Happy Blog Birthday to Me! 4 Years and Counting!

I’m sitting here, shop writing this, and its hard to believe that this little baby is four years old. Four years ago, I thought to myself…I should start a blog. I should share my opinions. I should share my love for the nerd girl life. What started off as a place for me to go and be passionate about the things I love ended up being one of the most important aspects of my life.

Seriously.

Four years ago, I was in college, struggling, wishing I was anywhere but there. Four years ago, I had a boyfriend that wasn’t always the most supportive or loving or affectionate person. Four years ago, I didn’t have many friends. Four years ago, I didn’t feel like myself or really know who I was.

Now? Now, I am constantly surrounded by friends, amazing friends that I’ve met through this blog and my love of books and my love of fandom and nerd life. I have this confidence in myself that I certainly never had before. Yes, I have my bad days, and I struggle with mental illness, but I am sure of who I am and where I am going. I know that no matter what happens, its going to be okay. That’s so huge for me. And now, after so much work, after so much rejection and discouraging days…I am a published author.

It’s incredible. Its hard to believe that the 24 year old girl that started this blog turned into the 28 year old that I am now. I’m so proud of myself. I’m so proud of myself. I have met so many amazing bloggers and readers and librarians and authors and booksellers and book lovers and so many of them have become my friends and you have all been so invaluable to me. Some of you are ones that I’ve met at book signings and fest and some of you I’ve only met online, but you are all so important and I thank my blog for all of you, and I thank you for being part of what has made my life, and my extension, my blog, so freakin’ awesome.

I’ve done so many great things and met great people and I’ve not stopped pushing myself since the creation of What A Nerd Girl Says. This blog is my baby, my little four year old child that I have poured so much of myself into. I started this as a hobby, something so small, and what has come of it has truly blown my mind.

Since last year, I’ve gone on my first road trip, gone to more conventions, had two books published, a novel and a novella, met a ton of authors, camped out for the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood. I’ve moderated my first panels and signed my first books and I’ve had an incredible year since celebrating the third year of What A Nerd Girl Says.

I don’t know what the future holds. I know that the blog has slowed down quite a bit since the publication of The Awakened back in December. Between writing The Survivor and The Sanctuary and doing events and all of that, I’ve just been so busy. I’ve tried to get up on this blog as much as possible because I love it so much.

And no matter what happens in the future, how often I blog or not, this blog means absolutely everything. I would not have the life I have or be the person that I am or the writer that I am without this blog. Nothing about that is even up for debate. What A Nerd Girl Says holds a big big part of my heart and that won’t ever change.

And I’m hoping to be celebrating year five next year for sure!

For now, though, let’s celebrate with a giveaway! I love throwing lots of love and books and nerd stuff your way because you guys are here and support me and read my blog and its a huge part of why this still exists!

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There are four super awesome prizes up for grabs. Head to my instagram to enter, and find the photo above. You’ll find all the instructions there. It’s open until May 31st AND it is international, which I hardly ever do, so definitely make sure to check it out!

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I Read YA Week Interview with Melissa Landers!

I am so insanely excited to bring you the second interview with an excellent YA author, information pills Melissa Landers! She is one of my favorite authors and a huge influence on my own writing. I am so pleased and honored to have her here on What A Nerd Girl Says and I’m ready to jump right in so let’s do this!

ABOUT MELISSA LANDERS

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, price she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati in the town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio”.

You Can Find Her:

Her Website / Her Twitter / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Instagram

HER BOOK

Add Melissa’s fantastic sci-fi novel on GoodReads and buy a copy at your local bookstore or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Book Depository!

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

HER INTERVIEW

Nerd Girl: Why do you write YA?

Melissa: Quite simply: because I want to. There’s so much to enjoy as a YA author: a supportive writing community, enthusiastic fans, limitless story possibilities. I’m having a lot of fun writing for this market. Maybe that’s a selfish reason, but it’s true. :)

Nerd Girl: What are some of your own favorite YA reads?

