This post is brought to you by the last week, when I picked up Past Perfect, burned through it in about 2 days, then promptly got Mostly Good Girls, which I read in another 2 days. And now? Now I'll read anything Leila Sales writes. Ever.
A couple quick reviews:
Past Perfect is ... oh god, I'm going to do it ... well, it's perfect. I mean, the book is about teenagers who work at a Colonial Reenactment Village, and they stage a summer-long war with the kids who work at the Civil War Reenactment camp across the street. Oh, and there's a little Romeo and Juliet going on there, too. It's sweet and funny and swoony, and then at the end, it pack an incredible emotional punch.
When I finished, I wanted more of the Leila Sales voice. MORE I SAY! I grabbed her debut novel, Mostly Good Girls. MGG isn't about anything, in the traditional sense. There's no twist or hook or interesting plot device. It's essentially a book about friendship and growing up. But this book is all voice. It's Opera, I tell you. Voilet, the main character, leaps off the page. It reads as if you're hanging out in a coffee shop and Violet is just filling you on life, with lots of snarky sarcasm and jokes to color the story. MGG reminded me that you can write a perfect YA novel without any ghosts or vampires or characters getting amnesia or nearly dying. You can write a perfect YA novel that's just about getting through every day as a teenage girl. Can I say perfect again? It's perfect. PERFECT!
So Leila Sales? Yeah, she goes on the list. I will preorder anything she writes from now until forever. I want her characters to sit on my couch and be my friends and just talk to me while we eat brownies and drink root beer. Leila Sales joins a pretty great list ... these are the authors for whom I will preorder YEARS in advance if I have to.
John Green has definitely never written a miss. All hits. Top 40. Beatles, I Wanna Hold Your Hand-style hits. Don't ask me to pick a favorite. I really don't understand people who do ... how did you make that choice, Sophie?
I picked up Cracked Up To Be at my local library a couple years ago, based solely on the cover. I'd never heard a word about it, and I didn't even read the blurb on the back. I just threw it on my stack and headed to the check out desk. I've been a CS fan ever since. The emotional weight to her writing and the grit to her characters makes reading her books an experience. Her upcoming book is a bit of a detour for her (it's about zombies), but I'll read it anyway. And even though zombies scare me and I'm not a big paranormal fan, I'm pretty sure it'll be excellent.
Here's another author whose voice is so strong I'll read her even if she writes a YA novel about centipedes. Those would be some damn funny centipedes, I tell you. I'm really looking forward to the Bumped sequel.
Her novels are like big, fluffy quilts. Comfortable, homey, perfect for a snow day or a rainy day or a beach day. Her characters are sweet and relatable, and the fact that she brings old ones back for cameo appearances makes reading them a little bit like an Easter egg hunt, except instead of chocolate you get to find out what Remy and Dexter have been up to.
SWOON. 'nuff said. (Is Isla out yet? Is it????)
Her books are a lot like Dessen books, in that I always know it's going to be a fun, funny, comforting experience to read whatever she writes. I nearly broke my mouse adding The Language of Impossible Dreams on GoodReads (as if a good, hearty click will make it come faster!)
QUESTION: Who are your "must preorder" authors? Leave your answers in the comments!