Monday, March 14, 2011

The YA Cure for Reluctant Readers Giveaway

Seeing that title, you're probably thinking that this is going to be a story about some fourteen-year-old who never liked to read until she got my book.

Nope.

This is a story about a fifty-something-year-old man who never liked to read until I got him started on YA.

We always joked that my dad's programming manuals were really interesting reads. "Look!" he'd say, "It's Revenge of C++!" But aside from a novel here and there over the years, he genuinely didn't enjoy reading and would never choose to read over some other method of entertainment. (Although he was infinitely supportive of his kids' love of reading, practically bankrupting himself to fund our voracious habits.) Fact of the matter was, reading just wasn't fun to him.

Until we got him started on YA. I think it was Hunger Games that really sucked him in, but since then he's devoured all sorts of authors, everything from YA fantasy to contemporary romantic comedies. (He recently read Stephanie Perkins' ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and I think he might want to see that as a movie more than he wants to see Paranormalcy.) I can't tell you how much fun it is to be able to sit and talk books with my dad.

But the coolest story of all, I think, was when he read IF I STAY because of my recommendation. He loved it (of course) and so I tweeted the author, Gayle Forman, about how my dad loved her book so much he tried to get me to sneak him an ARC of the sequel, WHERE SHE WENT, before I had to return it to a friend. Gayle (being incredibly awesome) was so delighted by another author's dad loving her stuff that she had Penguin send him an ARC of his very own.

How. Cool. Is. That.

I love that story because it's awesome on so many levels. Seeing my non-reader dad so excited to read a book by an author I'd introduced him to. Seeing that author excited about my dad's excitement and going out of her way to get him a copy. Having that copy now to give to you.

Wait, what's that?


OH YES. In honor of YA being the cure for reluctant readers of any and all ages, I'm giving away an ARC of WHERE SHE WENT!

A little background: This is a sequel to IF I STAY, which, if you haven't read it, ohmygoshwhynotdoitrightnow. IF I STAY is one of my go-to recommendations. Many books I will or won't recommend depending on who I am talking to, but I always, always recommend IF I STAY (as long as I'm not talking to, you know, a twelve-year-old, as this is older YA). I think it's one of the most perfectly crafted and stirringly told books I've ever read. I love it.

I love it.

Oh, wait, again? I love it.

So when I heard there was going to be a sequel told from Adam's point of view, I was, quite frankly, terrified. I didn't want IF I STAY to be changed for me. It was such a perfect book that the idea of knowing what happened next--aside from what happened in my head where I had already decided what happened--made me nervous. I didn't know how Gayle could possibly follow it up.

Oh, she so did. I think what I admire most about her writing is that she tells hard stories. She doesn't shy away from difficult, heart-wrenching subjects. She doesn't stay with safe stories. Hers are complex and complicated and utterly full of life. The emotional journey isn't easy, but it's always redemptive and leaves me feeling fuller than I was before. I love her writing. It's kind of ridiculous how much I love her writing.

Needless to say, WHERE SHE WENT did not disappoint in the least. I won't share any more of my thoughts on it so as to avoid spoilers, but trust me when I say: you want this book.

Ahem. Which is where we get to the whole winning it part! To win, simply leave me a comment telling me an author who writes hard stories and does so with honesty and grace. My entry, obviously, is Gayle Forman.

You have until Thursday. Open to US residents only (sorry, too many packages to mail lately!), please feel free to post and tweet about the contest, and good luck!

UPDATE: The winner has been announced!  Congratulations, Katy Upperman, and thanks to everyone who entered.  Good news is, you can all buy it this April!

174 comments:

Laura said...

Melina Marchetta. Her work blows me away.

Mary Gray said...

I loved IF I STAY. She moved in and out of past and present tense flawlessly.

I'd have to go with Jay Asher of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. Talk about one of the hardest topics of all and handled with such care.

Patty Blount said...

Laurie Halse Anderson!
Jay Asher

My son and I just read Gayle's If I Stay and loved it so much, my son begged me to pre-order Where She Went. We also just reviewed Jay's Thirteen Reasons Why together (it's on my blog patriciablount.wordpress.com and on Goodreads). My son blew me away with how deeply he reads these stories.

Corey Wright said...

I second Melina Marchetta. She is brilliant.

rainesire111 said...

Definitely Justina Chen Headley. Her novel North of Beautiful took me for an intense emotional ride two years ago, and it still haunts me today.

Lynn said...

Very keen to read If I Stay after reading your review. Thanks. Not entering the competition because I'm a UK resident but think Jenny Downham is excellent. Before I Die and You Against Me both tackle very difficult subjects and are just so well written.
Lynn

Vivien said...

I will wholeheartedly agree with you about Gayle Forman. I fell in love with If I Stay. I also adore
Jenny Downham for Before I Die
Such a beautiful piece of work.

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Vivien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

Wally Lamb. She's Come Undone wrecked me. In a good way, but still...WRECKED me.

Amy said...

The story of your Dad and his love for YA has really thrilled me. My Dad is the same way as yours once was.. only he reads car magazines and books on welding and building engines. So, maybe there's still hope for him yet? lol

My author is hands down Lauren Oliver. She blows me away with her ability to write about the ugly sides of her characters that most authors shy away from.. and that's why I always love her characters so much and become connected to them.

Adriana said...

For me it's Jandy Nelson. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE was simply incredible!

Marynellie said...

I would have to say Lucy Christopher in Stolen. I had to stop reading it; it was messing with my mind. It takes a lot of courage to write that book.

marynellie8 at yahoo dot com

Sam said...

