I would like. I waited faithfully for his latest novel for six years. SIX YEARS. He's so funny, and it's clear he can so accurately translate what he observes in life onto the page. His dialogue is pitch perfect. I first read his book of semi-autographical essays entitled Teen Angst? Naaah. So funny. I follow him on Twitter as well, he's hilarious. He tweeted back at me a couple of times, and I almost died. If I met him, I think I would just babble about how much I love him. He also writes for Teen Wolf, interestingly enough.
As a bonus, here are a few authors that will become auto buy authors for me, but have currently only written one book or series:
1. Rae Carson. I cannot say enough good things about her debut, The Girl of Fire and Thorns. A fantasy trilogy that has Spanish influences? Yes, please. I love desert based worlds. There's political intrigue, romance, coming of age, magic, murder, fighting, kidnapping, and everything else you could possibly want. The sequel, The Crown of Embers, was so beautiful and heartbreaking I just hugged the book afterward, knowing I would have to wait for the conclusion. When I get The Bitter Kingdom in my clutches, I am going to lock myself in my room over a weekend so no one will disturb me. Or see my tears. *Ahem* She's also got plans to write a new trilogy about a girl with the magical ability to find gold during the Gold Rush. Whatever Carson writes, you can sign me up.
2. Marissa Meyer. Her series of fairy tale retellings is truly masterful. Hello, cyborg Cinderella? I love that she was inspired by the strong female friendships in Sailor Moon, and that she wanted to write four different characters who had their own stories and problems, but who would unite and form friendships along the way. Scarlet, the followup to Cinder, was just as good, if not better, so I cannot wait to read Cress, the third installment. I also was lucky enough to have cupcakes and champagne with her, and she's funny and down to earth. Her husband also goes on tour with her, and they're adorable together.
3. Beth Revis. I just finished her sci-fi trilogy which begins with Across the Universe. I waited so long to read it, and I wanted to smack myself when I realized what I'd been missing. I really hope she's going to make hard sci-fi cool again in YA. I gave these books to my dad and uncle to read as well, and they loved them. Despite taking place on a multi-generational space ship, the characters and their fears feel real. Revis has her characters face extremely difficult choices, and on every page, I felt like nothing was sacred. Anyone could die, and anything could happen. So good, and I can't wait until her next trilogy!
4. Jess Rothenberg. Her debut, The Catastrophic History of You and Me just devastated me. And then it lifted me up. And devastated me. And lifted me up. Again and again and again. When I finished it, I just lay on my bed clutching the book. I highly recommend it to everyone; her next book can't get here soon enough.
5. Gina Damico. The first book in her series, Croak, has a great combination of things I love: grim reapers, quirky characters, a new world to explore, a snarky protagonist, and the fate of human souls hanging in the balance. There have been two books so far, and I'm eagerly awaiting the third installment.
6. Jandy Nelson. Why has she never published anything after The Sky is Everywhere?? That book absolutely blew me away. Lyrical, heartbreaking, and heartwarming at the same time, she took what would be a simple story in someone else's hands and made it absolutely incredible. Her next project on Goodreads has been sitting there with no release date for way too long.