Thursday, August 30, 2012

This question has nagged at me since, well, since I was a teenager. Growing up (as the youngest of five), I noticed a huge lack of “sibling” books on YA shelves. Whenever I stumbled upon a MC with more than two siblings, I would buy the book on the spot because I desperately wanted to read books with characters like me—kids with brothers and sisters around all the time! 

Finding those large-family books was a rare occurrence then, and still is today—even with the increase in young adult titles overall. Even though statistics say that only about 24% of US families are single-child families. 

There are obvious reasons for a MC to be an only child or to have just one sibling— for simplicity in plotting and to keep word count manageable. But what do readers miss out on when the families in books don’t reflect their own experiences?
I’ve faced this issue as a writer as well as a reader. One of my protagonists has three older brothers. During revisions, I considered cutting one of the brothers in an effort to cut my overall word count. Ultimately, I decided to keep all three—not out of sentimental attachment, but because they each serve a unique purpose in relation to the MC and are essential to the family dynamic.

Have you noticed that the majority of YA protagonists seem to be only children? How do you feel about it? Know of any great books where the siblings are fleshed-out characters, or books that delve into sibling relationships? Would you like to see more books featuring large families?

 Let us know!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bridget Howard, you won THE SNOWBALL EFFECT.  Thanks for commenting last week.  Make sure you email us so we can post it out to you!  This is the last week of our summer giveaways because, y'know, summer's winding down.  Some of you are crying right now, but come on!  Who's looking forward to some autumn weather and pumpkin spice lattes?!?  Okay, to win an ARC of REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham all you have to do is comment.  Thank you.  You are loved.

Lots of good discussions happened last week on twitter:  #NALitChat, #MGLitChat,#YAWritersAAT, and #askae:


Writing and Inspiration:

Definitely favorite tweet EVER

Funny stuff:


Some of you might be aware of a certain situation in reviewing (never a dull moment).  There is a guy who's making money from writing good reviews for self-published books.  It further degrades the line between true reviews and those paid for or blurbed by friends and family.  Maureen Johnson called him out and the discussion that ensued is worth reading:  


Friday, August 24, 2012

I’ve always been fascinated with friendships between famous writers. I loved learning that two of my favorite authors, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, were friends. I think it’s funny to imagine them in their critique group, the Inklings, chatting about The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

I recently saw the movie Midnight in Paris and I loved it for the same reason. How cool would it be to walk around a corner in Paris one night and find yourself transported back in time, rubbing elbows with Earnest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein?

With the rise of social media, there’s an even greater sense of community among writers. It’s cool to think that some of the best YA writers are friends. I love knowing that John Green, Maureen Johnson, Stephanie Perkins, and Laini Taylor hang out in large groups of authors.

We recently went to see a YA panel. It was one of the best I’ve ever been to, because they were all friends and you could tell they were really enjoying themselves. I loved all the inside jokes and the banter between them. Panels of complete strangers are no where near as fun.

The We Heart YA girls are quietly hoping we’ll get to do panels of our own someday and talk about our own books. We’ve got the chemistry and the inside jokes, now we just need to get our books out there. ;)


Do you like hearing about author friendships?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Leeanna, you won A WANT SO WICKED!!  Email us so we can post the book to you.  If you've been faithfully commenting this summer, don't worry, we have two more weeks of giveaways before the summer is over.  This week it's a hardcover of THE SNOWBALL EFFECT by Holly Nicole Hoxter.  Simply comment on this post to be entered.

I have a confession:  I haven't been on twitter all that much because my parents have been visiting for the past eight days.  I managed to find a few gems, but if there's something major I missed on twitter please let me know!

I caught this hashtag #failedmusicals last night and had to mention it because so many authors were participating:

But #writersroad gets best hashtag this week for being relevant to both readers, reviewers, and writers:

On Writing:

Lola demonstrating her writing soundtrack <3

You DO Amuse Us:


In a Category All Her Own:

Important:  Have you read TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson?  (Oh, please do and then we can discuss). You have to CHECK OUT this "fauxto" by The Real Fauxtographer a.k.a. Margot Wood.  Seriously, I'm tearing up just looking at it again.  It makes me feel all the things, all over again.  She's really, really captured the heart of the book in one picture.
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about us

Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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