Oh, man! I was going to say Jay Asher, but you guys beat me to it! I loved 13 Reasons Why and I thought he did such an awesome job with the subject matter, because I believed absolutely everything going on, and that's a tough thing for me to do. I usually find what's unrealistic about everything in books, movies, tv, anything. So it's a big deal when I believe the story and the characters like I did in that one, and in If I Stay. I'm so excited to read Where She Went! Thanks for the giveaway!

Gabriel said...

John Green

Karen Greenberg said...

My entry is not a YA author, but I would say Jodi Picoult.

KelseyAnne said...

I have the 1st book although I haven't read it yet =[ Wi;; have to get to that straight away!!

kelseyanne90@hotmail.com

Bahnree said...

Jay Asher. I couldn't put down Thirteen Reasons Why, but it was a difficult story. I've heard a lot about Gayle Forman's books and have been wanting to pick one up!

Kelly said...

I love Gayle Forman, Jay Asher, and Lauren Oliver, and I have to add C.J. Omololu, John Green, Elizabeth Scott, Robin Brande, and Nora Raleigh Baskin to the list. (There is no way I could have picked just one.)

coffeelvnmom said...

Lauren Oliver, Jandy Nelson, and Ms. Forman, of course. =) Watched the book trailer for "Where She Went" -- can't wait to read it!

YA Bibliophile said...

I have to echo Melina Marchetta. The Piper's Son broke me!! I just finished Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams and that was fabulous as well. Chris Crutcher also does a wonderful job of taking difficult issues and writing AMAZING books that deal with them.

I love your story about your dad. My mom was never a reader... like REALLY disliked it. I can vividly remember the day she called me to tell me she had actually READ A BOOK AND LIKED IT! It was Seabiscuit :) I, of course, immediately drove to the book store and bought it!

Jessi said...

Kristin Hannah. I haven't often felt that depth of emotion from a book.

Eli said...

I have to say Laura Wiess. I love all of her books, no matter how difficult the issues she discusses. Such a Pretty Girl was amazing and truthful and so was Leftovers and How it Ends.

Eli The Tainted Poet
taintedpoet@gmail.com

Sab H. said...

JULIE ANNE PETERS! Her stories are raw and hopeful at the same time. Gut-wrenching and beautiful. Unique.

Also, LUCY CHRISTOPHER! OMG, Stolen was... no words. So hard, just.. sigh.

Does this mean I get two entries? (kidding!) :D

yabliss AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Lurlene McDaniel she writes about life, love, and death. The majority of her stories leave me reaching for a tissue.
Brittany

email: hernameisavril@yahoo.com

Kris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimberly Sabatini said...

K.L. Going...most particularly FAT KID RULES THE WORLD! Kelly is awesome and I love all her books, but this one really hits home in a generation of obesity. She nails the guy voice in such a real gritty way, but yet it still touches your heart.

Keirsten-so jealous about your Dad...wishing mine was here to share those books with. *sniff*

Kris said...

Gayle Forman with IF I STAY is a definite winer for this. I love the author and the book.

Another would be Jenny Downham with BEFORE I DIE. There's also Lois Lowry with NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER- I loved those books when I was little Still do.

Heidi Windmiller said...

Sara Zarr--I absolutely adore her. Beautiful prose, powerful emotions, memorable characters. I might have to go reread STORY OF A GIRL right now...

Jessica M said...

Laurie Halse Anderson is my pick. I just read Wintergirls a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely heartbreaking but just done so well and so powerfully. I read it in one sitting because I just could not put it down.

And thank you for doing this giveaway, I read If I Stay a couple months ago and was just blown away. I can't wait to read Where She Went.

Jenny E. said...

Like others have said Laurie Halse Anderson, and of course Gayle Forman. From my YA days I have to say Ellen Emerson White. Especially her book Life Without Friends. I stumbled across it again at a book sale last year and practically squealed when I saw it.

rainbow1820 said...

First of all, I want to say that If I Stay is one of my favorite books. It goes beyond my expectations. The essence of this kind of book is that they are so hard (the emotionally way) to read because of matters having to do with losing loved ones, and actually trying (or choosing like in Mia's case) to live a long life without them in it. That's not something I will handle. I have put myself in this character's place, and I would have given up. I wouldn't have been able to be as strong as Mia was when she stayed. I think that's the reason why I am so enchanted with these kinds of books. It's like lost-redemption kind of theme for me.

As for your request, the second book that has touched my heart almost as If I Stayed did and that I would recommend to you is Willow by Julia Hoban. It's also a YA book. The story revolves around Willow who blames herself for her parent's death as she was the one driving the car on that fatal night. Since she was the only survivor, she can't help but have those darks thoughts about her being, so the only thing that makes her pain go away is cutting herself. That behavior comes to me as a sort of punishment for what she thinks she did, and the image in which her actions occurs are so vivid. There were some parts in which I cringed, and actually felt the emotions that she was feeling. And then a guy, Guy, appears and changes everything. I loved their relationship, and how they accepted each other's down sides, learned to cope with them, and actually left window open for redemption and new beginnings. It's very good written, and it's a wonderful book. You should totally read it. You won't regret it.

Thanh said...

Daria Snadowsky - Anatomy of a Boyfriend. It's an honest look at teenage sexuality that isn't over the top or crude. I wish I had this book when I was a teenager.


qtplpfict@aol.com

Candice said...

Laurie Halse Anderson. I really resisted reading Speak for a long time, but I was so glad I finally broke down and read it. She took a difficult subject, that I frankly felt had been a little overdone in literature, and made me laugh and cry.

Vivien said...

I had to come back to add another one...I also adored The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams. It was just insane!!

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Debbie Barr said...

I loved Lauren Oliver's "Before I Fall," which was also about death and discovering one's self. Also, everything Sara Zarr has written is just amazingly fantastic, and she sure doesn't stay away from tough stuff!

NiaRaie said...

I'd definitely say that Deb Caletti writes with so much honesty and grace. Her novels are about imperfect, quirky families and they have so much heart. Also, I'd have to agree with others that Laurie H. Anderson is amazing too.

JLynn said...

Think I'll go with Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games).

Thanx!! :D

Teril said...

Totally Gayle and then Lauren Oliver in BiF.

terilhack at gmail dot com

Nikki said...

I've gotta be a copycat and go with Gayle, Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall), and Jay Asher too!

Suzie F. said...

Laurie Halse Anderson. LOVE her.an

Kirsti said...

Gayle Forman is a GENIUS. I completely agree with you. However, since you already chose her I will have to go with Carrie Ryan. Eventhough it is a fictional story, she wrote the dystopian society in such a beautiful way. And, aside from you and your witty wordplay, she is my favorite author. I have never felt so much as with her beautifully crafted books. (I cried just about as much as I did in IF I STAY...which hit close to home because my family is that exact make-up. Younger brother and two parents. Needless to say many teers.)

Asenath said...

My reluctant girl readers have all loved If I Stay, and they've all really liked Sara Zarr books too. (I haven't read hers yet because they are always checked out!)

I agree with many who have already posted, that Laurie Halse Anderson writes about difficult topics, but she handles it so well. I love her books.

arallison at gmail dot com

Ashley said...

My vote is Kimberly Derting for both The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead because they show how a presumably dark gift can be used for good and how life isn't the pretty, flawless, perfect little snowglobe we find ourselves stuck in.

Sara said...

Courtney Summers is my vote. She never takes the easy way out.

Scoot said...

Can I just say DITTO to all of the above commments? So many... Gayle Forman, John Green, Lauren Oliver, Sharon Dogar, Carolee Dean, Emma Donoghue, Alice Sebold, Lois Lowry...etc.

Thanks!
seescootread[at]gmail[dot]com

LinWash said...

Okay, I have to add my vote to Melina Marchetta and her excellent SAVING FRANCESCA. But I also recently loved Chris Lynch's INEXCUSABLE. Instead of judging, he reveals. I couldn't put it down.

Liesl said...

Lauren Oliver and Sara Zarr.

Teddycavy said...

Laurie Halse Anderson. I read Speak recently, and it really blew me away. It's about rape. A tough topic, but it's pulled off beautifully and is really amazing.

JP said...

My entry is Ellen Hopkins. Loved IF I STAY!

Steph said...

How pumped would I be if MY dad was cool enough to be reading YA? Wow. Just wow. Love this post.

For me Gayle Forman and Laurie Halse Anderson are so, so amazing and write difficult situations so beautifully.

jpetroroy said...

Laurie Halse Anderson. Gut-wrenchingly and poetically honest.

Marsha Sigman said...

I have to say Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. But I haven't read If I Stay yet so I may change my mind later (when I get this book and read it as fast as I can!).

Awesome story about your dad.

Anonymous said...

I'd say Lauren Kate with Fallen and Torment, and I can't wait to read Passion! I can't wait for Supernaturally either!
Email: pinkbutterfly141@aol.com

abby mumford said...

a recent book i read was THE MOCKINGBIRDS by daisy whitney. it handled the oh so difficult topic of rape in a very real and yet approachable manner.

IF I STAY is one of my favorite books, so i already know i'll be buying both the hard copy and the audio book, but that certainly doesn't mean i'd say no to the ARC. :)

Bewitched By Books said...

I would definitely say Maeve Binchy. She weaves a wonderful close knit story every time she writes. I feel sympathy with her characters, I imagine myself immersed into the Irish culture.By the end of her novels,I feel like I am one of the family.

Delia said...

Going to have to go with Suzanne Collins on this one. Mockingjay buried me.

Jessirae said...

First, I'd say Laurie Halse Anderson. Because of Speak, I fell in love with all YA books. Next is Jenny Downham. Before I Die got to me so much, I continued to cry for a week. Her book gripped my heart so bad. And last is Lauren Oliver. When I read Before I Fall, I learned that love can be found anywhere and that letting someone go for the sake of others is the best and worst feeling ever.

P.S. I can't wait for Supernaturally. The months don't seem to pass fast enough! ;)

Ivis suarez said...

I tend to stick to lighter books, but If I Stay is amazing!! Gayle Forman's book is the most emotional book I've ever read. Reading though these other posts, I don't recognize any of the author's names, but maybe I should check them out. I'd LOVE Where She Went!
-Ivis (jedigrrrl@aol.com)

Stephanie (PoetrytoProse.com) said...

It has to be Markus Zusak for me. I don't think a book has ever left me so shaken, crushed, moved, and inspired as The Book Thief.

Bethany said...

Laurie Halse Anderson.

Kirstin said...

Laurie Halse Anderson came to mind immediately for me!

Cat the Librarian said...

Lurlene McDaniel

Becca said...

I'd have to agree with Stephanie about Markus Zusak. The Book Thief has to be my all-time favorite book.

Liz said...

That's awesome you got your dad to start reading YA! My dad only reads John Grisham novels. :(

Hands-down, my favorite YA Contemporary author is Melina Marchetta. She's awesome.

Carrie said...

That is such a great story about your dad.
I'd have to say Laurie Halse Anderson.

My Summer Girl said...

There are so many to choose from but if I have to narrow it down...

Lurlene McDaniel for writing A Rose for Melinda. Two teens fall in love despite one having a nasty form of Leukemia. I never cried so hard in my life, but it helped me move on from a relative's death due to cancer.

YA Reader said...

I loved If I Stay and can't wait to read Where She Went.

