In the spirit of Thanksgiving, books and cupcakes, here are the top 10 YA Awesomesausers (aka Authors) I'd love the chance to talk turkey with. Each of these Authors have positively impacted my imaginative life this past year and for that, I'm thankful.
If they were to come for a turkey chat feast, I'd most likely serve up some cupcakes because that's what I "do". They write, I bake.
Our turkey would probably look a little something like this...
In no particular order...
1) Veronica Roth ~ "Divergent" was my absolute FAVORITE book of 2011! I read all 487 pages in 24 hours, something I had never done before. Ever. In doing so, I earned myself another nickname, "rapid reader" and have since taken to reading books at lightening speed. (I'm convinced this is some sort of super power.) Thank you Veronica for giving us Tris who was so inspiring in her bravery and desire to be true to herself that I decided to dress up as her for Halloween, tattoos and all. Thank you for Tobias who is not just cute, but strong, courageous and doesn't hesitate to kick some rear when the need arises. (Are you listening Peter?) Veronica, your humbleness in interviews and your sincere appreciation for all the success "Divergent" has seen is a testament to your faith, so thanks for that too. :)
2) Myra McEntire ~ "Hourglass" was a truly unique story and I connected with Emerson in ways that I wasn't expecting, especially during her cafeteria scene. Thank you for giving us Emerson, Michael and the ever so yummy Kaleb in all his tortured self. (If I was single, young & fictional, I would let him read my emotions all day long!) Thank you Myra for also taking the time to read and respond to the e-mail I sent you a few months back. I don't normally e-mail authors but your time and kind words were an immense blessing to me. Thank you also for all the times that you RT or reply to my Twitter ramblings.
(My husband laughs at me when I get excited about that kind of stuff but I tell him it makes me feel special for like 5 minutes and then it passes and life goes on.)
3) Julie Kagawa ~ Thank you for literally giving me Ash or "Cupcake Boy" as he's known in my house now. ;) I have a healthy respect for you because a) you write enchanting stories full of magic and adventure, making the land of the Fey the "It" place to be b) you've managed to make winter - my least favorite season - totally hot somehow and c) you can kill me with a stick. A stick! OK, so hopefully, I won't ever give you a reason to kill me with your stick but still...I know you're capable of it...I've seen your pictures on Facebook. *bows in submission* Thank you for changing my opinion of faeries from something to swat at with my fly swatter to look upon with appreciation - great, adoring, sometimes drooling appreciation. *sighs happily while looking at signed ARC of "The Iron Knight" yet again*
4) Michelle Hodkin ~ "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" is one of the most intriguing and CRAZIEST books I've read in a long time and I loved that I walked away gasping, "WHAT.JUST.HAPPENED?!" Thank you for making me drool over the cover and swoon over the would be bad boy with the British accent. Thank you also for the Goodreads invite to the live blog chat a couple weeks ago where I kept looking at those long time blogger names and saying to myself, "How the HECK did I get invited to this party?!" Thank you for answering our questions for 4 hours even though it was only supposed to be 1 and for handling the awkward Noah moments with grace and humor even after we all realized your Mom had hijacked the chat. (By far the funniest part!) Thank you for taking that time away from your busy schedule for all of us and for making the night feel more like a campfire chat full of ghost stories and fun with s'mores being the only thing missing.
