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Monday, August 23, 2010

The One Where LDS Women Take Over the World

I'm still snickering over that title. I think it would make for an exciting new dystopian series. Can't you just see armies of Stepford-ish Mormon wives annihilating their enemies with green Jell-o and painstakingly-arranged centerpieces? All without mussing their layered T-shirts and cropped pants? Heh heh. I think I'm on to something here.

What I'm really talking about here is the crowd of LDS women writers who are dominating the YA scene, especially in the paranormal division. Authors like Stephenie Meyer, Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George are no strangers to the scene, but what about all those newbies generating major buzz in the blogosphere? I mean, seriously, they are making one big, old splash in the book world. Don't believe me? Check these sistas out:

Ally Condie - This lady, who cut her teeth on LDS fiction, has penned one of the most anticipated YA releases of the year. Matched is on everyone's Can't-Miss-It lists. I really enjoyed her middle grade book Freshman for President and cannot wait to read the highly-buzzed-about Matched (of which I have an ARC thanks to my wonderful contact at Dutton).

Bree Despain - The very fun Ms. Despain hit the literary world with The Dark Divine, the first of a trilogy featuring a boy with a dark secret and the preacher's kid who's helplessly in love with him. With the upcoming release (December 28th) of the next book in the series, The Lost Saint, she's got her fans salivating for more.

Becca Fitzpatrick - Fitzpatrick burst onto the scene with her New York Times bestselling novel Hush, Hush. With its sequel, Crescendo, appearing on bookshelves in October, she's another author who's just hot, hot, hot right now.
Lisa Mangum - Mangum's published two books in her paranormal series about a girl who falls very hard for the mysterious exchange student who shows up one day at her high school. Turns out, "mysterious" is an understatement - Dante's got some serious secret-keeping going on. Check out both The Hourglass Door and The Golden Spiral.

Aprilynne Pike - Pike made her debut with Wings, the story of a teenage girl who suddenly finds herself sprouting the title objects. Fans everywhere rejoiced when its sequel appeared in May. As one of those reviewers who was not all that impressed with the first book, I'm happy to hear reports that Spells is much, much better.

Christy Raedke - Although I had myself convinced that Christy was Mormon, it turns out she's only one by "osmosis" (her word), having hung out with lots of LDS kids when she was younger. She's Catholic, but I'm still giving her honorary LDS status. Check out her debut novel, Prophecy of Days: The Daykeeper's Grimoire.

Kiersten White - If you've been anywhere near the book blogosphere in the last few months, you've heard about Paranormalcy, White's debut novel about a girl who can see through the glamours of paranormal creatures. The book comes out on August 31 and everyone is clamoring to get it. Lucky for you, I happen to be giving away a copy. Check the contest out here.

On the less paranormal side, we have these ladies:

Lindsey Leavitt - Leavitt's debut, Princess for Hire, is a cute middle grade story about a girl who accepts a princess stand-in gig which leads to a bunch of hilarious adventures. The story's sweet, fun, and not finished; the sequel comes out in Spring 2011.

Angela Morrison - Angela's a local author who published her first book, Taken By Storm, a couple of years ago. She followed it up with Sing Me to Sleep, another YA novel that got great press from book bloggers. Those of us who adored TBS have been dying for its sequel, which Angela just self-published. It's available for download at Amazon now.

Janette Rallison - Janette really isn't a newcomer. In fact, she's one of the founding members of the LDS Women Take Over the World Society, since she's been publishing middle grade and YA books since the mid-90s. However, books like My Fair Godmother and My Double Life have made her a perennial MG/YA favorite. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the publication of My Unfair Godmother.

Emily Wing Smith - The very funny Emily Wing Smith debuted with The Way He Lived, a YA novel about a group of Mormon kids grappling with the unexpected death of another teenager. While I didn't love the subject matter of the book, the writing was excellent. I can't wait for her new novel, Back When You Were Easier to Love, which comes out next spring.

Becca Wilhite - Becca hasn't gotten nearly the attention she deserves for her sweet romances Bright Blue Miracle and My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions. They're fun, clean, and upbeat. Definitely check her out.

Carol Lynch Williams - The Chosen One, Williams' award-winning novel about a young girl's escape from a polygamous sect, gained a lot of attention for this author. I didn't like her latest, Glimpse as well, but it's still a powerful book. Williams is one writer that I'm definitely keeping an eye on.

Among up-and-comers, whose YA novels will be published soon, is this lady, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in April at LDS Storymakers:

Elana Johnson - Johnson, a blogger extraordinaire and author of From Query to the Call, makes her YA debut next summer with Possessions. Can't wait!

I'm sure I'm missing some. Am I? Who?

See what I mean, though? LDS Women are ruling the YA world. I'm loving this trend. I've long suspected it, but now I know: those Mormon gals really can do it all. Rock (write?) on, ladies!


  1. Let's not forget the LDS men, either-- Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Orson Scott Card, David Wolverton/Farland and more are household names around the world.

    I just hope there's room in the club for a few more.... :D

  2. A good friend of mine from my ward in Phoenix who has ended up in SLC published a middle grade book called "Palace Beautiful" earlier this year that I think you should check out. Her name is Sarah Deford Williams.

  3. I can't think of any you missed, but I didn't know about at least one of these! How exciting! Way to go you LDS ladies.

  4. I love my honorary status!

    Thanks for including me :)

  5. Mette Ivie Harrison, The Princess and the Snowbird, the Princess and the Hound, and Princess and the Bear.

  6. I LOVE you blog so....You have received the Lovely Book Blog Award from me Jessica at Book Loving Mommy. Go to my blog to copy the picture and reward others!

  7. Marilyn Bunderson's The Mark is fabulous too!!

  8. See my article:

    Julie Berry. Her debut novel, the fairy-tale The Amaranth Enchantment, was published to a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, and this from Kirkus Reviews: “A lively, quick, stylish, engaging first novel with some lovely, familiar fairy-tale elements . . . will enthral young readers—who probably won’t care that some of the magic is a little wobbly.”

    Ann Dee Ellis. Her Everything is Fine, like her previous novel, is told in an elliptical, impressionistic way (often in free verse), from the perspective of a young person who only gradually informs the reader of the tragedy which dominates her life.

    Dene Low (a pseudonym for Lara Card). Wrote Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival, a short, frothy first novel for middle readers. Set in Edwardian London, Petronella’s coming-out party is ruined by insects and a kidnapping.


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