Melissa: For me, nothing tops Harry Potter. The series started as middle grade and transitioned to YA in a smooth, seamless way that mirrored Harry’s growth. I enjoyed these books so much, and now I’m reading them to my children. It’s great to share that love of the series with them.

Nerd Girl: Describe your latest work in five words or less.

Melissa: Let’s battle an intergalactic mafia!

Nerd Girl: What advice would you give aspiring science fiction authors, especially those who want to dive into space/alien stories like yours?

Melissa: Don’t be afraid to get WEIRD. In this genre, weird is good! I’ll bet Frank Herbert’s friends gave him the side-eye when he said, “I have a story idea about a desert planet where giant sandworms poop out an addictive drug called spice!” But look how that turned out. Dune is (IMO) the gold standard for science fiction.

Nerd Girl: Both the Alienated series and Starflight do such a wonderful job of balancing a science fiction story and fun and awesome romance. How do you balance the two of them when writing?

Melissa: Thank you! Over time, I’ve learned to become more aware of that balance. My natural inclination is to veer toward romance, (I love making characters fall in love!), so I have to remind myself during the plotting stage not to let the romance take over. It helps to have an experienced editor in my corner. She’s good at pointing out imbalances. In fact…she just sent me an edit letter for Starfall, so I’m going to say “goodbye” and get to work. :)

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Thank you, again, Melissa, for joining us! We were so happy to host you during I Read YA week! I can’t wait for United this summer! EEK!

And you guys, don’t forget to head to my instagram, to enter my I Read YA Week giveaway! It runs until May 8th and includes two contemporary YA ARCs and a ton of signed swag!

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I Read YA Week Interview with BT Gottfred!

Happy Friday everyone! The best day of the week in my opinion and today is no exception since I’m bring you not one, more about not two, viagra dosage but THREE awesome interviews with three equally awesome YA authors. Lets jump into the first one, with one of my absolutely favorite people ever, Brad Gottfred :)

ABOUT BT GOTTFRED

Taken from Brad’s website: Wrote and directed the play, “Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes” that has played over four years in Los Angeles and Chicago and just made its Off Broadway premiere at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. Los Angeles Times said: “Seldom have I been a part of a more enthusiastic and vocal audience. Brad T Gottfred’s play about young couples stumbling through the minefield of codependency taps a universal nerve.”

Wrote, directed, and executive produced the feature film “The Movie Hero” which played at over 20 film festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards including First Prize at the Rhode Island Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival.

My first play, “Marry, F**K, Or Kill” was called “a guilty pleasure for veterans of the single life” by the Los Angeles Times. It went on to an Off Broadway premiere in the fall of 2011.

First web series “Sex and Love Conspire to Destroy the World” was released by MyDamnChannel in 2013.

My first-ish novel, “Forever for a Year”, was released in July 2015 by Macmillan/Holt. My second-isa novel, “The Nerdy and The Dirty” arrives November 2016 from Mac/Holt.

You Can Find Him:

His Website / His Twitter / His Facebook / His GoodReads / His Instagram

HIS BOOK

This book comes out in November 2016. I just started reading it and I already totally love it! Add it on GoodReads and preorder it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated–and not quite sure that she’s like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he’s destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different–but that’s what he likes about himself.

When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?

THE INTERVIEW

Nerd Girl: Why do you write YA?

