I read a YA novel about a love triangle a while ago. While reading, a question occurred to me: what would the dynamic between the characters be like if the girl’s two love interests would be brothers? The thought of investigating that seemed very appealing, and that was how Letting Go came to be.
Putting the characters into an unusual environment raised the stakes and made the interaction more intense and interesting. What better situation to put them in than a car? I love road trip stories. The tiny space of a car brings the protagonists closer together, it can either make them fall in love/become the best of friends or make them hate each other. But they can hardly stay indifferent, spending a long time in such a cramped environment. So road trip it was.
The first road trip YA story that I fell in love with (at first reading) was Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt. I still remember how I received the book in the mail one morning and I started reading it right away. I didn’t pause until I finished it later that evening. It was one of the cutest YA novels I read; filled with teen angst, hilariousness, the tender feelings of falling in love, and an authentic teen voice.
Another one of my YA favourites is Anna and the French Kiss. Perkins’s style is such a mixture of playful, fun and teen angst that it is bound to sound authentic in a YA novel. Her characters inhabit the pages with the same joie de vivre as their tiny student rooms. They’re charming, full-bodied like a glass of Bordeaux, sparkly creatures that make you fall in love with them with the same intensity as when you had that very first major crush … way back when.
What are your YA favourites? I know a lot of writers don’t want to read books when they’re writing, but I find reading inspiring even while I am creating my own stories. Which authors inspire you? Who’s your favourite character? Mine is without a doubt Etienne St. Claire from Anna and the French Kiss. He must be the dreamiest boyfriend in the world, surely. I wish I’d met him when I was sixteen. 😉