I spend a lot of time in books. I write about them sometimes here and more often over at Book Riot. And, for the most part, I like to focus on indie books, primarily crime and horror fiction. But there are a couple of things I’ve learned in writing about and reviewing books. First: there is no shortage of amazing female writers in crime and horror fiction. I’ve written about it pretty often. But, two: there is also no shortage of amazing female offers in … you know … every genre there is. So, in honor of International Women’s Day, let’s focus in on YA and list nine women whose words you need in your eye holes on March 8th, 2019.
Yes, THAT Meg Bonney. Our own sweet little Meg Bonney of Pure Fandom. Lest we forget: Meg is also one badass YA novelist.
Madison and her BFF venture into the magical ether-world of Everly to find Madison’s kidnapped aunt. So, yes, thrills and spills; your fave YA conventions, such as finding your true self; and plenty of debut novel world building. BUT … the pop culture references and witty banter, as you might expect from our brilliant Meg, is ON F**KING POINT. Grab it now. Book two comes out this year!
She needs to update her Amazon author photo, though.
IN JOKE! Look how f**king behind the curtain you are right now, reader!
Wurth writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She teaches creative writing. She’s a Kenyon Conference Scholar and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Which is a sh*t ton of writer-y stuff that folks like me nerd out about with oohs, ahhs, and mild jealousy. But I know … y’all don’t wanna hear me, you just wanna dance …
Challenging story of Margaritte, a teenage Native American in Colorado dreaming of escaping poverty and drug abuse. But drowning in a reality of teen pregnancy. Wurth does not f**k around, and this ain’t for the faint of heart. But shining out of the cracks in all the sadness is a song of hope and love. And Wurth is as good as anyone at making that song poetic and beautiful without ever watering down the harshness of her characters’ realities.
You know on your Facebook feed when those posts from The Dodo come up about adorable animals and then you look up and the day is gone? Ever wonder who writes those pieces? Meet Arin Greenwood. Although she is obviously not the only person writing cute animal stories, she is responsible for gold such as “Woman Steps Out In the Middle of Night To Find Strange Dog Riding Her Pony.” I mean, come on. Oh, and she also writes YA.
Nano Miller grew up on a dog island in an apocalyptic world where dogs can’t wag their tails so people killed them all. It makes sense in the book, I promise. But Nano has spent years raising robot dogs, only to have them taken away after one year every time. But when she finds a living puppy whose tail wags just fine, she holds on to save all humanity. It’s like Children of Men, but for teens with dogs.
Brianna Shrum writes some books about kissing and some other books about pirates. That should be enough to sell you, right? I mean, we’re kinda done here, I think.
Carter Lane and Reid Yamada are rival teenage chefs at a French cooking class in Savannah. So this book is basically a YA rom-com. And it brings with it all the meet-cute, flirty hate-love moments you’ve come to expect from your favorite rom-coms. Also, there is top notch writing about food in this book. It’s a little neither here nor there, because the main point is the rom-com angle. But the food writing is really next f**king level, for what it’s worth.
Christine is one of those rare writers who spends most of her time promoting other writers. So it’s up to others, like me, to remind the world that she is also an amazing writer. And what better day than today.
Book two in a series, you should really start with the first book. But this one is even better. Angelina, having survived the Crimson Forest once, must return to save a friend. With all the world building out of the way, Gabriel gets to dig into a magical world ripe with the stuff of classic YA gold. Just enough horror to keep the lights on, and just enough humor to allow you to breathe once in a while.
Suppose I told you that there is a female author out there who has written Star Wars books and started a YA series about brujas? How fast would you throw your money at the computer? Well, she exists. And her name is Zoraida Cordova. See? Even her f**king name is cool.
In the series opener, we met Alex, a mega-powerful witch who hates her own powers. And in book two, focus shifts to her sister Lula, a healer. The expanding fictional witch family gives us a more complete picture of Cordova’s Bruja-verse. And if you’ll allow me one bad pun per article, I have to say … it’s pretty magical.
Kiersi grew up racing in rodeos. And now she owns a business and side hustles out YA novels like a mother f**king boss. Tell me that’s not the type of badass woman we should be celebrating today.
Burkhart examines private school culture in such a riveting way you almost forget how important this book is until long after you finish it. It reads like a feminist bible of sorts, but you’ll be turning pages like it’s a thriller. Every significant moment in history has its book, and Burkhart has made a strong case for an entry on the #metoo moment’s bookshelf.
Any NoNieqa Ramos bio will tell you that she “writes to amplify marginalized voices and to reclaim the lost history, mythology and poetry of the Latinx community.” So, you know, exactly the type of writer I love with all my heart. And exactly the type of woman we should be celebrating on International Women’s Day.
Written in a brilliantly unique dictionary format, NoNieqa’s debut novel dives deep into the mind of teenage Macy, whose life is a swirl of challenges. At times heartbreaking, other times heartwarming, Dictionary challenges the way we see and relate to teens. And what more could anyone ask of great YA fiction?