Brad: Because the not-really-a-secret of the universe is that no matter how old you get, you’re always a ‘young adult’ inside and so this allows me to express all my crazy emotions while not-so-secretly-hiding them in the lives of teenagers.
Nerd Girl: What are some of your own favorite YA reads?
Brad: I fall in love with strong voices, ones so vibrant that you can feel them thinking inside your own brain. ‘Catcher in the Rye’ is the parent of all such books. Sherman Alexie’s ‘Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ was a recent favorite.
Nerd Girl: What do you think is a big misconception about YA and why do you think its wrong?
Brad: That all the books are the same. The variety is just as wide and interesting as work for ‘adults’. (Note the quotes are the word ‘adult’ ;)
Nerd Girl: Why do you think its important to have a “I Read YA” week?
Brad: All of us ‘adults’ will be forever dealing with issues that first rose in childhood so it’s vital everyone encourages everyone else that they should be proud they are exploring these issues through YA.
Nerd Girl: Describe your latest work in five words or less.
Brad: Brainy boy, fiery girl: collision
Nerd Girl: You have worked in both theatre and fiction. How do you tackle each one? What are some similarities/differences?
Brad: Both require me to be relentless in my pursuit of honoring the authenticity of the characters. In fiction, I get to explore their inner life a thousand fold while in theatre I have to reveal character through their interactions with others.
Nerd Girl: Do your kids have any influences over the stories that you create/do you think they will influence you in the future?
Brad: Much of what draws me to stories are wanting one-of-a-kind characters to have a voice and a place in the world. And I hope my kids feel empowered to be their own kind of one-of-a-kind ;)

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Thank you again Brad for lending yourself to What A Nerd Girl Says to celebrate I Read YA Week! You are awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy of The Nerdy and the Dirty!

Don’t forget everyone, head to my instagram to enter my I Read YA Week giveaway, which includes two YA contemporary ARCs and a TON of signed swag!

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I Read YA Week Interview with Jennifer Wilson!

Yay! Another fantastic interview with another equally fantastic YA author. Today is yet another of my amazing OfTomes siblings, buy Jennifer Wilson. Jennifer’s book, sales New World: Rising, came out just after mine did and its absolutely FANTASTIC! I’m so happy to have her here today on What A Nerd Girl Says!

ABOUT JENNIFER WILSON 

As a child Jennifer loved getting lost in the stories of others, but struggled greatly with reading. A notoriously slow reader who stumbled with words and spelling, Jennifer shied away from books, leaning heavily on musical theater and movies to get her inspirational fix.

It was not until in her mid-teens, when a persistent friend convinced her to read the Harry Potter series, that Jennifer found her love for the written word. J.K. Rowling’s books opened doors not only to the fascinating world of a young wizard, but to a life filled with a multitude of literary friends and fantastical worlds. Once a timid reader, Jennifer now devours books and loves getting lost in a new series.

When Jennifer is not writing, she is enjoying life in Colorado, rock climbing, camping, exploring new foods, playing with her golden retriever, Duke, and sharing her life with her wonderfully supportive husband.

You Can Find Her:

Her Website / Her Twitter / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Instagram

HER BOOK 

Add Jennifer’s epic dystopian novel on GoodReads and purchase it in ebook or paperback format on Amazon

Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”

Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

HER INTERVIEW

Nerd Girl: Why do you write YA?

Jennifer: YA is my absolute favorite genre both to read and to write. It has infinite possibilities and has more sub-generes than most writers could ever dream about. YA is generally also packed full of emotions and desires that a reader of any age can relate. The YA perspective tends to focus on pivotal points in both the readers’ and the characters’ lives when they are truly figuring out who they are and who they want to be. I find so many of these books both inspired and inspiring. I only hope my books are perceived the same way.

Nerd Girl: What are some of your own favorite YA reads?

Jennifer: I recently devoured The Lunar Chronicles like a maniac and of course adore anything Harry Potter. Some of my other favorite YA reads include: the Legend series by Marie Lu, The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I have also fallen in love with Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series and have been reading all of my Oftomes siblings’ books like a crazed book nerd—there is so much talent there!

Nerd Girl: What do you think is a big misconception about YA and why do you think its wrong?

Jennifer: That it is only for Young Adults. YA is for every age! For a long time a lot of my friends were embarrassed to admit they loved YA, but the truth is a large majority of YA readers are well over the age of 25.

Nerd Girl: Why do you think its important to have a “I Read YA” week?

Jennifer: There are way too many closet YA readers out there. It is time to admit you love YA and be proud! You might be surprised that most of your friends do too.

Nerd Girl: Describe your latest work in five words or less. 

Jennifer: Death—closer than you think. (You will find out more about this work soon! Stay tuned to Oftomes!)

Nerd Girl: You have been self published before and now are officially published through OfTomes; what has been your experience with both?

Jennifer: Having done both—self-publishing first and now being published under Oftomes—I can honestly say there can be benefits and downfalls to both. I am very lucky that I happen to click really well with the Oftomes team and couldn’t be happier under their name. But I do know not every published author is happy with his/her publishing agency. Finding the right publisher for you is extremely important, as you are essentially trusting them with your baby. I have learned so much about the literary world as a self-published author and adored getting to know my fans on such a personal level, but now that I am with Oftomes, I also get to focus more on writing which is that part I love most. Honestly there is no right or wrong when it comes to how you publish, it just needs to be what suits you best. Here’s the most basic break down I can give you:

Self-Publishing Pros:

  • Your profit is not cut to pay an agent or publisher, so you earn more money from each individual sale
  • You have total freedom with what you write, your timelines and graphics
  • You get to know your fans on a more personal level
  • You have more control over your book
  • Your book will definitely be published, trends be dammed

Self-Publishing Cons:

  • You have to front all of the money for things like review copies, editing, cover design, ISBN numbers and advertising
  • You have to handle all of the marketing
  • It is harder to get your name out there
  • Sales are generally lower than that of a professionally published book
  • You must wear many hats other than just a writer— you must be your own marketing director, agent, publisher and editor.
  • Spelling errors are more common

Nerd Girl: Talk to us about your trilogy; where did the idea for it come, where did you get the inspiration?

Jennifer: I have always had a bit of an overactive imagination. My mind tends to wander and being a very visual person, I generally get these flashes of scenes­—a girl on a rooftop, an action-packed fight sequence or an impassioned kiss.  From there, my mind melds around these moments and a basic plot begins to develop. As the plot matures, so do my characters.

         New World: Rising was born out of an epiphany moment for Phoenix. I could see this girl racing on rooftops, hiding in the shadows, being kind of a badass. The opening scene in the first book is the moment Phoenix was born in my mind, a dark shadowed figure standing on the ledge of a building as her hair whipped around her face in the wind, the city below her in ruin. The world just spiraled out from there, shaping around her.  I wanted to write about a girl who could take care of herself, who was just as tough as the boys and preferred to rescue herself rather than be recused. But of course she is not without her flaws. It was important to me that she—and all of the other characters—were still human, relatable and made mistakes.

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Thank you so so so much Jennifer for joining us on What A Nerd Girl Says! We are all dying for the sequel to New World: Rising and can’t wait to hear what else you’re working on!

Don’t forget, everyone, head to my instagram to find out how to enter my super epic giveaway, including two YA contemporary ARCs and a TON of signed swag!

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I Read YA Week Interview with E. Katherine Kottaras!

Welcome everyone to the SECOND author awesomeness today on I Read YA Week here on What A Nerd Girl Says! I am having such a blast this week with all the amazing authors that have been guests here on my blog and I’m so ready to share another fantastic one with you, this so let’s do this!

Don’t forget, this when you head down to the end of this interview, there’s a giveaway! Yay!

ABOUT E. KATHERINE KOTTARAS

E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true.

She is the author of the YA contemporary novel, HOW TO BE BRAVE (2015) and the forthcoming THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER (2016), both from St. Martin’s Press/Griffin Teen.

You Can Find Her:

Her Website / Her Twitter / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Instagram

HER BOOK

Add Katherine’s incredible debut novel on GoodReads, and pick up a copy at your local bookstore or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Book Depository

Reeling from her mother’s death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave – all the things she’s wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she’s always been afraid to do – including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most – and you learn that you’re stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

HER INTERVIEW

Nerd Girl: Why do you write YA?

