1. Rainbow Rowell- Rainbow Rowell has written two heartbreakingly beautiful YA stories in the past few years, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. Both are realistic, relevant, and romantic. Rowell does lead female characters like no one else and makes romantic interests, much more than just the typical “romantic interest”. She is also just a ridiculously talented writer.
2. E. Lockhart- Not only has she written a beautiful new YA novel, We Were Liars, she also has a great series: the Ruby Oliver boyfriend series, that deals with the stress of being a teenager and the issue of slut shaming. Her writing style is completely different in We Were Liars than it is from the Ruby Oliver series, but both are delicious reads.
3. Meg Cabot- Okay, okay, I know Meg Ccabot probably got as much recognition as John Green in her prime, but still. I love her. Her writing style actually sounds like a teenage girl’s and her realistic, blunt, and witty portrayals of adolescence have gotten me through some tough times. They’re classic escape novels with just enough bite in them to elevate them above the rest.
4. Gayle Forman- I want everybody to jump on the Gayle Forman train. Her stories involve both romance and family relationships. If I Stay is a haunting account of a young girl trying to decide between life without her family or the afterlife. It takes the cliche idea of a person stuck between life and death and makes it something really refreshing. Just One Day and Just One Year were two of my favorite books that I read last year. While they’re a little less heavier than If I Stay, they are still inspiring and entertaining stories of heartbreak and recovery.
5. Melina Marchetta- If you like YA and haven’t read Melina Marchetta, you are soooooo missing out my friend. Seriously, she is a crazy talented writer who writes YA novels that make me laugh and cry and break in to a million pieces. The Piper’s Son? I died. Jellicoe Road? Oh my lord. These may seem like great books to read at the beach but I promise you Marchetta’s characters will get to you and you will think about them long after you’re down reading.
6. Ann Brashares- I’m not gonna lie, sometimes, I’m a little embarrassed to admit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is one of my favorite books. Everyone just always has to mention the mediocre movie. “But the books are good!” And they are and I love them. I read them every year at the beginning of summer and something about them just puts me in such a good frame of my mind for summer. The girls are relatable, strong, flawed, and everything a teenage girl is and should be.
7. Stephanie Perkins- Her books are so adorable, seriously. They’re great romances. The guy is always admirable, respectable, but still seems like a real person. The girl is always a little dramatic, but still much more mature and self-aware than the average YA heroine. Her books are entertaining and an escapist’s dream.