So a new Twitter hashtag, #QuietYA, was created a few weeks ago by the lovely Julie. It’s basically centered on sharing book recommendations of novels that aren’t the big-sellers, the ones that aren’t talked about all the time, the TFiOSs or TMIs of our age. As a book blogger, I know I can so easily get caught up with the newest and most talked about releases, but so many books that aren’t extremely popular are being published. And these books are gorgeous, different, unique; qualities I as a reader am always looking for.
So today I have a guest post from the lovely Sarah Tromp, author of My Best Everything (which sounds absolutely fantastic, by the way).
I’ll turn it over to her!
QUIET OR QUIRKY?
By: Sarah Tomp
I love reading books where the author takes a risk with the form and tells the story in an unusual manner. Occasionally storytelling risks are rewarded with a major award or other recognition; but some unusually told stories slip under the radar because they are hard to classify. Or perhaps impatient readers give up before they reach the surprising reward.
Here are a few of my favorite books that I think fall into the #QuietYA category simply because they are special and unique—each one is creative and original in its own way. And yet, I need to convince you them a chance. So…
If you loved risk-taking books like WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley, ASK THE PASSENGERS by A.S. King, I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson, THE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Rem Suma (side note from me: if you haven’t read this, totally do it! I’ll be putting up a review soon!) , or WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart, I highly encourage to give these a whirl!
READ BETWEEN THE LINES by Jo Knowles is written from ten different points of view. I’d call it a collection of linked short stories, except that might be something some readers will shy away from. It tells the story of a community over the course of one day, letting readers peek inside the minds and hearts of specific and individual characters. Every time we switch the point of view, our understanding of each character is deepened and challenged. Compelling, thought-provoking, and heart-expanding.
The lush evocative prose of THE MIDNIGHT DRESS by Karen Foxlee plants readers into the Australian rain forest setting. The story of Rose and Pearl becoming friends, coming of age, falling in lust and love, feeling frustration with family, is interspersed with a second story—but not a separate story. The present time is interspersed with the future, or maybe it’s the past interspersed with the present. It’s not nearly as confusing as my attempt to explain! It’s exquisitely told. A girl has gone missing, but readers don’t know who or how until the end. It’s magical and mysterious and bursting with tension. Brilliant in every way.
The dual timeline in DEVIN RHODES IS DEAD by Jennifer Wolf Kam allows readers to follow the thoughts, feelings, doubts, and heart-break of Cass with regards to the death of her best friend, Devin. We feel Cass’s guilt and grief in the days following the discovery of Devin’s body left in a nearby ravine. But we also see the days leading up to Devin’s disappearance. Even as we ache for Cass’s loss, we see the bumps in their uneven friendship, and wonder if the unthinkable might be true. Strong, concise and intense writing, intriguing mystery, and spooky mood and tone.
CHOPSTICKS by Jessica Anthony and illustrator Rodrigo Corral is the only (nearly) wordless YA novel I’ve ever read. Told in illustrations, photographs, letters, and a few spare words, this is a rich and complex story about pressure and competition, madness and falling in love for the first time. Unless that’s not what it’s about after all. Beautiful and mysterious, this story is sure to keep readers wondering and guessing, and completely bewitched by the spell created through the just right visual images.
Sarah Tomp is the author of MY BEST EVERYTHING, a love story steeped in the world of modern day moonshine production. Written as a letter from Lulu to Mason, it recounts a summer of thrills and disappointments, friendships and first loves, messes and mistakes, and looks for an answer to the question: ‘Was it all meant to be?’
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Seriously, guys these are some fantastic recs. I want to dive into all of these SOON.
What’s even better is that the lovely authors participating in #QuietYA are hosting a giveaway! You can win copies of: MY BEST EVERYTHING by Sarah Tomp, EVERY UGLY WORD by Aimee Salter, THESE GENTLE WOUNDS by Helene Dunbar, THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU by Lisa Schroeder, LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca, THIS ORDINARY LIFE by Jennifer Walkup (ARC), and THE ARTISANS by Julie Reece. (I’m kind of questioning whether or not I can enter my own giveaway now, because I really want to win these??). You must be older than 13 to enter. It ends 12 AM, July 21st. There’s a high likliehood that most of these books will be signed, so definitely enter while you can.
What about you guys? Have you read any of these books? What are some #quietYA/backlist books that you’ve read and loved? Leave me your thoughts & recs!