YA Novel Review
The Language of Love
On November 2nd, I had the opportunity to attend the Vegas Valley Book Festival and sit on a wonderful panel called The Language of Love moderated by the fabulous librarian Nikki Bylina-Streets. First of all, I want to send out a huge thank you to Crystal Perkins for the invitation to the festival. I sat on the panel with eight other authors who write contemporary love stories, and while each of our books features an element of romantic love, the conversation of the day very much focused on how love in a broader sense provides the driving force behind what we write. To paraphrase Terra Elan McVoy, we write about relationships. And love, whether between a parent and child, or between siblings or friends, fuels the exploration of these relationships in our work. Sitting there, I listened to these incredible women discuss the reason they write, share stories of love in their own lives, and talk about their excitement for future projects, and it struck me: I’m so freakin’ lucky to be sitting here with these authors! Sitting in my folding chair, a warm desert breeze on my face, I realized: I love these people. I love that they write books about love. I felt drenched in a deep sense of gratitude for what they do, what they share in their books, for their individual voices all coming together to write about the power of love.
And since it’s the holidays – a time for reflection and gratitude, and, let’s face it, buying stuff – I thought I’d give you a list of these amazing authors and their books so you could check them out too and maybe find one or two that you want to stuff into some stockings. This holiday season, give the language of love.
Amy Plum (Die for Me series, HarperCollins)
Lauren Morrill (Meant to Be, Random House)
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits, Harlequin Teen)
Stephanie Strohm (Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, Graphia/HMH)
Terra Elan McVoy (Being Friends With Boys, Simon Pulse)
Robin Mellom (Ditched: A Love Story, Disney Press)
Jennifer E. Smith (This Is What Happy Looks Like, Poppy)
Leila Howland (Nantucket Blues, Disney-Hyperion)
Write a poem called “The Language of Love.” What specific, sensory language do you use to describe love? For me, love smells like wet autumn leaves and sounds like my daughter and husband laughing at something unknown in the next room. Think about all the language we can use to describe love. Write, write, write.
Outside Reading School Project
Create a holiday book list with books that show the language of love. For each entry, chose one or two lines from the book to show how this author showcases love.