Katherine: First, I write YA because I read YA. I started reading YA literature when I taught high school. My students were the ones who introduced me to the body of literature that I have since fallen in love with.

I also write YA because I love exploring moments of intense change. I write for teens, but I understand why adult readers (like me) enjoy reading YA – because life is change – and conflict and discovery and joy. Even as I’ve become older, I recognize when I am in a new situation, whether it be at work or at home, in times of joy or crisis, when my emotions are flooded and I am trying to figure out how to be in the world. I love YA literature because so much of it explores the intensity of life, something I’ll never want to give up, both as a reader and as a human being.

Nerd Girl: What are some of your own favorite YA reads?

Katherine: Ball Don’t Lie, Matt de la Pena; Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan; Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson; Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang; anything and everything by E. Lockhart; 

Nerd Girl: What do you think is a big misconception about YA and why do you think it’s wrong?

Katherine: The most common misconception I’ve heard, both in the media and when talking to people, is they think that YA is light, fluffy, and shallow, in other words the opposite of “literary.” More likely than not, those critics have not actually read many (or often any) young adult books. I teach a college course on Children’s Literature, and I’ve had many students over the years express surprise at how soulful the young adult books are, how they didn’t expect to cry, how they didn’t expect to feel the pain of the characters so intensely.

I also think that culturally, we devalue the experience of being a teenager, so anything associated with teens must be bad. Of course, this is the most ridiculous misconception because as we YA readers and writers know, teens are the most resilient, hopeful, open-hearted, and courageous humans on this planet. Their experiences deserve to be validated and celebrated.

Nerd Girl: Why do you think it’s important to have an “I Read YA” week?

Katherine: I’m all in favor of any event that celebrates the specific contributions of YA writers to the world!

Nerd Girl: Describe your latest work in five words or less. 

Katherine: THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER=

SAY ANYTHING meets ADVENTURELAND, kinda.

(I think I cheated with that last word.)

Nerd Girl: You get the call that HOW TO BE BRAVE is going to be published: how did you celebrate?

Katherine: Well, I was parked in the middle of an empty parking lot waiting for the second-hand store to open, so my immediate reaction was to jump out of the car and scream and flail and dance. Then, I called my husband and my best friends so I could scream and flail some more. Later, we celebrated together with a Turtle Pie from Baskin-Robbins because it’s my favorite.

Nerd Girl: Have you had a moment yet where you thought “Yes, I am a writer/author now” and if so, what was it?

Katherine: Yes, when the first reader who I’d never met before wrote me to let me know how much HOW TO BE BRAVE meant to her, how it made her cry, and changed her life. I’ve had many similar responses since, and each time, I am humbled at the reality that I get to write for others.

Thank you for having me!

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Thank you for joining us! We loved having you! Make sure you all grab a copy of How to Be Brave!

And make sure to head to my instagram in order to enter my exclusive giveaway with two YA ARCs and a TON of signed swag from authors such as Marie Lu, Shannon Messenger, Jessica Brody, Sabaa Tahir and more!

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I Read YA Week Guest Post by Hilary Thompson!

I know I keep saying this, this but I am really excited to bring you yet another amazing author for I Read YA Week on What A Nerd Girl Says! I have another OfTomes sibling with me today, the fantastic Hilary Thompson! She is new to the crew so I’m just as stoked to learn all about her as you are! Plus she wrote a fantastic guest post about YA AND there’s a giveaway at the bottom of this post.

It really doesn’t get any better than this. Lets jump in!

ABOUT HILARY THOMPSON 

Taken from Hilary’s website: 

I’m Hilary, and I used to be such a practical girl. Then I let the stories out.

Now I create worlds, people, and problems that are grounded in real life, if you accept that real life has magic around every turn.