I completely agree with Jay Asher BUT

My first experience with YA was a Young Adult Lit class. I was assigned to read Looking for Alaska by John Green. I couldn't get my hands on enough YA after that.

Brigitte said...

I used to read very little and very slowly, so I only had a tiny library until just recently when I got out of my Harry Potter bubble and opened myself up to other books. Suzanne Collins has really amazed me with the Hunger Games series, which is making me want to read even more!
I'll be looking for your books when I'm done, for sure. ;)

xoxo
brimagination@live.ca

Dawn said...

I enjoyed If I Stay so much! I hope I win, but if I don't, I'll still be picking up Where She Went when it comes out :)

Split by Swati Avasthi was a great book that also dealt with the tougher topics.

So glad you got your Dad reading!!!

lostnthestacks said...

I knew right away who I would pick for this comment.

Anything by Jennifer Echols. She is SUPERFREAKINGAMAZING!!!

My favorite of her books is Going Too Far!

Kate said...

I actually recieved an ARC of Where She Went of my own, so you don't need to enter me in your contest. But I totally agree, it's totally worth reading.

I think my go-to author is Laurie Halts Anderson. Mainly because she writes in two totally different genres. Contemporary YA about really gritty intense topics, and totally amazing historical fiction stuff too. I gave my grandmother CHAINS for X-mas, and she loved it. So yes, 90 year old's do like YA.

FloeticFlo said...

I'm going to go with Suzanne Collins. Because Mockingjay was brutal and beautiful all at the same time.

TweetyB99 at aol dot com

Sarah said...

I'm changing this a bit and mentioning a sort of YA sci fi writer. Scott Westerfeld. Once you have read Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras, you will officially want to live in his world. he mixes our societys obsession with image with a futuristic world, the problem with anorexia, self harming, cheating with another man, the idea of 'who you really are' all in a comedic and realistic tone.

It.was.amazing. I think it almost reaches paranormalcy in terms of pure awesomeness. If you havent read it then read it now.

he can even change the main character and place the story is set without the reader minding whatsoever. Usually i hate it when authors change their points of view and characters yet he does it with such flair you just add the new character into your box of awesomeness and carry on.

One of the best things is that the technology he describes is actually happening now. Nothing he invented has not got at least a prototype out there or has already been invented. If that sentence makes sense.

You will be positivley bubbly after reading it (and you will also get that reference :D )

I love this book and would realllyy like to read it but if i dont win i would love you to try his books. he is also like you in that he has a forum and he talks to his readers. He even recomended my friends site that was all about role plays of his books. And his wife is an author.

Need I say more.

I love your books :D

Elizabeth C. Mock said...

My answer is very different, Tim O'Brien.

His novel "The Things They Carried" about Vietnam is so startlingly amazing in its harsh honesty and striking storytelling. Not so much grace per say, but painfully amazing. I adore that man's voice.

Katy said...

Well, since you took Gayle Foreman :)... I'll say Melina Marchetta and Jandy Nelson. They both handle grief and heartache with nuance and class. I'll read anything they write.

Alexis said...

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly was a stunning, hard but beautiful book. It was as amazing as it was hard to read at time never pulling a punch. There are so many layers to this story that I feel are revealed beautiful and at the correct time.

Sarena said...

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and Call Me Hope by Gretchen Olson.

Susan A said...

I love so many of the author already mentioned, but wanted to add Chris Crutcher to the list. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is an all-time favorite YA book that deals with tough issues.

Sarah said...

oh, whoops just read the only open to US residents thing. Sorry about the entry. But I still think that author is really good :D

Melissa said...

Jodi Picoult and Jay Asher for sure. And, obviously, Gayle Forman!

That really is so awesome about your dad!

KM said...

That's so awesome that your dad loves YA novels (and hilarious that he really enjoyed ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS)!! My dad is a "sensitive" kind of guy, as well, I suppose. He's always cried more in movies than my mom does. lol

I've got to say my favorite author who tackled a "tough" subject was Heidi R. Kling with SEA. I have never seen another book talk about that type of real devastation before, and it's one of my favorite books of all time. I wish there were more YA books about third world countries.

Thanks so much for the giveaway!!!

onepagereviews@gmail.com

Kailia Sage said...

Gayle Forman is on my top list of five. Sarah Dessen is also one of them!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Lurlene McDaniel.

Awesome giveaway!

Ren said...

I have 4 & can't choose between them so I'll list them all!
Laurie Halse Anderson
Jay Asher
Sarah Dessen
R.A. Nelson
All AMAZING! Thanks for the giveaway!

Gina said...

I just did a review on Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan. She wrote with such a great voice and incredible humor that I didn't realize how sad the story was until it hit me like a ton of bricks in the end.
I know you don't normally click links, but I'll post the one to my review in case you change your mind!
http://writersblog-gina.blogspot.com/2011/03/amazing-book-alert-flash-burnout-by-lk.html

Anita Saxena said...

I'm convinced, I will definitely read If I Stay. As far as authors that tell a difficult story well: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Madapple by Christina Meldrum, and Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

Alba said...

wow...well I have one and I don't really know if she has more than the one I read but I loved Dark Song
and it's by the incredible

--Gail Giles(hands down)

but wow! Gayle Forman is in my top 10 too^^

Sarah Marie said...

My authors are Lauren Kate and Aprilynne Pike. I loved Wings and Fallen they were so amazing. Fallen made me tear up a little in some parts.

Aubree said...

jodi picoult comes to mind. i am going to go check out that book now!

Jessica said...

Alice Sebold - The Lovely Bones. One of the best written, but hardest to read books I have ever read. I cried my way through most of it...but, boy is it amazing!

