Skip to content

Tag: morgan matson

YA Literary Trope: The Repressed Protagonist

Welcome back readers, to another exploration of literary tropes in Young Adult fiction.  We have covered a lot of ground in our examination of common recurring themes including; The Old Clunker I Drive, The I Already Know you Introduction, The I Have to Take Care of my Parent(s), The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (and Boy), the A-Hole Friends, and the Awesome Outfit.  Now let’s have some fun with some repressed protagonists.  Here are some main characters that do not know how to have fun, are too afraid to try anything new, or need to come out of their shells.

YA Literary Tropes: The Repressed Protagonists | YALSA's The Hub

  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2002 Best Books forYoung Adults, 2002 Top Ten Books for Young Adults, 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Teen’s Top Ten: 2003 & 2005) by Ann Brashares: Lena.  Brashares does a suburb job of fully developing all four of the girls who wear the magic pants.  No girl is an afterthought, no girl is a clone, and no girl is without her issues.  Lena’s deal is that she is repressed.  All of her friends describe Lena as beautiful but withdrawn.  Lena’s reluctance to go anywhere new is first challenged when she is forced to spend the summer in Greece with her grandparents.  One repressed protagonist plus a cute Greek guy plus a pair of magic jeans equals… lots of personal growth for Lena!
2 Comments

Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 3

TeensTopTen_winner_WMWelcome back to our 4-part series highlighting the 24 titles nominated (by teenagers; no grown-up opinions polluting the list!) for this year’s Teens’ Top Ten list. You can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here, if you missed them earlier. Voting starts this week, on August 15, so encourage the teenagers you know to exercise their right to influence sales, movie deals, and publishing trends by voting here.

Here are the penultimate 6 books nominated for the Teens’ Top Ten list this year:

Since You've Been GoneSince You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – In this, Matson’s third stand-alone contemporary fiction title, relationships and personal growth share center stage with the unique pleasures of summer’s disrupted routines and subsequent possibilities for change. Matson’s first novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, was a 2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults pick and a 2012 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults pick, and her second novel, Second Chance Summer, was a 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, so her work is already well-established. Matson has an author page, and is active on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

The Shadow ThroneThe Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen – The third and final volume in the bestselling, historical-fantasy Ascendence trilogy. The first title in the series, The False Prince, was a 2013 Teens’ Top Ten book and a 2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults pick. Nielsen has an author page here (currently highlighting the first book in her newest series, The Mark of the Thief), and she’s also on Twitter and Facebook. A movie adaptation of The False Prince is currently underway (it’s still in the scripting phase, so it’ll be awhile still), and rumor (aka The Hollywood Reporter has it that a Game of Thrones story editor is in charge of the adaptation, so this has certainly has the potential to stick around and continue to attract more readers.

Comments closed

Book/Life Pairings

MultitaskingFinalHow do you fit reading into life? Everywhere of course! Here are some fun suggestions of how to incorporate books into (almost) all parts of your life. I guess there are some events where books don’t belong… But you may be surprised by these multitasking opportunities.

Running/Vigorous Exercise

Some fast paced audio that will make you want to work out every day and never stop!

The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Knife of Never Letting Go

 

The Knife Of Never Letting Go
(and Chaos Walking series)

(2011 Odyssey Honor Audiobook, 2011 Top Ten Audio Books for Young Adults, 2009 Best Books for Young Adult)

by Patrick Ness and Nick Podehl

The action-packed audio book will help you keep up an energetic pace and be thoroughly entertained all the while.  Podehl’s amazing narration enhances Ness’ Sci-fi world which consists of only men whose thoughts are audible. Bonus: best talking dog voice ever.

Girl, Stolen

by April Henry and Kate Rudd

(2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Here is a thrill ride of a book that will keep you on your toes.  Follow Cheyenne, a sixteen year old girl who is blind, as she gets kidnapped accidentally by a car thief.  Clever Cheyenne methodically and systematically plans her escape while poor mistreated wannabe criminal Griffin tries to do the right thing in spite of his horrendous family.

Divergent (and sequels)

(2012 Quick Picks for Young Adults , 2012 Teens Top Ten )

Divergent Audio
Divergent Audio

by Veronica Roth and Emma Galvin

This nail-biting gritty tale is perfect to listen to and get in shape!  You will run like a Dauntless trying to catch a train as you join Tris on her epic search for the truth in post-apocalyptic Chicago.

