Oppressing YA literature is nothing news. Let’s give it up for the books that challenge our beliefs and allow us to relate to people when we might feel alone.

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Charlie is a freshman and undeniably, a wall-flower. Shy, introverted, ignored; Charlie fumbles through high-school life trying to enjoy it while stepping away from anything uncomfortable. However, when new friends bring on everything he’s been missing out on: first dates, friendship, family drama, sex, and drugs.

The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
A coming-of-age story following Junior, a Native American boy who leaves his troubled reservation school to attend an all-white school where the only Indian is the school mascot. There, he faces issues of racism, classism, and sexism – all while discovering both his social and cultural identity.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Set in 1986, two star-crossed lovers meet over the course of one year. Despite knowing first love never lasts, when Eleanor meets Park, they just might be brave enough to try.

Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Based on her own daughter’s experiences, Crank follows ill-fated Kristina spiral into crystal meth while on a visit to her absentee. She takes on the alter ego of Bree: sexy, dangerous, and addicted.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak tells the story of Melinda, a high school freshman who is raped at a party and is isolated and cast aside by her peers. The story follows her repression, recovery, and refusal to stay silent.
 The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Virginia Shreves has a massive inferiority complex, and a plus-size body, especially when compared to her picture-perfect family. But that’s before a shocking allegation about her rugby-star brother changes everything.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Clay Jensen comes home from school to find a strange box on his front doorstep. Closer inspection reveals them to be tapes, record by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush. The problem? Hannah killed herself two weeks prior. And these tapes say it’s partly Clay’s fault.
Looking For Alaska by John Green
Miles has always lived an uneventful life — full of boredom and famous last words. However, when he moves to Culver Creek Boarding School, his life becomes the opposite of safe. He meets a group of friends who are nothing but trouble (and hilarious to boot), a side of himself he never knew, and Alaska Young: clever, gorgeous, and utterly self-destructive.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss, in a desperate move, takes her sister’s place in a nationalized TV event dubbed the Hunger Games where children fight to the death in an arena for the Capitol’s entertainment. Only one can survive — but they’ll be set for life.

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
After her older sister runs away, Caitlin decides her life needs to change. and begins an abusive relationship with a boy who is mysterious, brilliant, and dangerous.

(via rainbowrowell)

There are no Jack Kerouacs or Holden Caulfields for girls. Literary girls don’t take road-trips to find themselves; they take trips to find men.

"Great" books, as defined by the Western canon, didn’t contain female protagonists I could admire. In fact, they barely contained female protagonists at all.

It’s Frustratingly Rare to Find a Novel About Women That’s Not About Love - Kelsey McKinney - The Atlantic (via oditor)

So, I sorta get what this person is saying, but I also get a bit tired of people who complain about how few books there are with women characters that aren’t about love. First of all, I love love. In my opinion love is the single most important thing about life. I know these kinds of posts are mostly dissing “romance,” but frankly, a lot of the dissing of “romance” comes from the long tradition of dissing anything women like (i.e., sexism). Finally, who gives a fuck about “great” books as defined by the Western canon? A lot of them have nothing to say about people like me (lesbian, Asian American), but that’s why I don’t look to them for the Truth About Everything. Here are some books I read as a girl and a woman that are about women doing things, including embracing love:

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley — Girl’s a self-taught dragon slayer. Yeah, she finds some love too, and it is complicated and wonderful, but she saves the world first.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery — Sure, everybody knows about Gilbert Blythe, but Anne Shirley’s tale is first and foremost about Anne. She doesn’t even give Gilbert the time of day till basically the last page of the book. The Anne books are about a smart, vulnerable girl with big dreams who goes after them. Plus there’s her friendship with her bosom friend, Diana Barry, which is clearly one of the best female friendships in literature.

Every book that Madeleine L’Engle ever wrote — Girls! Doing! Things! My favorite L’Engle will always be A Ring of Endless Light, because the main character, Vicky Austin, discovers just how complicated life and love are. They’re not simple, things don’t always end happily, grief can be transformative, and love is good.

Finally, that quote and that article are both shaped by a heteronormative worldview that’s common but disheartening. For queer folks especially, love is certainly not taken for granted, and I don’t think there are nearly enough love stories for us. The first book I read with a woman falling in love with another woman was Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet. It was such an eye-opening miracle of a book. The main character Nan King’s romances are definitely not about relying on men. Nan’s romances are acts of courage and acts of claiming her own identity. They’re rebellious and brave and sexy and inspiring.

I know that women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to literature and the discourse on it. But it’s not like books about wonderful complicated loving women don’t exist. They do. I’ve read them my entire life. It would be great if we could sometimes talk about how awesome these books about girls and women are, instead of forgetting they exist.

Re-reblogging for Malinda’s commentary

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Fuck yeah, Malinda Lo. *fist pump*

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Thank you, Malinda.

(via rainbowrowell)

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Details and an interview with me are exclusively at USA Today!




Details and an interview with me are exclusively at USA Today!


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July releases!

(via yaflash)


Happy book birthday to today’s diverse new releases!

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Arthur A. Levine)

Book description: Seventh grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975. What he’s not used to is white kids being nice to him–especially white kids like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys become friends, Lewis finds he has to lie more and more to hide the real circumstances of his life from George; and together they confront the bully Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan’s side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis’s home–will he still be his friend?

Star Power by Kelli London (KTeen Dafina)

Book description: Charly St. James is on top, and she’s determined to keep it that way. That’s why she and the producers have come up with a plan to take The Extreme Dream Team to the next level–by turning loners into VIPs. After all, how can you enjoy your new digs if your life is jacked up?

But when Charly meets her first makeover, Nia, she knows she’ll have to do more than dress her up and boost her self-esteem. Nia is living in the shade of her twin sister, who is luxuriating in a major case of pretty girl syndrome. And the more Charly tries to get Nia to shine, the more her twin sabotages her mission. Good thing Charly loves a challenge, ‘cause these twins’ troubles are more than skin deep…