YA Faves

As YA week comes to a close, I’ve found myself reminiscing over some of my old favourite books that I read during my teenage years. Although I still read YA, there are certain books that just stayed with me over the years, ones that I often return too.

The Outsiders and That Was Then, This is Now by S.E Hinton.

S.E Hinton is still one of my favourite YA authors. I actually own an anniversary copy of The Outsiders, and adored the book so much as a kid that I nicknamed one of my own character’s Ponyboy. If you’ve read Vermin, you’ll also notice one of my character’s is named Kurtis, with a K. Ponyboy Curtis. Although the character’s have nothing in common, I couldn’t help it. I’d also be lying if I said that Kurtis was the only character in my work over the years to be named after a favourite character of mine.

Sometimes I also shout, “Do it for Johnny!” when I need to motivate myself to finish chores. Adulting, am I right?

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.

This book was so good! Honestly, Mateo was one of my favourite characters of all time. I really wish Netflix or somebody would adapt this series into a show because trust me, it would be absolutely fantastic. I highly, highly recommend if you’re into sci-fi, thrillers and crime stories.

Dawn of the Arcana by Rei Toma.

This manga is one that you have to read twice, because once you reach the end there’s this HUGE reveal…and that is all I will say about that. You should read. It’s really good. I’m surprised not that many people have heard about it. I loved Rei Toma’s work so much, that I do have a character named after them in one of my stories that I wrote in high school.

Confessions from the Principals Chair.

I honestly can’t recall how many times I’ve read this book since I got it in the 7th grade. I read it over and over and over again. I just really enjoyed the characters. I’m curious though, if this book is actually middle grade? Probably, but I reread it all the time in high school and university.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

I know that this isn’t technically YA either, but I read a lot of Charles Dickens and classic literature while I was in high school and I absolutely adored all of it. These were books that I’d chosen myself, and although my Nana isn’t a big fan of Dickens (she prefers thrillers/mysteries and romances), her and my granddad got me Oliver Twist, and then let me keep my uncles copy of Great Expectation’s which I read the summer before starting university. Of course the one of the first books I was assigned was Great Expectation’s, and I chose to do my midterm paper on it. I also read A Tale of Two Cities in the twelfth grade, and again absolutely adored it. The only Dickens works that I’ve seen adapted into film however are Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol. Funny enough, I don’t own a copy of A Christmas Carol, but I’d very much like to.

Dengeki Daisy by Kyousuke Motomi.

This series is still one of my favourites. I recently recommended it to a few friends at work. It’s really good. It’s got mystery, romance, action, humour and suspense. Everything you want in a shojo manga directed at teen girls. In all seriousness though, this was and still is one of my top series. I cannot stress enough how much fun it was to read. I believe this was also one of the first series that I collected in entirety. Before I would borrow one or two from the library, but this series I borrowed the first 5 from the library bought the rest, and then years later bought book 1-5 to complete the set. Totally worth the money.

Two Steps Forward by Rachel Cohn

As a teenager, I think I read just about every book I could find by Rachel Cohn. Two Steps Forward was my favourite of all of them, possible because it was the first I read, not realizing it was the sequel to her book The Steps. I just loved the characters.

Naomi and Eli’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Speaking of Rachel Cohn, if you loved the Dash and Lily series, you have to read Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. There are scene from this book that still resonate with me to this day. Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are such a powerhouse. I’d love it if they wrote another book together!

Happy Face by Stephen Emond

I wish more people knew about this book. I believe I read it back in the 9th grade, and it absolutely broke my heart. The emotional rollercoaster was 100% worth it.


Liked this post? Why not explore one of these from my blog.

If you’re looking for a new YA book to add to your own list, feel free to check out my debut novel Vermin.

Book Talk Episode 19: It’s YA Week!

It’s YA week on Goodreads, so I thought I would do a blog post (possibly 2?) about my favourite young adult reads and talk about how the genre has evolved since I first became a YA reader to what it is like now.

As Goodreads mentions in their article, the tropes and characters we see in YA today are vastly different from the ones we saw 10 years ago. I remember when Dystopian fiction was huge, with series like The Hunger Game and Divergent. Not only was I reading the YA in this genre, I was also writing it. Vampires and angels were also popular, at least among YA fantasy. Some examples that I can think of are The Vampire Diaries, Twilight and Fallen…and there are many, many, many more from this period.

What I’m seeing now is more of a mix of both high and urban fantasy being written not only for young adult readers, but for middle grade and adult readers as well. Personally, this is something I absolutely love. There is so much variety within the fantasy books that are out right now, and I often go to friends for recommendations.