Same with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. Whew.

nikki said...

Laurie Halse Anderson would be my choice. I loved how she wrote Winter Girls, and it is on a topic so many girls have to deal with. Plus the ending gives you hope.

lora96 said...

I haven't actually read if i stay yet so I'm not here for the drawing. I just think it's awesome that you hooked your dad on ya. i hooked one of my besties (thirtysomething like me) on the Jessica Darling series and she's a total convert. Love love it. Although...language. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Markus Zusak. The Book Thief was one of the most openly heartwrenching novels I've ever read.
-Invadertwink

Stephanie said...

Jay Asher. I loved Thirteen Reasons Why and my issue of rereading a book (too much) isn't helped by Thirteen Reasons Why. ;) Not that I mind.

I also like Nina LaCour's Hold Still. Such pretty narration, and such honest, brutal teenage-speak.

And Gayle Forman's If I Stay is very close to the top of my list of must-read-soon books.

M3RL3 said...

Wow, just one author? Okay, first of all I just wanted to tell you Paranormalcy was amazing and I literally just finished it. In fact, I stayed up until 2 a. m. reading to see what happened to Evie and Lend. I just love them together, and Reth is so agonizingly annoying yet beautiful at the same time. Okay, let me get down to business because I want that ARC of Where She Went. I read If I Stay because I am part of my high school's book club and it is part of the 2010-2011 Georgia Peach Book Nominees. Our club has to read them in order to compete in the book bowl, I know it sounds dorky by reading YA books are awesome. Through this club I have expanded my taste and views on book genres and authors. In this, I was blown away by every book but the one that really caught my eye was 'Three Little Words' by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. It is a memoir based off of the author's experience in the foster care system. In it she was placed in foster care, because of her reckless teen mom. Ashley is shipped from foster family to foster family. She stayed in cramped homes to rich family houses. Through it all she learned how to find herself and find her true family, even though they are not biologically related. She learns to let go of her mother because of the fact that her mother would always promise to come back, even though it was obvious that they would eventually part ways because of the system. It made me cry, laugh, and understand that family knows no boundaries. Family is where people love you and take care of you no matter who you are or what you have been through. Her adoptive parents first learned of her from her poem that was published in the group home project. She is an amazing author that writes so beautifully of the truth of life and of her experiences. I hope I win because I know I bawled my eyes out when I read the part where Mia realizes that not only did her parents die in the crash but also her sweet and kind brother, Teddy. She was the last of her family, and I cried even more when Adam pleaded with her to stay, to come back to him and to her life, even though really had nothing else to live for. It is such an amazing novel that I yearn to read the sequel.
Okay, I think I'm pretty much done pleading for my case. Remember, us bibliophiles need to stick to together. Again, I loved Paranormalcy and I can't wait for the sequel to come out! Much love!

Pam Harris said...

Most definitely Elizabeth Scott. Her Living Dead Girl still haunts me, but it was beautifully written.

Gretchen Alice said...

I love the way that Kristin Cashore blends the tough topics with her impeccable fantasy.

chbejjani said...

Justina Chen Headley did a wonderful job with North of Beautiful. I read this book over a year ago, but when I revisited it about a month ago, I almost started to cry. Such a great novel.

Broken Angel said...

I'd say Sarah Dessen, but the only book of her's that I've read is Just Listen. It was a really touching novel.

Leigh said...

Love love loved If I Stay!!! I also passed it on to a few other people who also loved it. I can't wait to read Where She Went, I would love this ARC.
My entry would have to be Suzanne Collins for the Hunger Games. I was agonized when I first started reading those when I realized the kill or be killed sitch. I couldn't stop thinking about it once I started,even when I wasn't reading.

blackeyedsue21 AT gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Donnelly in her book Revolution. It's so so so good. She writes with this sarcastic feeling of someone who just lost someone really close and in excange for sadness they block their feelings with anger.

Gayle said...

I can't wait to read Where She Went. For another author who tells hard stories well, I'd have to say Carol Lynch Williams.

Megan M. said...

You didn't specify YA - right? - so I am going to say Jodi Picoult!

piscesmuse said...

I normally avoid Hard Stories, as I read for escapism. So if I had known how hard Gayle Forman was going to be before I read it I wouldn't have picked it up. But I am sooooooooo glad I did, as it is now my most favorite book ever read. I cried my entire way through it. I would put out of all the hard stories that I read, Gayle first and Sarah Dessen second (my scope is a little limited).

I was also emotionally moved by Hunger Games, and Marley and Me.

I was so incredibly moved though by IF I STAY, that I am quite frankly like pavlows dog at the talk of any give aways in regards to the follow up, WHERE SHE WENT.

Please please, whatever magic mystical power will choose the winner, please let it be me!

(P.S. I do have it on order so, if I were to win it, I would be willing to pass on the ARC love after I read it. A pay it forward of awesome proportions.)

Marewolf said...

Ellen Hopkins. Anyone that can tackle the subject of their own child's drug addiction - and in prose, no less - deserves more than one vote.

Plus, I met her at a Nevada SCBWI conference. Sort of. I watched her do dishes and was way to scared to talk to her ;)

Alexia said...

Gayle Forman
Her writing took me on another journey. I think I had barely just turned 10 when I read her book, If I Stay. I took me to another world. So, I would say to recommend it to twelve year olds. I've also had friends read If I Stay and enjoy it too. Gayle writing is perfect, with lovely sentences and life-changing topics.

Rachel @ Bookshelf Lust said...

I really thought Jandy Nelson's "The Sky is Everywhere" dealt with hard subjects (death of a sibling and parental abandonment), but in a refreshing way. It made me cry almost more than the final Harry Potter book. But it was also hilarious, and totally refreshing!

bookshelflustATgmailDOTcom

Michelle said...

