YA Wednesday: Month9Books Controversy, Southern YA Reads, Smart YA Beach Reads, YA Romance, Literary References in Clueless

It finally feels like summer, which means I am enervated, craving ice tea, and in the mood to slather on sunscreen and read. There are so many YA summer reading lists out there it’s hard to know where to begin, but I’ve selected a few of my favorites to help me and hopefully you get started.

This was also a week when the Internet lit up with a big controversy surrounding a small press. Adding uncertainty about some of the publishers out there to the list of things writers need to worry about feels like cruel and unusual punishment. But this recent debacle serves as an important warning that not all deals are better than no deal, so I’m going to share some info on that, too.

  • Small presses make books available to readers that big five publishers overlook. They discover new talent and new trends, and make room for diverse writers in a crowded field. This makes recent allegations about Month9Books (a respected small press) intimidating writers and not paying them on time or ever all the more disturbing. Kudos to YAInterrobang for bravely bringing these issues to light in Month9Books reverts rights to over 50 authors; attributed to health, business issue and for giving Month9Books publisher, Georgia McBride, a chance to respond here.
  • Many of my favorite writers are southern: Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, Flannery O’ Connor, and Tennessee Williams, to name a few. So it makes me happy to see this list of Top 10 Southern-Set YA Novels recommended by Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King, and of course I want to read his novel, too.
  • If you’re looking for some complex, even brilliant YA novels to read under a beach umbrella, check out BuzzFeed’s Official YA Summer Reading List. Personally, I’m intrigued by Harriet Reuter Hapgood’s The Square Root of Summer which apparently contains a “a surprisingly healthy amount of physics.”
  • If you’re craving a summer of love more than physics, Teen Vogue has a slide show of YA romance novels.
  • If you’re looking for a literary adventure that will take you from Dr. Seuss to William S. Burroughs you could spend your summer reading all the Literary References in Clueless.


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