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Author: Jessica Lind

American librarian in Russia. Lover of cats and books.

We Love a Good Summer Read

Summer is a fantastic time for reading. Even if you do not take a vacation out of town or have time off work, there is something about the season that lends itself to setting aside time for a few special books. I’ve mentioned before that planning my summer reading is an important process for me and I reached out to others who are equally enthusiastic. Today, four bloggers are sharing our plans for summer reading. Get your TBR lists ready because you’re bound to find something to look into here!

Dawn Abron
Dawn decided to go with a theme for her summer reading this year.

Dawn's Summer Reads

The Summer of Sequels

  • Ghostly Echos by William Ritter
  • The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Inquisition by Taran Matharu
  • Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Alicia Abdul
Alicia has arranged a collection of summer reads that range from newly-released short stories to centuries-old plays.

Alicia's Summer Reads

  • Broken Crowns by Lauren DeStefano
  • Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
  • The Crown by Kiera Cass
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (2015 Alex Award winner)
  • Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
  • Never Ever by Sara Saedi
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman
  • Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Thousand and One Nights
  • A few Shakespeare plays, including A Winter’s Tale
  • A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
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2015 Young Adult Services Symposium: Book Blitz!

On the Schedule at a Glance in the Symposium’s program, Saturday’s list of events included a “Book Blitz” from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The only information about this event were a few pages in the program dedicated to Book Blitz Author Bios and a small box that stated: Each attendee will receive 6 tickets to exchange with these authors for free signed books!

ya_symposium_2015

Symposium veterans knew what to expect from the Blitz, but newcomers could be heard Friday evening and Saturday afternoon pondering, “What is this Book Blitz all about?”

This tweet from attendee Lauren Regenhardt sums up the experience pretty well:

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The Hub Loves the ’90s

The Hub Loves the '90sHave you noticed that the 1990s seem to be popping up a lot recently in pop culture? YA lit is no exception to this and we here at the Hub have decided to take a closer look at the ’90s nostalgia that seems to be hitting us from every direction. Along with upcoming posts from Traci Glass and Katie Shanahan Yu, this is the first in a three-part series this month looking at this memorable decade’s persistent appearance and influence.

As someone who was a tween and teen in the 1990s, it does not really surprise me to see so much of this time period seeping into contemporary pop culture now. These years had a huge impact on my long-term interest in music, television, movies, and books. Now, many from my generation are at a point in our lives where we are not only creating the content found on television and in books, but we are also adults with some disposable income that we are willing to spend on these types of media.

Love Letters to the DeadTraci and Katie will be looking at examples of books set in or produced in the 1990s, but I have even noticed a good amount of references to this period appearing in contemporary pieces. For example, Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters to the Dead begins with a letter to Kurt Cobain, a grunge rock icon and tragic symbol of the decade. Soon after, a letter to actor River Phoenix appears; and while the majority of his films were made in the ’80s, his untimely death in 1993 was a memorable part of this time. This book is a contemporary story, but it had an undeniable nostalgia for pop culture of the ’90s. 

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Genre Guide: YA Contemporary Romance

GenreGuideYAContempRomanceDefinition
Contemporary romance YA novels are realistic fiction that take place during (more-or-less) the time frame in which the book is being published that include a love story as a main focus of the plot. There are not any hard and fast rules regarding how close to publication year a story must be set in order to be contemporary, but it is a small window. As a result, it may be difficult for some of us to swallow, but a book published this year that takes place in 1999 would not fall into this category, but rather into the realm of historical fiction.

Characteristics
Contemporary romances usually include the full cycle of a romance, beginning with the meeting of the future couple. Occasionally characters will already know each other and rather than having an adorable or awkward meeting there will a trigger event that begins the change in feelings from platonic to romantic. Then, the relationship will be tested or stressed by some series of events. These events can range from simple misunderstandings that are blown out of proportion to serious matters or life and death. Eventually, the conflict is resolved and the characters are able to fully acknowledge their love, though this does not always result in a happily ever after.
When you hear the words “contemporary romance,” you may immediately picture pink covers with doodled hearts. Sure, some of these stories are adorably fluffy and I can often spot a YA contemporary romance from across the room based on its cover. Some, though, appear to focus more on the contemporary life aspect and may be more sarcastic, dry-witted, and/or out-right weird. The romance is definitely there, but it may not be the first thing that a reader thinks about. Still, others may have a heavy dose of trauma or life-threatening situations as part of the plot.

These stories may also include some other common themes in YA including sports, music, and LGBTQ characters. 

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