Author Crush: Libba Bray
Libba Bray is the queen of YA fiction, and hands-down my favorite YA author. Her books are smart, funny, thoroughly researched, and overall a treasure to read.
Her book Beauty Queens pits teen beauty queens against each other in a Lord-of-the-Flies-esque plane crash scenario that is both hilarious and empowering. Throw in some dreamy shripwrecked pirates, a sinister plot worthy of Lost, and lots of coconuts, and you have YA gold! Going Bovine will take you on a fantastically strange, heart-breakingly sad journey of self-discovery. This epic story also features a sword-fighting garden gnome, hitch-hiking with frat boys, and mad cow disease. What more could you ask for?
Is Historical Fantasy more your speed? Try her Gemma Doyle trilogy, set in an 1895 English boarding school. Sixteen-year-old Gemma has just arrived in England after the tragic death of her mother. Even though she has longed to go to England for her entire life, English boarding schools aren't as exciting as she had imagined. The discovery of a secret society and an ability to do magic liven things up a bit, but can she use her magic to bring her mother back to life or will the sinister group bent on stopping her succeed?
If the 1920's is more your style, meet Evie O'Neil in the Diviners, who has just been exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926. Can she help find the culprit of a rash of occult-based murders with her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult? Read the book to find out! The sequel to the Diviners, Lair of Dreams, comes out later this month on August 25. It will be available in the Jh section under Jh BRA, so keep your eye out for it; I know I will be!
Bray is also featured in a whole slew of short story anthologies, including the ever awesome Zombies vs Unicorns (which can be found in the Teen section under TN ZOM) and Geekstastic (available both digitally and in the Teen section, under TN GEE).
Need more convincing of Bray's awesome? Here's a video book trailer for Beauty Queens:
And another for Going Bovine, complete with Libba in a cow costume: