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Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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11 January 2011

What I want in a Good YA Book.

I've been reading a lot lately and some books I have absolutely loved and some I wonder why I read it.  I know what I want in a book and let's see if I organize my thoughts to make this a post that makes sense.  I like a strong main character, but I don't think that is necessary the most important part of the story.  I want the words to flow and not come across as choppy or forced.  I don't need metaphors galore or similes that just annoy me.

I want a story that grabs me and pulls me in and doesn't force itself on me to like it.  When plot points are glaringly obvious, it's just not for me.  Gratuitous sex does nothing to enhance a story, it's just gratuitous.  Same in a movie.  If the sex is thrown in because it can be, then I don't want or need it.

I definitely don't like to be talked down to.  Today's teenagers are snappy, smart and don't speak like Leave it To Beaver, Partridge Family or Brady Bunch. Today's teens are more like Gilmore Girls, 90210, Vampire Diaries. They have snappy dialogue and know what they like. Older teens even more so.  And to go back to the sex issue.  Teens have sex.  Teens of opposite sex do not sleep in beds and not experiment.  They have absolutely no willpower when it comes to that. Especially when they like each other.  I'm not a therapist, just an observant mother of  a former teen and her friends (some of who are still teens, but entering their twenties).

So that is what I want in a good YA book!  These are my thoughts not to incite any harshness, just what I like in a books.


  1. I saw on someone elses blog you mentioned you read fan fiction too :)

    Now following,

    Jess :)

  2. Jess, when I first read Pride & Prejudice about 16 years ago, I couldn't get enough of it. My friend started Derbyshire Writers Guild on in 1996. I believe there are over 2,000 fan fiction stories from every Austen book. I've written a few, but they are far from good! Definitely check them out. My friend wrote Lizzy, The Vampire Slayer and it's phenom, and I have a role in it. I'm Lala the vampire who loves Spike:)

  3. I agree to a point...I have to say I knew and know a lot of teenagers that aren't having sex right now, so it isn't a necessary thing to be in a book for the characters to have a romantic and believable relationship.

    Other than that, I agree. Love it when authors get realistic teenager banter correct.

  4. Laura, Great post! I too agree about these.

    I'm not sure if you've read her books before, but Simone Elkeles writes some amazing YA contemporary books. If you haven't read her books I highly recommend her Leaving Paradise and Perfect Chemistry series. (ETA: I see you've read Perfect Chemistry and the Leaving Paradise series. You should read her next PC book, Rules of Attraction if you haven't yet.)

  5. Jess, I have read Simone Elkeles! I loved Perfect Chemistry, haven't read Rules of Attraction, but I have it here. I've read Leaving Paradise and loved it, but Return to Paradise wasn't a fave.

    I've just finished Jane, the contemp retelling of Jane Eyre, and I loved it. I was a bit meh at first because it was so much like the original, but I was able to get past that and enjoy the witty banter. And this book had some great banter between Nico and Jane.

  6. Have you read Sarah Rees Brennan's books? Her teens have witty conversations, and they know about sex, and their parents aren't perfect wisdom fountains.

    I really like the family dynamics too, the loyalty but also the tension between siblings.


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