One thing I’d love to see


Two books I read and loved recently, that are representative of something I’d love to see cross my desk:

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
Pure by Terra Elan McVoy

Both books are about Issues (creationism and virginity, respectively) on the surface, but really they’re about teens figuring out what they believe when their received beliefs are challenged, both inside the context of their faith traditions and outside them. Both are nuanced portrayals of belief without even a hint of preaching. I’d love to see a YA novel along these lines, and kudos to Robin and Terra for crafting some truly gorgeous novels. If you care about teens or faith or both you’ll be glad to have read either book.


17 Responses to “One thing I’d love to see”

  1. 1 Lara Chapman

    Ooh… I’ll definitely have to look those up! What else are you seeing a need for in the YA market?

    • Everyone’s always looking for good boy YA. Tough to pull off. Also I think we’d all love to see greater representation of ethnic & racial diversity in YA protagonists–not necessarily as The Point Of The Book, either.

      • O_O You are making it really hard not to do the “all eggs in one basket/she’s the one” thing right now. I’d explain but I think my head just exploded.

  2. I adore Robin and have Evolution in my TBR pile. Thanks for putting Pure on my radar!

  3. 5 J.D.

    What do you mean by “good boy YA”, Holly? What are some examples? (And for me, the older the examples the better! 🙂 Great Brain? Mad Scientists Club? Of course, I’ll probably never write YA fiction in my life, but it never hurts to know.

    • On the young side, things like Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Louis Sachar, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. On the upper teen side of things, oh yes Hachet and Paulson in general cast a heavy shadow, as does Chris Crutcher; I’m also fond of KING DORK. Another couple who’ve been around: Paul Zindel and Jerry Spinelli. And of course boy protagonists (& readers) have always been well-represented in SF/F, and plenty of girls have read and loved these authors too.

  4. Hi J.D. I’m not the fabulous Holly or an agent or editor but when I visit junior highs I can’t tell you how many young men tell me their favorite book is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

  5. I had the pleasure of meeting Robin back in March at the Tucson Festival of Books and picked up her book there and devoured it on the plane ride home. Even being the (not-so-practicing) Jew that I am, I loved this book and it spoke to me as well. I’m so glad you discovered it also, Holly! Oh, and p.s. Robin is way cool and has a new book coming out in the fall: FAT CAT, which I can’t wait for!

  6. Yes. Yes, yes, yes! I want these kinds of stories, too. I haven’t read PURE, but I admire so much about EVOLUTION, ME, & OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE — partly b/c the author respects her readers enough to make their decisions about the story. You really don’t get a hint of the authors bias at all. You need to read Sara Zarr’s newest, yet, ONCE WAS LOST. Such a great exploration of what it means to put faith into anything–a person, an idea, a religion.

  7. Good. To. Know. I can’t wait to read these and learn more about how the heck to handle faith in general fiction.

  8. 11 Sara Bennett Wealer

    Interesting, Holly!

    I’ve got an idea bouncing around in my little brain for a book that feels like it’s in the same sort of sandbox as PURE. I should put it on my to-do list to chat about it with you…

  9. Have you looked at the upcoming book Rampant by Diana Peterfreund? It’s modern-setting YA fantasy and, I’ve heard, includes some really interesting takes on virginity (in the context of slaying killer unicorns!). Ms. Peterfreund also interviewed author Serena Robar on her blog, talking about Ms. Robar’s book Giving Up the V, which discusses the same issue.

    • I’ve heard tons about Rampant and really enjoyed Diana’s sorority series so I’ll have to check it out. And I’m proud to count Serena Robar as a client! I love how GUTV deals with the subject of virginity in a thoughtful and realistic light.

      • Oh wow, I didn’t know you were Ms. Robar’s agent! I’m tempted to say, “what a coincidence,” but I guess it really just demonstrates what the post was talking about in the first place.

  10. 15 Raiden

    I can’t wait to read these

  1. 1 Some great publishing links |
  2. 2 Pure | serenity now

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