I also noticed that, well at least when I was a teenager, a lot of the books weren’t spooky enough. Now, not everyone likes spooky, but now there are so many YA books that border along the lines of horror, mystery and thriller. I’m curious to know whether television created this initial shift, or if it happened naturally within the media. I know when my mom was a teenager, that a lot of the YA books at the time fell in line with gothic literature. I’d say, at least the ones that I can recall her mentioning, were American Gothics. As for the thrillers, the ones I read as a teenager were all about spies, and I beginning to think that those prep-school spy books may have also contributed to the ever popular dark academia vibe we’re seeing today.

Another very obvious shift in teen fiction is the variety of voices, not only are the characters from all different backgrounds, but the are authors come from all walks of life as well! Literature is beautiful like that. Although, I feel the process was slow, books have become a space where people feel seen, and I hope that it translates across all media as we move into 2022. I’m really looking forward to this period of growth.

One thing that I have noticed is that there’ve been a lot of complaints about the lack of YA fiction geared toward a male audience. I’ve also noticed that the market seems to be more favourable towards female readers at this current time, however, there are plenty of YA books and series out there for everyone! I know plenty of guys who read Twilight when it was first released, and enjoyed it. I also know plenty of guys who were (and still are) obsessed with The Hunger Games, any and every book by John Green, and who are extremely invested in all the books by Leigh Bardugo. To quote one of my friends from high school, “A good book is a good book. I don’t care if Katniss is a girl. She’s cool.”

One other thing I’ve noticed is that YA fiction has brought back illustrated covers, which I have missed an incredible amount! I hope this carries over into other genres, because it gives the books such a personal feel to them. I’ve also noticed this with romance as well, but I’m still waiting for the illustrated covers to be the norm in horror again. I don’t read a lot of horror, but the old illustrated covers in that genre were incredible! If you haven’t gone through and looked at old horror covers, I highly recommend it…unless of course you don’t like horror, then please don’t. I don’t want you to get scared. Some are really freaky!

Lastly, I want to talk about the insane amount of fairytale retellings. I don’t mean insane as in it’s a bad thing. It’s not bad at all! I used to adore retellings when I was a kid, but they didn’t make very many for teens at the time I was getting into YA. There are so many cool ones out right now and it’s not just fairytales, it’s myths and legends and all kinds of lore being retold and reimagined for new audiences! I like this idea of taking something familiar and flipping it on its head. It’s just so much fun, revisiting a story but having it be completely new to you.

What’s your favourite shift in YA? Is there anything that you miss about older YA books that makes you feel nostalgic?

Book Talk Episode 18: Current Thoughts

I have learned so much throughout this publishing journey and am continuing to learn. I’ve asked a lot of questions, seen fellow authors debuting, fell in love with the editing process while working with my editor, and have been given wonderful advice by others in the industry.

I’m still struggling to describe this feeling…I’m excited but excited doesn’t seem like the right word. Regardless, I’m thrilled to finally have my book out there for others to read. I’ve kept this story to myself for nearly eight years and it has become something that I am very fond of. I’ve loved sharing character mood boards here on my blog, artwork, poems and playlists inspired by the story…as well as sharing this entire process.

I’ve gotten better at talking about my work since it was accepted for publication and seeing the cover images, having ARC’s going out and having Vermin listed on Goodreads is so cool!

I think its very sweet how supportive my family has been. It means a lot to know that they’re both happy and excited for me and that despite not all of them being big fiction readers, wanting to show their support.

My sister has been fantastic in supporting me! Absolutely fantastic and I cannot wait until I can share some of the cute little things she’s been designing for me for this debut. She’s been pulling all-nighters to help me out…like seriously, I couldn’t ask for a more awesome little sister.

My editor and publisher have also been fantastic with answering all of my questions, organizing everything and helping me stay on track. They’re wonderful and I’m so happy that I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with them on this book!

If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you may have already seen the cover reveal updates…but if not, here’s Vermin.

If you are interested in reviewing this book, there are still some ARCs available. You can also add Vermin to your Goodreads TBR.

Vermin is Listed on Goodreads!

It’s official…

My novel is now listed on Goodreads! This is so cool. Now I’m even more excited for the author copies to arrive.

This also means that I’ll be doing the cover reveal later today!

ARCs are also being sent out this morning to those who signed up to do early reviews. For those who requested a copy, thank you so much for taking the time to read my book. Your enthusiasm and support is greatly appreciated and I hope you’ll enjoy reading and spending time with my characters.

If you would like to add the book to your TBR you can find it here on Goodreads.

Reviewers Wanted!

Title: Vermin: The Vermin Series Book One

Author: Ardin Patterson

Publisher: Loveknot Books (LKB)

Genre/Subgenre: YA, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Romance

ARC Format: ebook

Pages: 296

Available at: ARC Reviewers, July 6th 2021

Language: English

Description:

A dying boy

A rebellious girl

History poised to repeat itself

Left for dead at the side of the road in an outlawed town, Nicholas is rescued by a human girl. Plagued by fevered dreams and a lethal illness, Nicholas doesn’t know what to make of her kindness. If she knew what he was, death would be a merciful gift.

