I read a lot. I don't mean like, I kind of read a little here, a little there. A read a frickin' ton. Sometimes 7-8 books in a week.
I also have rather large opinions. Obnoxious ones that people tend to roll their eyes at when I really get going. So it's best not to get me started, since there's no telling when I'll calm down and let you go back to your regular life.
My husband has no such privilege and God bless him for it. He will stand there and let me rant over something I just finished reading, having no idea really what I'm so upset about. But he'll nod along patiently, saying helpful things like, "that does sound frustrating." Until I finally burn myself out and let us both go to bed.
Last night was another such incident. I'm still a little worked up about it today so I thought I'd spill it all over the internet.
I read a book yesterday that I will not name so don't ask, but it was a young adult novel. I don't normally read young adult and this one reminded me of all the reasons why.
I think it's extremely difficult to really capture the complexity of the young adult mindset. We remember, as adults, the decisions we made in our youth but often forget the motivation behind it. We're processing our memories through the filter of our adult brain and it usually has one of two outcomes. Either the novel consists of characters with over amplified immaturity, making them annoying and unlikable. Or the adult writer has put far too much of what they've learned as adults into the critical thinking parts of our young protagonists, making them unbelievable.
I remember being a teenager. It sucked. I didn't even realize how much it sucked until later when I could look back and be like, "Whoa, so glad I don't have to relive that nightmare." So I hate it when an author glorifies the angst or writes it off entirely. It's a very fine line to walk and I have found only a couple of writers who walk it well.
Bria Quinlan, in my humble opinion, is the best at doing this. I only discovered her recently but the moment I started to ingest her written words, I was voracious with putting all of her works into my brain as quickly as possible.
She nails it, every time. She somehow balances the seesaw of teenage hormones in a way that I'm reading it and shouting out loud, "Yes! That's exactly how it felt! Holy crap! How are you in my mind?" Connecting to her characters is flawless and they feel like an extension of your own high school experience. These were people you knew.
The book I read yesterday honestly felt like a badly done attempt to recreate a Bria Quinlan masterpiece. The characters were flat and forced. The action was fabricated to the point of boredom. I could have cared less if the protagonist lived or died. It was just badly done. The end.
If you like young adult, I really recommend Bria. If you are a young adult, I recommend Bria. I feel like if I could have read her books in high school I wouldn't have been nearly as confused as I was. In fact, I may make it required reading when I have girls that age. That's how spot on she is. And did I mention funny? Which is perfect. Because no matter how crappy life seems, or how dark things look when you're in the midst of turning into an adult, it's always beneficial to have a joke (or twelve) thrown in to give you that extra boost of hope you need.
Let me make it easy for you:
Secret Girlfriend (RVHS#1)
Secret Life (RVHS#2)
Wreckless (my personal favorite, just sayin')