This week is officially a Top Ten Tuesday 'Freebie' week - we can write about ANYTHING in literature. Now, I've often said that the best thing about the blogging community is that I've been introduced to so many books and authors that I might otherwise never have discovered, so I've decided to use the freebie week to highlight that. So, my Top Ten list this week is...
Top Ten Authors I Found Through Blogs
10. Jackson Pearce
Sisters Red was one of the most buzzed about books of last year and to me, the hype was completely justified. Of all the fairy tale retellings, Pearce stands out for the way she combines a gritty modern realism with old-fashioned folk tale sensibilities. I'm now eager to read Sweetly and anything else she should write.
9. E. Lockhart
With Ruby Oliver, E. Lockhart has created one of the most lovable heroines ever. I first heard her name when I stumbled across this awesome post and I figured that any MC that inspired such passion and devotion was one I had to meet. After about 2 pages of The Boyfriend List, I fell head over heels for Ruby myself.
8. Courtney Summers
The subject matter + good reviews made me read Some Girls Are and I was amazed at what an emotionally powerful book it was. I'm in awe of Summers' writing; how much she can make me feel through words, everything from anger to revulsion to love to pity. I am currently collecting every single one of her books so I can experience that again.
7. Libba Bray
I've only just finished Beauty Queens and it's made me realise how thankful I am again that I was encouraged to read Libba Bray. Sometimes in YA, you feel like you every get great prose or a great plot, but Bray manages to give you both. Beauty Queens had some of the most beautiful paragraphs I've read all year as well as the craziest plot I've read, ever.
6. Jenny O'Connell
I found Jenny through Pub Rants, where Agent Kristin blogs about many things, including her favourite clients. I bought Jenny's first YA novel, Plan B expecting a fun 'fluff' read, based on the premise (girl discovers a famous teen star is her half-brother). But it was actually a really smart, well-written book with strong characters and real emotions. I knew an author that could take a sorta silly idea and put that much depth into it, was one to keep reading.
5. Ally Carter
I also found Ally through Pub Rants. As soon as I heard 'spy school', I was in. The adorable UK covers for the Gallagher Girls series only sweetened the deal. (Although I recently heard a school librarian worry that the skirts were too short!)
4. Richelle Mead
Post-Twilight, there were so many vampire series out there, it was hard to judge which was the most worthwhile. Lucky for me, bloggers spoke with one voice and named Vampire Academy the most enjoyably addictive of them all - and they were right. I have to admit, I probably would never have picked up this series based on the title and the covers, so it was one of those cases where blog word-of-mouth really mattered.
3. Maggie Stiefvater
Shiver was one of the first books I heard about from bloggers and I'm so glad about that, because I thought it was such a beautiful book and it meant that I went back and back for more recommendations. I think Maggie's one of the best prose writers in YA today. After Shiver, I bought all her published works.
2. Justine Larbelestier
I love Justine so much that I pledge to one day learn to spell her last name correctly, without having to double-check it. Her blog is one of the best there is and although she hasn't posted much this year due to injury, a favourite activity of mine when I have free time, is to pick a tag and go through the great stuff she has posted in the past. Justine is very opinionated (while always being fair) and she's not afraid to post about controversial topics. Her writing is sublime; she expresses her ideas so well through words. I love that she champions having people of colour as MCs and draws attention to minority authors. In fact, she's introduced me to even more authors: M.T. Anderson, Varian Johnson, Coe Booth and of course, Scott Westerfeld, her hubby.
1. Diana Peterfreund
Diana would come top of any list on current authors I could make: Most Versatile Author, Author with the Best Female Characters, Funniest Author and especially, Most Underrated Author, because I just don't see her mentioned enough on reviewer blogs. I found her through her own blog, which I would advise anyone to visit and there you will find an absolute gold mine of insightful and enjoyable posts on everything from her writing process to her thoughts on Veronica Mars. I fell in love with her writing and knew I had to read her books and no surprises, I loved them, too. Amy from the Secret Society Girl series is one of the best female protagonists around and I can't wait to jump into the world of killer unicorns in Rampant and Ascendant.