 

Comments closed

Do You Want Fries with That?

We’re coming up on national waiter/waitress day (May 21!), so I took the opportunity to create a list of books featuring teen waiters/waitress. Add in your favorites in the comments.

waiter

Diners/Restaurants:

All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Romy seeks refuge in the diner where she works after no one believes her account of a sexual assault. When her former friend goes missing, Romy must decide if it’s worth speaking up – again.

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Hudson threw away her dreams when her family fell apart. Now she hides in her mom’s diner baking cupcakes and thinking of the past. When her past comes back around to give her another chance – she isn’t sure which life she will choose.

Crash by Lisa McMann (a 2014 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers)
Jules falls for a boy who’s family owns the other pizza joint in town – and she’s not allowed to talk with Sawyer. When a troubled vision shows her the death of Sawyer, she realizes she must do something to save him. 

2 Comments

Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before

phot source: horla varlanI love books and I love music. That being said, it should not be a surprise to learn that I am a big fan of crossovers between the two.

The Hub is no stranger to this fantastic pairing, either: every Wednesday Diane Colson shares with us a book-and-song match in her Jukebooks series, Jennifer Rummel recently used country music as the basis for a booklist, and I referenced my love of book-themed playlists in a previous post.

While scanning through a list of new YA releases recently, I couldn’t help noticing that many of the titles seemed awfully familiar: quite a few of them share (or are very similar to) titles of songs. They may not be similar topically as the pairings in Diane’s posts, but there is no denying that some of these will have you humming the second you see the covers:

Since You've Been GoneSince You’ve Been Gone

When you hear the title of this contemporary story of best friends, summer vacation, and list completion from author Morgan Matson, you may immediately think of Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 chart-topper, “Since U Been Gone.”

 

Don't You Forget About Me(Don’t You) Forget About Me

This new release from Kate Karyus Quinn is a near-match for the Simple Minds classic “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” but that is where the similarities end between this suspense-filled mystery and The Breakfast Club’s theme. Additionally, Quinn’s debut Another Little Piece immediately resulted in Janis Joplin singing “Piece of My Heart” in my head.

 

Comments closed

Is This the Real Life? Road Trips

It has felt like summer in California for a while, but the end of school is usually when summer really begins. When I was younger and just needed to kill time between school years my friends and I would take road trips. Here are some realistic YA fiction titles (I know I probably missed a few) that are all about road trips!

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
After the death of her father, Amy sets out on a road trip with Roger. It’s supposed to be a carefully planned trip from California to Connecticut, but plans change and Amy ends up having to face her fears and deal with her grief.

How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
After accidentally setting her ex-boyfriend’s car on fire, Rosie is slapped with a temporary restraining order and embarks on a road trip from New Jersey to Arizona.

The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder
Hannah and Zoe leave New Jersey and head west and seeking for all the things they think their lives lack.

Comments closed

Forecast clear? Hit the Road and Read!

photo by flickr user seanrnicholson
photo by flickr user seanrnicholson

There are many kinds of road trips; you’ve got your epic cross-country odyssey, your basic weekend escape destination, your communing-with-nature car-camping expedition, your established scenic byway (Route 66, Blue Ridge Parkway, California’s coastal 101…) but when the weather (finally!) takes a turn towards sunny and warm, any and all kinds of travel on our myriad motorways start to call to me, and I love to see the same “hit-the-road” enthusiasm reflected in my reading.

Reading about a road trip gives me that vicarious travel thrill, and sometimes (usually) even inspires me to plan an adventure of my own when I’ve put the book down, even if all I can realistically manage is an afternoon picnic to the other side of town.

Below are three novels that take their road trip credentials seriously while simultaneously delivering believable characters and engaging plots.

Amy and Roger's Epic DetourAmy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (2011 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Sometimes when you pack up a car and hitthe road, it’s a one-way trip. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is about the kind of road trip you embark on when you’re really leaving something behind, not just for a brief adventure or a temporary escape, but to actually start over again, geographically and emotionally. Amy has been tasked with getting her mother’s Jeep from southern California to Connecticut, where her mother waits with a new house and a new life for them both. But there’s a small problem; Amy hasn’t driven at all since her father died in a car accident months before, and the very thought of getting behind the wheel sets her on edge.

2 Comments