Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog, The Broke and the Bookish, as they are particularly fond of lists over there. All they ask is participants link back to the site to share their lists with fellow bloggers. Check out The Broke and the Bookish for details on this great weekly feature!
This week I’ll be sharing a list of authors who I think deserve more recognition.
1. Jandy Nelson – I love, love, love this author. The Sky is Everywhere is at the tippy top of my favorite books of all time list, and I don’t see it moving down any time soon. Nelson’s novel was beautifully written and was the perfect blend of tragedy and romance. When you read this book, you will root for Lennie and fall in love with Joe and Toby. Absolute perfection.
2. Beth Kephart – I read Undercover in high school and fell head over heels for Beth Kephart. Her writing is lyrical and magical and her stories pluck on your heartstrings like no one else. Kephart’s stories are special and quirky and you need to read them!
3. Nina LaCour– Hold Still is another all-time favorite of mine. I almost didn’t read it because I was worried it would be too depressing, but I’m so happy I gave it a chance. This book helped me forgive people in my own life by so honestly portraying the story of a girl whose best friend commits suicide. Caitlin’s struggles trying to be there for Ingrid really resonated with me and honestly changed me as a person.
4. Sonya Sones – I feel like people see Ellen Hopkins as the first YA author to write in verse, but that’s so not true. Sonya Sones came way before Hopkins, and, in my opinion, writes much better books. Sones was one of my favorite authors as a child, and it still baffles me that no one seems to know who she is. Her books are meaningful, quirky, and fun; quick reads that pack quite a punch.
5. Evan Roskos – Why is no one else flipping out about Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets?! This is easily one of the best debut novels of 2013, yet the blogs I follow haven’t picked up on that yet. Roskos’ debut is unique in every way: the writing, the story, the characters; you name it. James is definitely one of my favorite protagonists of 2013, and he’s a character I won’t soon forget.
6. Tabitha Suzuma – Oh Tabitha Suzuma, why so amazing? This woman’s books need to be talked about. They’re different and intense and cover topics considered taboo in most societies today. From books on mental illness to incest, Suzuma’s books are powerful and haunt you long after you finish the last page.
7. Sarah Ockler – I think The Book of Broken Hearts is getting her a little more attention, but she’s so amazing she deserves even more. Admittedly I’ve only read Twenty Boy Summer so far, but if her other books are that good, then holy hot damn. Twenty Boy Summer was a surprise for me because despite its corny title and cover, it was deeply romantic and powerful.
8. Malorie Blackman – Blackman is the British author of the Noughts and Crosses series, called “Black and White” in America, because American publishers are idiots. In this futuristic series, the balance of power has shifted from whites to people of color, and it is an extremely thought-provoking series of books that needs to be discovered in the US.
9. Ellen Wittlinger – Hard Love and Parrotfish are simply amazing books. Hard Love was my first Ellen Wittlinger book, and it was super quirky and artistic. I was even more blown away by Parrotfish, a story about a transman’s journey to acceptance. Parrotfish is an extremely important book, and I truly believe everyone should read it.
10. Mayra Lazara Dole – I don’t think Mayra Lazara Dole has written any YA since Down to the Bone, but if she does, I’ll be the very first in line to buy it. Down to the Bone is a unique LGBT story focusing on Laura, a young lesbian woman struggling to come to terms with her sexuality and her culture. If you’re curious about LGBT experiences in other cultures, this book is a great place to start.