Today (or tonight, rather) I am going to tell you what to read! Because I have been reading stuff, and it has been good.
Read these now:
White Cat by Holly Black. I liked Tithe very much, I loved Valiant, I adored Spiderwick. This is the best one. It's a con-artist noir wrapped up in a fantasy package with more plot twists than you can believe and you never know whom to trust. I read it on audio, where Jesse Eisenberg is the narrator. Also, a wicked cool trailer. Also also, the sequel Red Glove is out already, so you can have instant sequel-type gratification.
I got to hang out with Holly recently at the SCBWI conference in Washington state, and she is glam and intelligent and crazy-generous with her insights about craft and art and business.
Strings Attached by Judy Blundell. More noir, but chorus girls and dangerous boys and mobbed-up dads and style style style. So good.
I was at a store event recently, and the bookseller was all, don't you hate Judy Blundell? She beat you out for the National Book Award. (JB won for What I Saw and How I Lied.) And I thought: wow, this person doesn't understand. No! I do not hate her, or anyone else who wins awards that I don't.
I am happy when there are good books, such smart and compelling books being published for teenagers. Sure, it would be nice to win awards, but
A) it is so not Judy's fault she beat me, she just wrote a stellar book
B) it is actually kind of Holly Black's fault Judy beat me as Holly was on the committee that chose the winner and obvs I still like Holly. Why? Because I am a grown up!
C) I would be an idiot not to read a book I was pretty certain to love because of professional jealousy because who gets hurt besides me? Nobody. Just me.
Anyway, sorry about that rant. My sleep has been messed up and I might be a teeny bit insane.
What else should you read?
Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Ooh, I stayed up late reading this -- and dystopian or futurist fiction isn't usually my first-choice read. I loved the main character, loved the complexity of everyone, loved the action action action. It's like Hunger Games with sex, tattoos and romance, plus less oozing puss.