I live in Australia... but I'm adding both books to my must read list ... fabulous!

mrsheisefpms said...

I completely agree with Gayle Forman, an old faithful would be Laurie Halse Anderson, a new bright star is Lauren Oliver, new classic is Jay Asher, and my newest love for hard stories told with honesty and grace would have to be Daisy Whitney - I still can't get over how amazingly honest and true The Mockingbirds was.

Oh, and I can't wait to read Where She Went-it was one of my most anticipated for 2011 (along with Supernaturally and The Mockingbirds 2 among many fabulous others)!

Stacy said...

All of these suggestions are awesome and I agree. I'm going to say Judy Blume. Her work still resonates twenty years after I read it the first time. She sort of created the YA genre.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

wow, amazing story. i love your dad now. And Gayle is super amazing. She was one of the first authors I talked to when I first started blogging. It was her book Sisters in Sanity at the time though.

My author pick: Stephanie Kuehnert. She's amazing. Everyone should read her work, especially Ballads of Suburbia.

-Lauren
lauren51990 at aol dot com

latishajean said...

What a great giveaway thank you so much! I have to say Lucy Christopher for Stolen I loved that book it is not one you forget!
tishajean@ charter.net

Jessica Love said...

Courtney Summers, for sure. She's never afraid to go there.

I am DYING to read Where She Went. I loved If I Stay like crazy. And I LOVE this story about your dad! How awesome!

Haiku Amy said...

Oooh, I am going to say Laurie Halse Anderson. Also Suzanne Collins because Hunger Games is amazing.

Anonymous said...

can I do Gale Forman to? No? well than Suzanne Collins, definately.

also- I completely and utterly agree with you on If I Stay. It was bleeping brilliant! I cried, I laughed, I continued to cry. SO good. but I still dunno.... where she went from a different perspective still kind of scares me! Thank you so much for the contest!!!! XOXOX Zakiya

Lexie said...

I think Suzanne Collins is a great YA author who writes about tough things.
lexie.bookbug(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Ivy Hawthorn said...

Thank you for the GREAT giveaway!!!! It's so true!

Oddly enough, I started writing before I liked reading....hmph...I can't really explain that one. I read Wings by Aprilynne Pike and thought, "Wow, that was a good story and wow do her words sound nice in my head." so I then I thought, "Wow, if only I could write as good of a story as her..." Alas, that was in 7th grade and I'm 15 now, teaching myself to write and getting so much better everyday because I write probably an hour or plus everyday. But recently, the story that got me screaming at the character because she was making me feel the way she felt...and that wasn't good, and she made one bad decision after the other was Calla from Nightshade. That was just a magnificent story!

Thanks again for the giveaway!

ivy AT ivyhawthorn DOT com

Library Lady said...

I can't name just one! Some that come to mind are Sarah Dessen, Jodi Picoult, and Jordan Sonnenblick (Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie had me in tears as did the sequels).

anonymeet said...

Elizabeth Scott's Grace was hard. Really hard. But wonderful and thoughtgully done.

And Gayle Forman, of course. I am so excited for Where She Went that I am entering this despite already having pre-ordered a copy. But I if I win - I'll do a giveaway on my blog for the copy I purchased!

Tracey Neithercott said...

I loved the story of how your dad learned to love reading. He reminds me of my husband, who really only read business books until I introduced him to YA. (It was The Hunger Games, I think.) I've never seen him read so fast or be so eager to read. I love that about YA.

I also love Gayle Forman. If I Stay was beautiful. I cannot wait to read Where She Went, though I hope it doesn't change how much I love those characters.

I think Laurie Halse Anderson is a great example of someone who writes the hard stories with such honesty. I love her.

Nikki LeBoydre said...

Ok so I can't win because I live in Australia BUT I wanted to say that I totally get what you mean when you talk about seeing a non-reader become a reader.
I work at a book shop and my biggest guilty pleasure, apart from finding a corner in the shop when it's slow and reading for a few hours, is recommending books to kids who don't read. Even better is when they come back asking for another or for the sequel...
At the moment those on top of my recommendation list are 'Anna and the French kiss' 'hunger games' and 'paranormalcy' (nope I'm not putting it in for brownie points...ok maybe I am :P) I love introducing young people into this amazing talented world.

Cinnamon said...

Jandy Nelson--The Sky is Everywhere! Amazing!

bailey m kelsey said...

Laurie Halse Anderson is always my go-to tough suggest author recommendation. Well, like you say, if I'm recommending to the slightly older YA crowd.

Also, John Green. He deals with the subjects that can be tough for readers to talk about, especially with adults. He nails teenage isolation (sometimes self-inflicted, sometimes parentally-inflicted).

Allison Sandoval said...

Ellen Hopkins tells her stores with the utmost honesty, raw at times she doesn't shy away from the facts.

curlypow said...

I would have to go with Julie Anne Peters, 'By the time you read this, I'll be dead.' Such a powerfully emotional book, with such and ambiguous endings. No two people think the ending means the same thing. I loved it.

Jessy said...

I think Jandy nelson did a beautiful job with The Sky is Everywhere. That book absolutely blew me away!

Minas said...

Ellen Hopkins and Elizabeth Scott.

minas_1989(at)hotmail(dot)com

Samanthajo_322 said...

Simone Elkeles, and Jennifer Echols. I adore them, I think they write so truthfully, I love it!

sslager1@niu.edu

stephlovescsd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephlovescsd said...

Oh my, If I Stay was probably the most beautiful book I've ever read.

I can't choose just one author who writes with honesty and grace. It's a tie between John Green for his book Looking for Alaska and Sara Zarr for her book Sweethearts.

Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of Where She Went!

Stephanie.Mcnemar@selu.edu

Melissa said...

Jay Asher, I was blown away by 13 Reasons Why and I read it around the same time that I read If I Stay--Can't wait for the sequel!

Cassie said...

Markus Zusak. The Book Thief practically had me in hysterics, and I'm pretty heartless!

Maya Jones said...

This was a hard question. At first I figured a hard book would be one that made me cry, but I'm a big crier when it comes to books so...
Anyway, I decided on these:
Ned Vizzini for It's Kind of a Funny Story
Lauren Oliver for Before I Fall and Delirium
Melina Marchetta for all of her books
and A.S. King for Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Most of these don't really seem like hard books at first, but they really are. I think that's the reason I loved them so much.

Lauren said...

For me, it's Melina Marchetta and Lisa McMann. They are both absolutely brilliant!

elizabethreinhardt said...

Jandy Nelson. *The Sky Is Everywhere* made me bawl and hug my sister until she was panicked. But it was also completely lovely and made me laugh and sigh. How does she do it?!

JessicaLou said...

I think Jenny Downahm fits perfectly into this catagory. Her story Before I Die is one of those books you just can't put down and know that before it ends you're going to cry. Its about a girl who has cancer and she doesnt have that long to live so she makes a list of all the things she wants to do before she dies and as the books goes on she starts checking things off that list and one of the things is falling in love...

As you read the book further Ms. Downham really captures the main character (Tessa) and you find yourself rooting for her to live even though you know its inevidable! I just recently found out she wrote another book called "You Against Me" and it sounds like another emotional tug of war!

Jenna Wallace said...

Gayle Forman, without a doubt. I can't wait for Where She Went.

But I also want to give a nod to Judy Blume. She may not have made poetry, but she touched on so many topics that were taboo for a long time. She deserves credit for inspiring the honesty of the YA books of today.

Leonor said...

Rick Riordan. I love his Percy Jackson books, as well as his other works. =)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Ahh, space for some of my favorite authors! Definitely Gayle Forman (own and love If I Stay), Lauren Oliver, Courtney Summers, and Laurie Halse Anderson. I just noticed they all have very pretty names too, haha. But, really, they write such beautiful and raw books, I absolutely NEED to have them on my bookshelf. More favorites of mine but more on the lighter side are Jandy Nelson with The Sky is Everywhere and Sarah Ockler and, wow, I just realized there are too many to list here.

Thanks for this awesome opportunity! :)

Paranormal Opinion said...

I haven't read the first book in this series - but now I'm going to have to! I'd love to win the 2nd! For the question though, since I haven't read anything by this author - I think I will have to go with Nicholas Sparks.

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

I'm going to have to say Jennifer Echols. I am semi new to YA and it was her book Going Too Far that opened my eyes. I thought it a beautiful intense story. Reading everyon's comments I see I have some catching up to do :)

june111(at)att(dot)net

Nikelle said...

Scott Westerfield's Uglies series were the first books that ever got me to think. I usually read very casually, but all of a sudden I found myself thinking about the issues in the book outside of reading it. I saw the issues everywhere, and debated them in my head constantly. Uglies got me to think critically while reading casually.
I have to say, though, that I also loved Sara Zarr's "Sweethearts". I can relate to it a lot and it just touched me.

Jen said...

Aidan Chambers. Aidan Chambers. Aidan Chambers.

He tackles tough subjects so beautifully. And the writing . . . *swoon* . . . is incredible. He writes, hands down, the best dialogue EVER. Seriously. My favorite of his was This is All. It has the funniest first-time-they-ever-had-sex scene. Oh my! I laughed out loud the first time I read it. Then a few months later I read that scene aloud to my husband and had to stop several times to mop the tears from my face or because I was laughing too hard to be intelligible.

Seriously. If you haven't read Aidan Chambers, go to your library NOW!

(Helen) Kiaya said...

Courtney Summers. Hard subjects, gorgeous writing, just...amazing. Absolutely amazing. <3

Madeleine said...

First of all, don't enter me in the contest, as I already have it. :D

Though I admired Forman's prose in IF I STAY, WHERE SHE WENT was the book that really astonished me.

Yes, people, it is phenomenal. If it weren't bad sportsmanship, I'd recommend entering under your cousin's name, and your cousin's cousin's name, and so on. ;D

I agree with the first comment: Melina Marchetta is incredible. Her novel, JELLICOE ROAD is a favorite of mine.

Jennie said...

Lurlene McDaniel - she's old school YA, but tackled cancer and love with a grace but POW!

Jen Dempsey said...

What a fantastic giveaway! I have an unholy love for Gayle Forman's If I Stay-- I think I've bought it as a gift for about 15 people. It's pretty fair to say I'm looking forward to Where She Went. ;)

As for another writer who composes hard stories, I tip my hat to Simone Elkeles. All of her books create impossible situations culturally, emotionally, even physically for her characters, yet she handles the conflicts with deft words and a wisdom that never feels contrived or pushy. I can't recommend her novels enough.

Thanks for the giveaway, Kiersten! =)


Jennifer [dot] L [dot] Dempsey [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

OK, author of the day...Suzanne Collins, author of all three Hunger Games. It had to have been hard to write those.
lindseyw@cableone.net

Sunny said...

Definitely Melina Marchetta.

Thanks so much for the giveaway, Kiersten!

Anonymous said...

My favorite author of hard stories, other than Gayle Forman, of course, is Lisa Schroeder, who has written "I heart you, you haunt me," "Far From You," and "Chasing Brooklyn," and more. These books all encounter both loss and love, and are definitley on my favorites list. Lisa Shroeder is an AMAZING writer!!!

