I’m not good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, especially if they involve cutting down on bourbon or chocolate or getting more exercise, so this year I’m trying something new. After months of working on book-launch related activities I feel the need to get back in touch with one the reasons I am a writer—my love of reading.
So my resolution is to read more, and not just any books. I want to read more widely in the YA genre, including books that are outside my reading comfort zone. Here’s my list:
- In spite of rumors that YA dystopian novels are being upstaged by more realistic tales, seems to me they still occupy a pretty vibrant corner of the YA universe. And I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I’ve read very little dsytopian YA. This year I’m going to fix that by reading some of these 15 Must Read YA Dystopian Novels.
- I want to read some YA novels that take on rape culture, starting with Aaron Hartzler’s What We Saw, inspired by the events in the Steubenville rape case, and these Five Novels That Illustrate Rape Culture.
- The new novel I’m working on involves dance, so in addition to binge watching Flashdance, Center Stage, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Flesh and Bone, and yeah, Black Swan, I want to dig into some dark YA dance novels like Nova Ren Suma’s The Walls Around Us and some other books about Dancing in the Dark.
- I can’t resist a good mystery or thriller, so I am going to add these Five Killer YA Mysteries to my list along with two forthcoming books: The Mystery of Hollow Places by my agent Rebecca Podos and After the Woods by Kim Savage.
- I don’t read nearly enough sci-fi so I plan to start with Romina Russell’s Zodiac, a sci-fi space saga inspired by astrology (what’s not to love?) and some of the Best Science Fiction Books for Young Adults.
- And we always need more diverse YA so I will be reading some books from this incredible list of 30 Diverse YA Titles that includes On a Clear Day by Walter Dean Myers. “A futuristic novel, set in 2035, where a diverse cast of teens comes together to fight the powerful corporate elite.” Wow!
What are some of the books you are looking forward to reading this year?