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I've talked before about how Courtney Summers is one of my favorite authors and someone whom I really admire for a number of reasons. Recently, Courtney wrote an open letter to an actor who seems to be confused about what a Young Adult novel really is. Courtney made a lengthy list of some of her favorite YA novels (my second novel is on the list) so that readers who are aren't familiar can read up! If you're in need of a book to read, check out Courtney's list. I've read many of them, and I think she has excellent taste. You should also check out some of the books written by Courtney herself. My favorites of hers are THIS IS NOT A TEST and FALL FOR ANYTHING. So good!
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Kelly Jensen has put together a list of Young Adult novels that, along with SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, tackle topics such as rape, sexual abuse, and incest. My book, LIVE THROUGH THIS, is mentioned, as are a number of powerful books. As is stated in Kelly's post at Book Riot, "These books are absolutely teen appropriate, and they’re also books that any adult who works with teens or cares about sexual violence more broadly should read (or at least be aware of). These books can change lives."
I came across a book review of Live Through This at the Colorado Coalition Again Sexual Assault blog, which is called "Toward Healing and Justice." The reviewer, Liz N. Clift, summarizes some of the story in her review (so there are spoilers at the blog, just so you know), and also says this in the closing paragraph: "[I]t’s also a book I would recommend to school libraries and to folks who work with youth. It’s a valuable resource that talks about incest without eroticizing it, and which explicitly avoids victim-blaming."
I'm so gratified to read those words. As I've stated in the past, I wrote this book because I needed to read it as a teenager, and it didn't seem to exist. It's my continued hope that those who need it now will be able to find it.
Sarah at Clear Eyes Full Shelves recently blogged during Heroine Week at Romance Around the Corner. Her post is about female characters in young adult fiction who aren't necessarily physically strong (ala Katniss from THE HUNGER GAMES), but who are courageous in how they deal with their personal, internal conflicts. Sarah listed twelve of her favorite characters for this category, and Coley Sterling, the protagonist from my second novel, LIVE THROUGH THIS, is among them. Sarah said this in her post: "Coley is one of the bravest characters I can recall and Live Through This is a brave book, one that’s unflinching in addressing why secrets are kept and just how hard confronting the truth really is."
You can check out the entire blog post here. Hopefully, you'll find some brave female characters whom you'd like to get to know!