I Read (And Write!) YA Week with Sara Elizabeth Santana + Giveaway!

It is officially one of my most FAVORITE times of the year: I Read YA week!

I love I Read YA week for so many reasons. I like that there is a week where I can sit and shout out my support and passion for young adult literature.

Which is sort of what I do on a daily basis anyway, so I’m not sure if there’s much difference. I guess its more like, hey you’re allowed to be obnoxious about your passion for young adult literature this week. We ENCOURAGE it.

Well, thank you. I’m glad to be aboard ;)

Not many people know, but What A Nerd Girl Says sort of started out as a YA rant blog. What happened was, I took a reading class in college. We read a lot of books in that class but we also did a lot of projects on books. The best part was that we were able to pick the books we did these projects on and, of course, mine were heavily YA. I always managed to get good grades on these projects but my reading professor would constantly write notes to me, telling me to do projects on “more substantial novels” and things like that. Oh, it would get me SO insanely fired up.

I also took this reading class at the same time as I took a children’s literature class. This class covered a small bit of YA, but what I liked was that the professor was so adamant that we could learn so much from books that weren’t just general adult fiction. It was refreshing to see someone who agreed with me. She was constantly assigning journal assignments for us, to talk about children’s and young adult literature and I realized how much I LOVED writing about it.

So that’s what this blog started as, a place where I could freely talk about my love for young adult literature and to basically rant about people like my reading professor, who don’t give it a good enough shot.

There are so many reasons I love YA. I love that there are so many options. I love that there is literally something for everyone. It encompasses every single genre. Whatever you like…fantasy, romance, science fiction, paranormal, contemporary, whatever it is, we can find you a book in that YA section that will jump out you. And it reaches to so many people. You don’t have to be a teenager to read these books. They reach to everyone. There are so many amazing, fantastic, substantial novels in YA and there are so many adults out there that gobble them up.

I read 99.8% YA books. I do delve into middle grade and new adult and the VERY occasional adult book but I mostly stick to young adult literature. I love that I can read all of my favorite genres by so many different authors. I love that there are a wide variety of characters, and so many that I identify with. Not only does teenage Sara identify with these characters but adult Sara does as well. I like that there are stories that make me cry and make me laugh and make me think and make me excited. There are books full of romance and action and sad stories. There is this whole community of writers and authors and readers and bloggers and librarians and booksellers and all of those people that come together for one awesome reason: We read YA.

That’s a pretty incredible thing.

And I think that’s a huge reason why I write YA too. Its hard for me to write adult stories, though I’ve tried. YA calls to me, because I love the freedom of it. I’ve written contemporary YA and science fiction YA and I’m writing urban fantasy YA in the future. I love that I’m not stuck, I have the ability to write whatever I want in the young adult category and that’s super cool. But I also love writing the YA character. I love that there’s so much you can do with them. That’s the coming-of-age time, the time where your emotions are heightened and everything around is so much…more than it when you are an adult. Your first love hits you harder, your friends mean that much more, everything is so heightened and dramatic and its fun to write about it.

So I love this week. I love sharing my love for reading and writing YA and I love being part of this vast community that feels the same way as I do because, honestly, it doesn’t really get better than that.

This week, I’ll be celebrating with a ton of great posts. I have interviews and guest posts from authors Sarvanez Tash, Victoria Scott, Robin Reul, Jessica Brody, Nicole Maggi, Mary McCoy, E. Katherine Kottaras, Melissa Landers, Brad Gottfred and Michelle Levy.

I also have some interviews and posts with my fellow OfTomes authors CM Lucas, Hilary Thompson, Jennifer Wilson, Laura Fox and Joel Lawrence.

SO MUCH FUN!

Lastly, but certainly not least, I have a giveaway going on right now on my Instagram!

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ONE winner will win ALL of these super cool prizes which include:

-2 ARCs of YA contemporary novels by Rebecca Maizel and Michelle Link
-a signed The Rose Society poster by Marie Lu
-a signed An Ember in Ashes excerpt book by Sabaa Tahir
-a signed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before postcard by Jenny Han AND Lara Jean and Peter K paper dolls
-a signed The Unexpected Everything pouch by Morgan Matson
-a Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo bookmark
-a Shadowhunters tote bag, with rune tattoos and a Freeform pen
-a set of Brandon Sanderson’s The Reckoners series buttons

-2 signed bookmarks for The Awakened by me! Including two bracelets!
-a signed Unremembered bookmark by Jessica Brody
-a pin from Siobhan Vivian’s The Last Boy and Girl in the World

To enter, head to my instagram (link above) and follow these simple rules!

1. Follow both @whatanerdgirlsays and @sesantanawrites

2. Repost the picture above with the hashtag #IReadYA and #ANerdGirlSaysIReadYA. Make sure to tag @whatanerdgirlsays!

3. You can post ONCE a day, until the giveaway ends on 5/8!

4. US only!

5. Tag TWO friends on the picture on instagram

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Thank you so much for celebrating with me this week! I can’t wait to hear from all of you!

Share YOUR Nerd!