Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day. For more info, click the photo!
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!
Today's Letter: D
Alexandre DumasI got to know the work of Alexandre Dumas (long dead French novelist and playwright) through my first experience watching The Count of Monte Cristo (the made-for-TV version staring Richard Chamberlain - still the best version IMO). I absolutely loved the historical settings, the action, adventure, and intrigue. I somehow missed consciously watching any of The Three Musketeers movies but could not miss Leonardo DiCaprio in The Man in the Iron Mask, which I also loved. I read The Count of Monte Cristo sometime during my school years, and was even more swept away than I was with the film. Later, I came across an audio version of The Three Musketeers, and next to the Harry Potter audiobooks, it is my favorite. Again, the action, adventure, intrigue, and in the case of T3M, humor, keep me coming back again and again to get lost in historical France with a bunch of rowdy rascals that are heroes at heart. If you've not read something by Alexandre Dumas, you are missing out!
I knew from the moment I heard of this challenge that Lois Duncan would be on my list. From an early reading age I have been a fan of mysteries and supernatural stories, and Duncan gave me a myriad of both. I was sucked into each and every book of hers I read. I was terrified and intrigued and on the edge of my seat to see how things turned out. And as a teen reader in the late 90's and early 2k years, I had no idea until I just looked up her entire list of works that most of the books I loved were written a good decade or two earlier than when I came across them (I also didn't realize how many of her books had been turned into movies). Some particular favorites of mine: Summer of Fear, I Know What You Did Last Summer (better than the movie), The Third Eye, and (my personal favorite and one that stuck with me) Locked In Time.
Sarah DessenI think this author is a kind of 'duh' for most YA readers who read contemporary YA. But as someone who doesn't usually seek out or enjoy contemporary YA novels, I have loved each and every one of Dessen's. Not only did I identify with them as a teenager, but even today the issues in each one, whether they are serious or light, are easy to relate to. The characters, also, I found were well rounded, each with their own problems and quirks (and you know how much we like quirks around here! ^_^) and the writing was also smooth and done in such a way as I felt drawn into the novel. The very first one I read was Dreamland, and oh my, did I get sucked into that downward spiral. It stuck with me a long time after reading it, so much so, that when I realized Sarah Dessen had written several other books, I jumped on the chance to read it again as well as many of the rest.
Part of why I shy away from contemporary YA that deals with serious issues is that the issue is generally the main focus of the story, and I get depressed enough on my own without having to wade through someone's (fictional) tragedy. But I feel that with Dessen, she weaves the tragedy, trouble, or issues, into the story instead of making it the story. I felt like I got to know the character and her entire world as well as whatever part of it was messed up or wrong. Maybe that's just me, but that is why I can return to Sarah Dessen again and again and again and again.