Nicole said...

I'd have to say either Jay Asher (author of Thirteen Reasons Why) and/or Lucy Christopher (author of Stolen). They both wrote novels about something that's taboo, that people know exist but never really want to talk about.
Coincidentally, they were both written in the most unique way I've ever read. It shows a sign of a good author when they can not only write about a hard subject but also do it in an unorthodox way and totally nail it.

Anonymous said...

I could'nt put down Lisa Shroeder's books from the moment i started reading them...I LOVE them:)

Kim said...

Another Jandy Nelson devotee here. There's like a whole life packed into the Sky is Everywhere. And I will never, ever look at the word "bat" the same ever, ever again.

meganonymous said...

Ooo...can't wait to check out some of the authors on this list. My personal favorite (before I discovered YA) is Jodi Picoult. Character driven novels are the best for hard stories.

Christine said...

Lauren Oliver. Her debut book, Before I Fall... to this day I love it and recommend it to everyone. I sobbed at the end. And her new series, Delirium, is going to be a roller-coaster of emotions. I just know it.

Karen said...

I love the story about your dad -- so cute!! For me, PEONY IN LOVE by Lisa See.

Annerb said...

My most recent fave is Hannah Moskowitz, who knocked my socks off with Invincible Summer. Fantastic!

brenna dot braaten at gmail dot com

Melanie said...

In all honesty I love C.S. Lewis, his stories are so fun and I love his commentary.

Krystal said...

I nominate Kristin Cashore because the way she writes is awe inspiring! She syas what she means and isn't afraid to but anything on paper. And of course, the effortless grace IS there.

Diana said...

Ellen Hopkins with CRANK. Talk about a serious and difficult subject matter. Amazing and deep!

Nancye said...

Although it was her first book, Mary Beth Chapman wrote about several difficult and heartbreaking things in her life. Her book "Choosing to See" chronicles Mary Beth's life up to the current time including dealing with depression and the loss of her 5 year old daughter in a tragic accident.Her book amazed and strengthened me. I admire Mary Beth for her courage to open up through the pages of her book about many very private feelings and events she and her family have gone through. This book affected me profoundly and I'm sure it will affect you too.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I posted this giveaway on my Facebook wall.

http://tiny.cc/mel90

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/48213386890182657

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

purplg8r said...

Not YA, but I think Jodi Picoult. Her books always have topics about moral issues and make you think!

Andrea
belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kat in Books said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat in Books said...

I just recommended it to my mom who just finished it and loved it (obviously) and just e-mailed me asking about the sequel :D So good!

(and this is NOT a comment for the contest since I'm in Canada, alas!)

Samantha Cheng said...

oh I love love LOVE Lurlene McDaniel!!! I love the way she talks about death and love at the same time, two topics so contrary to each other. I love her style, how she writes about heartbreaking stories while leaving the reader with a sense of satisfaction. I love. And most of all, I love her characters, how complex they are and how they're not so overdone that they're predictable. So yes, I love Lurlene McDaniel's books :)
Thanks for the giveaway! xDDDDD

hsiu_an(at)hotmail(dot)com
And I <3 chocolate :D

Litzalou said...

I must say Gayle Forman, as well. If I stay was absolutely amazing! Also, I have to mention Suzanne Collins because the Hunger Games seriously deals with difficult subject matter and heartbreaking situations... especially Mockingjay. They're both such wonderful authors!

Noelli Spanelli said...

I would have to say that Neil Shusterman wrote the most difficult, heart wrenching stories I've ever read.
His book "Unwind" is about a future in which abortion is illegal, but a parent can have their child 'unwound' between the ages of 13-18. Unwinding is when they take every part of the child and give them to other people. so technically they dont die, but are just spread out in pieces between other people. A heart there, an ear here... also parents can 'stork' their babies. meaning they can leave their tiny little newborn on a random person's door step.
In the book they tell of one such instance when a baby was storked around for weeks, going from door step to door step because none of the recipients wanted the baby. eventually the baby died...
the book is heart wrenching and deals with the value of life. He doesn't skirt around the hard questions, but dives right in.


-Noelle
ur.bloody.valentine@hotmail.com

ksmeza said...

An author I constantly turn to to enlighten me on the difficult things adolescents my age go through and manages to write about it with honesty and moving words is none other than Laurie Halse Anderson, she will get through to you and her work is great.

Sandy said...

Melinda Marchetta, definitely! She reeled me in with Jellicoe Road and left me buzzing with awe over her amazing, wonderful, beautiful work!

thunter_5 said...

Mmm....Susane Colasanti definitely. Her book "Waiting for You" is one of the best books I have ever read. It realy gets down into problems that almost everyone goes through. Parents divorcing, best friend drama, boy troubles, etc. It's a wonderful story.

Effy said...

i would have to say Jay asher. he just writes with words that will make you feel what each character is feeling. and that is something that is wonderful

Samantha LeAnne said...

In the realm of YA, I would have to say Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak is one of my all time favorite books, I read it years ago and it's still one of those stories that sticks in your head and captures your heart in a way that you can't seem to shake it. I would also have to say Elizabeth Scott; Living Dead Girl affected me in a way that I didn't want to admit. It was one of those stories that could shake you to the core and no matter how hard I tried, I still can't forget that story.

In terms of adult, I would say Jodi Picoult. She is another author who sucked me in with every story she has written. My Sister's Keeper made me cry like a baby, Nineteen Minutes shook me so hard it was scary, The Pact broke my heart and healed it all the same, and I could go on. Jodi writes real like horror stories in her own right.

No matter what these stories do to me, or how hard they shake me, I still love every word on each of those pages. The more the story affects me, the more I love it.