5) Cassie Clare ~ Thank you for writing stories that include Jace, Simon, Sebastian, Will and Jem, whether they be called "The Mortal Instruments", "The Infernal Devices" or "The Cupcakegirly Warriors", it doesn't matter to me, as long as you write them so I can read them. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Oh yeah, I DO enjoy the strong, butt kicking, take no "you know what" girls in there too but if we're being honest, it's all about the Shadowhunters and the lone Daylighter. *sighs*
6) Suzanne Collins ~ Thank you for giving us "The Hunger Games" Trilogy and strong, intelligent, influential characters in Katniss, Peeta and Gale. Katniss is a positive role model for girls everywhere and Peeta is an example of quiet strength and leadership. Thank you for not killing off the boy with the bread because I was on his "team" from the beginning and had a hard enough time when the books ended. I would have been devastated if Peeta hadn't survived, especially since he's the one who frosts the cakes...we are kin, he and I. <3
7) Jenny Han ~ Thank you for writing a "it could totally happen" love story with your "Summer" Series. (I considered just saying thank you for Conrad but that doesn't seem like thanks enough does it?) "We love you Conrad oh yes we do..." *sighs* I happen to be partial to his last name because we have that in common *squeals* but then again, so does my husband. (not the best place to squeal I guess) Thank you for writing characters who were complex, flawed and lovable. They made me laugh, cry and a couple times I wanted to smack some sense into them but that's what a good story does. You've made it so I can no longer listen to the songs, "Summer Love" and "Stay" without thinking of Beck's boys. Finally, a GREAT BIG THANK YOU for announcing that when "We'll Always Have Summer" comes out in paperback, it will have Conrad's letters to Belly in it...I think that might require a box of tissues. *sniffs*
8) Stephanie Perkins ~ Thank you for Anna, St. Clair, Lola & Cricket (who I thought was a girl at first thanks to the Young & the Restless) Both of your books make me happy when I'm reading them and I literally laugh out loud. (this creates awkward moments while reading in public though.) Thank you for characters who are fun, quirky and relate able. Your attention to detail is incredible and I feel like a) if I blink long enough I'll open my eyes to find myself in the very place your describing and b) when I'm finished reading I'm ready to book my flights. Thank you for boys who are sweet, kind, and unique - St. Clair with his British accent and his Daddy issues and Cricket with his tallness and that incredible brain of his! I'm sooo looking forward to reading Isla!
9) Hannah Harrington ~ I can not say enough good things about "Saving June" - Thank you for writing it! Thanks also for introducing me to Blind Pilot (the lead singer will ALWAYS be the voice of Jake for me) and John Coltraine. Having struggled with depression and attempting to take my own life in high school (something I'm not proud of) your characters gave me a glimpse of the pain the survivor's are left with so, thank you for that too. The friendship between Laney and Harper was refreshing and the slow burn that builds between Jake and Harper was truly romantic. I think "Saving June" is just the beginning for you Ms. Harrington!
(Do you see what I see what I did there with the number 10? Yeah, sometimes I have an issue with rules, following directions, coloring within the lines and all that...)
10A) Becca Fitzpatrick ~ Thank you for sharing Patch with the rest of us. (I don't know if I would've been so generous...) I stumbled upon Patch while voting in the YA Sisterhood Crush Tourney this past summer (I'm thankful for them too) and I'll admit it was the picture of Patch that lured me into the voting booth & ultimately into the "Hush Hush" series. The slogan said, "Patch's Army Needs You" and I didn't need to be asked twice, neither did several of my friends. Again, thank you for Patch - for showing us that fallen angels can be good and that they can whip up a mean taco too. (I looove me some tacos!) Thank you also for the Special Edition of Silence with the Patch Chapter. I have to say I was a little frustrated at first when I heard there was going to be another book in the "Hush Hush" series but only because I have to wait to find out how it all ends for he and Nora (I like her too btw) but then I remembered that just means more Patch, so thanks!
10B) Ally Condie ~ Thank you for Cassia, Xander & of course, Ky *swoons*. Thank you for not only giving us an interesting concept in "Matched" - that the government would choose who we spend forever with but also for weaving great poetry back into the YA world! I'm a visual person and your books have brought the Dylan Thomas poem to life for me and I'm grateful for that.
10C) Sarah Mylnowski ~ Thank you for causing me to spit my lunch out all over my kids by page 3 of "Ten Things We Did and Probably Shouldn't Have". Seriously, I took a bite of my lunch while I was reading, started laughing so hard I cried then proceeded to spit my mouthful of food across the table onto my two boys. (After they got over the initial shock they got hysterical.) I felt like I was reading scenes taken right from my younger years but without the regrets. Thanks for the ab workout too - all that laughing does a number on the obliques!
Thank you to all these Awesomesauce Authors for sharing their stories with the rest of us.
So who would make your Awesomesauce list of Authors this year?