I was born to parents who made a habit of taking roads less traveled. But I was also a first child, and an independent, willful child, so I’ve made a habit of taking a few roads on my own.

Now I teach Creative Writing, English, and AP Literature, write whenever and wherever I can, and read as much as my eyes can handle. I play superheroes and dress up games and read books in bed with my own independent, willful children and play at homesteading and world traveling with my wonderful soulmate of a husband. I tend to ignore laundry and dirty dishes.

You Can Find Her:

Her Website / Her Twitter / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Instagram

HER BOOK

I’m actually going to skip this section. I know, I know, I’ve been talking ALL about it on the other authors. The only reason I’m skipping it is…okay there’s two reasons. One, Hilary has been self-published before, which I admire so much. Not an easy road to take AT ALL. And two, those books are going to be revamped and republished under the OfTomes header. I am so insanely excited about this and I’m going to give all the honors and hype to OfTomes for all that. But in the meantime, all of her links are above and I encourage you all to check it out and enjoy :)

HER GUEST POST

HOPE

To be honest, I went about everything backward. In high school, I obsessed over Shakespeare, lost myself in Voltaire, was entranced with Plath. And this doesn’t even touch the school-assigned lists. My guilty pleasures were musty copies of Pynchon and O’Connor and Kerouac I found in odd used-book sales. Eclectic, yes, but always solidly in the realm of Literature, capital L.

College was no better – an English major’s nightstand is covered in esoteric essayists and Important Works. I plowed through Milton, Shaw, Chopin, Hemingway, Rushdie, Dostoyevsky, and so many more.

I loved them with all my heart, but none of them broke my heart.

Each of these writers twisted my mind and forced me to question my mortal morality, but none of them wrung a tear from my soul.

For a long time, I was afraid I just wasn’t getting it. Oh, I could hold my own in literary discussions and write the crap out of a thematic essay. But as much as I loved these stories, I felt like there just had to be more out there. Surely the book life wasn’t always so…serious.

Enter YA. I was in my late twenties and tired of reading – I had no idea what to do. So one day I wandered into the teen section at the library and picked up a few random pretty covers.

And there wasn’t any wow moment – not yet. At first, I was reading Meyer and Collins and Roth. Solid stories, but predictable. Not even close to the poetic language I’d been used to. But there was something in those stories that sent me hunting for more.

On to Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo, Maggie Stiefvater, and of course J.K. Rowling. These stories were more layered, the language often more intense. And that something was still there.

Now, many years later, I can identify it. Over here in the “teen” section we don’t worry about Literature, capital L, and that’s a good thing. Over here, we have something better – hope. Hope that evil will somehow be defeated by good; hope that humanity isn’t quite as broken as we think; hope that whatever failings our relationships have now, they can get better.

There is hope that despair is fleeting.

And this, my friends, is what high schoolers should be reading. Perhaps everyone, really. Because despair finds everyone and makes its way into every story mankind tells. But not all stories find their way out of that pit, and not all people can, either.

I read YA because I want to believe in possibilities.

Not always happy endings for everyone, mind you. And plenty of characters will die. (Roth, I’m looking at you.) But just like a young person with their whole life before them, YA offers a promise.

I read YA because I have promised myself that I am not broken. I have hope that no matter what despair is lurking in my life, I will be strong enough. I will find the perfect weapon. And I will have a true companion to back me up when I need them most.

So come on over to our section. Don’t worry about the capital letters. We have something better than the prestige of brokenness. We have the grit to fix it.

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Thank you SO much, Hilary, for being a part of I Read YA Week and welcome so much to the OfTomes family. We are so glad to have you!

Don’t forget everyone! Tune in all week to make sure you don’t miss one moment of all the interviews and guest posts happening here on What A Nerd Girl Says!

And also head to my instagram to enter my giveaway where you can get your hands on two YA ARCs AND a ton of signed swag from authors such as Marie Lu, Jenny Han, Morgan Matson and more!

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