Top 10 YA Authors I Met in 2015

From Cassandra Clare to Sabaa Tahir, 2015 was the year of getting up close and personal with YA authors.

Hello bookworms! Not only is January the start of the new year, but it's also my birthday month! So what better way to celebrate my birthday with one of my favorite pastimes: meeting YA authors. 2015 was when I met 19 (yes, 19!) YA authors. From attending the first inaugural YallWest YA Book Festival in Santa Monica to our diverse city of San Jose, I learned that there is no limit to my obsession of meeting authors, all for the satisfaction of seeing my name written in a book that they have signed for me. It is also the year where I met 2 out of my top 3 favorite authors of all time (J.K. Rowling, I will find you!). So grab some iced coffee and take a trip down memory lane with me.

1. Stacey Jay

If you like fantasy, Stacey is the woman for you. Of Beast and Beauty is a dark, twisted take on the story of Beauty and the Beast and remains my all-time favorite fairytale retelling. She also holds a dear place in my heart for being the first ever author I ever got to interview.

2. Jennifer A. Nielsen

Jennifer was another author that I had the pleasure of interviewing, and her books are unique in that it's from a male's perspective, which is rare in the YA genre. Mark of the Thief is great if you like historical fiction and The False Prince is one of my favorite series about a boy who fights to regain his throne.

3. Veronica Rossi

Veronica's Under the Never Sky trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian stories where Aria is born into high society inside a dome, and Perry lives a primitive life outside of it. Together they overcome their prejudices and the surrounding cast of characters are just so interesting. Upon meeting her, I told her that she's one of my favorite authors. Her response? “You're my favorite”. I couldn't think straight for a good 30 seconds.

4. Lauren Oliver

Lauren is another dystopian author that I met last year, in Santa Monica for YallWest. Her Delirium trilogy is so unique in that love is outlawed, and each individual receives the cure for love at age 16. Lena finds a way to avoid taking the cure and joins a group of rebels to change the system.

5. Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is the most unique book that I have ever read, since Ransom inserts haunting vintage photos into his story straight from his own collection. Think of X-Men as children in the 1950s, and you've got this book. Fun Fact: I was holding Philz Coffee in my hand when I met him, and it turns out that he's a fan of mint mojito iced coffee too! Did I also mention he's married to another YA author, Tahereh Mafi author of the beautifully written Shatter Me series. See, the YA genre really does bring people together!

6. Marie Lu

Marie is one of the two authors I was insanely happy to meet, since she's one of my all-time favorite authors! Her Legend series made me fall in love with the dystopian genre because of her unique take on dual perspectives with the use of color, and the character dynamics is simply perfect. Champion is also one of the very few books that will tug on your heart strings and embed itself into that very special place in your heart reserved only for the books that have made an impact on your life.

7. Cassandra Clare

Cassie is my all-time favorite author, second only to the legendary J.K. Rowling which is definitely saying something. The Mortal Instruments series made me fall in love with reading after Harry Potter ended, and The Infernal Devices is pure perfection that I recommend again and again to patrons at work. She is hands down my favorite author that I met in 2015.

8. Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa's An Ember in the Ashes is among my top 3 favorite books of 2015. It's such a unique story where a young woman goes undercover as a slave to rescue her brother while at the hands of a woman who makes Levana from Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles look like a harmless kitten. Fun Fact: She went to college with our very own Early Education Unit Manager and my former Branch Manager, Madeline Walton-Hadlock! Sabaa says hi Maddie!

9. Patrick Ness

Patrick is an incredible human being who wrote the insanely funny satire on the YA genre The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and A Monster Calls is currently being made into a movie starring Liam Nielsen. But all of those achievements pale in comparison to what he did for Syrian refugees. Angered by the lack of help the British government was doing in providing aid, Patrick took to Twitter and tweeted that if he raised 10,000 pounds to donate to Syrian refugees, he'll match it. It was achieved in less than 2 hours, and was exceeded by donations made by popular authors such as John Green, Jojo Moyes and Anthony Horowitz. Last I checked, he raised over 500,000 pounds, which is equivalent to almost $1 million U.S. Dollars. Just when you couldn't love this genre anymore, this extraordinary act of kindness happens.

10. Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

These two Aussie authors came together to write the brilliant and insanely visually appealing sci-fi masterpiece, Illuminae. In it, Kady and Ezra try to defend their planet against their enemy, with a unique take on formatting from official looking documents to an exciting space chase. Fun Fact: If you look closely at the list of the dead, you'll see a few familiar YA authors in it! Jay Kristoff is the author of the Lotus War series which is a mashup of dystopia, steampunk, and fantasy set in Japan during the time of the Samurais. Amie is the co-author of the Starbound series, which is almost like an intergalactic retelling of Romeo and Juliet except with a much happier ending. In the picture is also fellow SJPL blogger and my YA Author meeting buddy Enna!

Whew, so those were my top 10 YA authors that I met in 2015! If you would like to know the 9 other authors that I met, comment below and I will definitely make another blog post about it. I hope this year will bring me another year of more authors to meet and to simply fall in love with reading all over again. So cheers to the new year, and I hope that 2016 is filled with author events and new favorite books for you, dear reader. Until next time, happy readings!

Fun Fact

Want a chance to meet authors at your local library? Fear not, for that opportunity will come soon! SJPL partakes in Silicon Valley reads, which is a community wide event where people read that year's books selection in the contemporary genre with a specific theme. 2016 is the year of climate change, and in the past we have had several authors visit a few of our libraries to sign books and mingle with the public. Keep a lookout on our homepage in the upcoming weeks for additional information. In the meantime, check out the official Silicon Valley Reads site!