I know this is not really a “genre.” But I think it’s a type of book that is different from other types, so I hope it might be useful to have a guide to what’s out there. For the purposes of this post, I am talking specifically about books written by two different authors, not books told in multiple voices by one writer. I am also not talking about books written in a traditionally single-perspective style, just by two people. This is for a few reasons: first, it narrows the playing field when it comes to putting these lists together. Second: These books just have a different feel to them. And third: co-authored books allow for a variety of interesting conversations about metafiction, authors as people (SHE is friends with HIM? Astonishing!), and what voice is.
Authors to Know
David Levithan (with Rachel Cohn, with John Green, with Andrea Cremer)
P.C. Cast/Kristin Cast
Jenny Han/Siobhan Vivian
Trish Cook/Brendan Halpin
Daniel and Dina Nayeri
James Patterson/Gabrielle Charbonnet
Ann M. Martin/Paula Danziger (as middle grade precursors, these are where your younger patrons might be coming from, or perhaps where they should go first if they’re less mature readers)
Alternating chapters. Immediacy. Strong characterization. Personality. Interesting connections between characters. Cliffhangers at the ends of chapters as you then delve into the other character’s side of the story. Perhaps a first-time or early-career author being trained alongside a more established peer.
It’s great to know that your favorite writer may not have a new book out, but s/he actually co-wrote something that just happens to be filed under the other author’s name. This allows you to satisfy your hunger for unlimited titles by one person (at least momentarily) and be introduced to authors you may not know, but who are clearly readalikes to that known author. And there’s a bonus if co-authored works inspire teens to work with their friends on writing their own collaborative story!
Other Titles To Know (from authors not mentioned above)
Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz/Michael Johnston
Doon by Carey Corp/Lorie Langdon
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier/Sarah Rees Brennan (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
The Future of Us by Jay Asher/Carolyn Mackler
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult/Samantha Van Leer
Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen/Bruce Coville
Am I missing any? What is your favorite thing about dual-authored books? What makes you want to pick one up?
– Hannah Gómez, currently reading Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan and listening to How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran