Though I’ve always loved to read, as a middle schooler I became obsessed with a young adult fantasy novel that I read over and over again until I practically had the whole thing memorized: Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede. Though I moved on to the other books, I still reread my favorite parts of Dealing with Dragons whenever I wanted to dip into the magical world of princesses, knights, and dragons (which was more often than was probably healthy).
This summer, for the first time in my entire life, I will be focusing on my writing full time. I will dedicate each morning to producing new material and every afternoon to promoting it, including finding venues to do readings, writing blog posts and interviews, and traveling to book fairs and writing conferences. But most importantly, I will focus on a big part of the writing process that I’ve neglected during my years of working full time and pursuing my master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University: reading. At the pool, at the library, on the train, I’ll be venturing into the worlds of my fellow writers like Lucy through the wardrobe, not only being entertained by their unique characters and plot lines but learning from them at the same time. Like the summers between elementary school years, when I’d hole up in my bedroom and read five books a day, I want to be as absorbed by these stories as I was by The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, The BFG by Roald Dahl, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (my idea of romance was ruined early), and so many more.
Below is a list of YA novels I plan on reading this summer. Leave me a comment including your email address (in the format jane.doe at gmail dot com so no one spams you) and your favorite YA novel recommendation, and you’ll automatically enter my contest to win one of three print copies of the first novel in my trilogy, Dreamweaver Road (Book One in The Zaniyah Trilogy). Look for the sequel, Two Dragons (Book Two in The Zaniyah Trilogy), later this year.
• The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
• Divergent by Veronica Roth
• Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
• The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
• Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
• It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
• The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
To find the other sites participating in the summer blog hop, click here or visit http://juliesbookreview.blogspot.com/.