Rose takes it upon herself to show the boy hospitality, despite her uncle Roland forbidding her from going near him. She survived the brutal sickness and knows exactly what their guest is going through—he needs a friend.

When Rose’s uncle discovers what Nicholas is, Roland stands to lose everything when he turns Nicholas into a test subject. Dire circumstances force him to coax an old flame into helping domesticate the beast, turning this supposed opportunity into a cruel experiment on himself.

As Rose and Nicholas grow closer, Roland’s decision to keep the boy’s identity a secret threatens to bring history full circle. Can Roland guard two hearts as he struggles to keep his future and the boy alive?

Photo by Adrienne Andersen on Pexels.com
Photo by Anna Urlapova on Pexels.com

Request an ARC


Novel Update – We’ve Got a Cover!

Now that we’ve finalized the design for the cover, I’m also excited to announce that there will be ARC’s available very soon.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has followed my updates and shown support during each stage of this book. Your encouragement helped me push through and I’m incredibly grateful for all of it.

Over the next week I will be releasing more information about the ARC’s, for those interested in reviewing, but for now I will be sharing that little teaser image and letting you know that the ARC’s provided will be in ebook format.

Here is a little more information:

Target Audience: YA.

Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance…

Hmm…First or Third Person P.O.V?

When writing there are times when I consider changing from a 1st to 3rd person narration. I like reading both and I like writing both, but I find depending on the story one works better than the other. My debut was written in 3rd person but I’d say around least 85% of my other work is in 1st person P.O.V.

Right now, I’m having this debate with myself while editing one of my projects. This book however is a stand alone project, which I miraculously churned out nineteen chapters for in a week. I still have no idea how I did that. I just couldn’t stop writing. At one point my Dad asked me about my progress and when I looked at my plot chart I went “Oh no…I’m almost at the end.”

Personally I think it was because I’d been on a writing break for so long while editing and prepping my debut for publication.

I felt like my character’s in this book were just so mad at me for dropping them two words into chapter twenty (sorry!).

I really want to capture this story properly, so I’ve decided to take notes and potentially rewrite it in 3rd person. I’m not 100% sure about the perspective change yet…but it can’t hurt to try right? What I am sure of is that the opening scene is currently lacking. The setting isn’t clear until around the 5th chapter and the first few lines are…the best way I can describe it is awkward and clumsy like me at thirteen hiding behind a book from my long-time crush during lunch like Violet from The Incredibles and then when he says hi I blush, slam my face into the book and scream internally like, “HE NOTICED ME!”

Anyway, I’d say this has been enough procrastination.

Just a heads up, the video below has swearing in it!

Absolutely Delightful…

Have you ever been so immersed in a book it’s almost as if you were in a dream? I love when that happens, that moment you escape. I’ve read a lot of different books lately and with each one I’m praying for that experience of being drawn into the pages and disappearing inside them for hours.

I’m not sure why books induce this almost dream-like state but I feel well rested after as well. Writing about this now, I’m a bit embarrassed because I can’t help but think “this sounds insane” and yet I know there are people who’ve experienced this same thing.

Reading to me is no different than when I used to play dolls. Letting your imagination take charge and creating and exploring (sometimes the impossible!) in your head. It’s like the perfect balance between fiction and reality because you know in fact that it’s all a play but you engage with it because it’s absolutely delightful…or disturbing if you’re reading a horror novel…but then again some books (and films) can be disturbingly delightful.

In my last post I felt almost betrayed by what I’d read. Books for me have always been my favourite place…not just thing…but a place, because every book has a new setting, a new set of character’s to meet and new things to discover along the way. I love that about them. I like to venture into spooky old mansions, or travel across space…just from the comfort of my bedroom.

Each time I read a good book, it’s like being in a long dream. A good dream. A dream that keeps you guessing. A dream that gives you a warm feeling. A dream that lingers with you after you wake up. Books are beautiful in that sense.

Absolutely beautiful.

For Every Like I’ll Answer: Questions 5 & 6

Sorry for being a bit quiet lately. I had some stuff going on.

Thankfully things seem to be getting better!

Now onto answering questions 5 and 6 from my post.

Over writer, under writer, or just right?

I do a mixture. Sometimes I write too much and cut out the unnecessary details and other times…mainly when I’m trying not to reveal too much to the reader I’ll under write. I’d love to say that I always get a scene “just right” but even when I’m mostly satisfied with what I’ve written, I still edit them just as I would with any other.

Which is your favourite part of the writing process: planning, drafting or revising?

I absolutely love, love, love the planning process. I probably spend most of my time planning (aside from writing and editing). It’s when I can let my imagination free and build upon the layers of my story!

I like deciding on the settings, the characters, the rules of the world…and then building upon that. Usually I’ll do a mixture of research and imagination at this stage. Sometimes I do even more research during the drafting and revisions!

I just have so much fun with this part.