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A List, A Link, A Winner

Thanks to everyone who emailed me with their favorite "strong setting" young adult novels.  If you're looking for a great read that can draw you in with its sense of place, check out the list below. 

I'd also like to thank David Macinnis Gill, author of one of my favorite books SOUL ENCHILADA, for providing the link to Mary E. Pearson's (ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, THE MILES BETWEEN) beautiful essay on setting -- the "sexy unsung hero" in fiction.  Thanks again, David.  And here's the link to Pearson's post on the TOR.com :

The winner of the Sweetheart Swag is the uber librarian Amy G.  She also pointed out, and I wholly agree, that setting can "be enhanced by our own experience."  

Thanks, y'all!  And thanks to the librarian who recommended THE SWEETHEART OF PROSPER COUNTY as well.  Here's your list (in no particular order) of young adult novels, strong on setting:

David Macinnis Gill               SOUL ENCHILADA
Suzanne Collins                    HUNGER GAMES
Carrie Ryan                            THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH
Maggie Stiefvater                   SHIVER
Catherine Murdock                DAIRY QUEEN
John Green                             PAPER TOWNS, LOOKING FOR ALASKA
Kathi Appelt                            THE UNDERNEATH
S.A. Bodeen                            THE COMPOUND
J.K. Rowling                            HARRY POTTER Series
Andrew Smith                         IN THE PATH OF FALLING OBJECTS, GHOST MEDICINE
Karen Hesse                          OUT OF THE DUST
Cynthia Voigt                           HOMECOMING
Mary E. Pearson                     ADORATION OF JENNA FOX
S.E. Hinton                              THE OUTSIDERS
Sarah Dessen                        LOCK AND KEY
Libba Bray                               A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY
Allison Whittenberg               SWEET THANG
Rachel Cohn, David Levithan     NICK AND NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST
David Levithan                        LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW
James Dashner                     THE MAZE RUNNER
Natalie Standiford                  HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT
Melissa Wyatt                          FUNNY HOW THINGS CHANGE
Gary Paulsen                          HATCHETT
Joan Bauer                              HOPE WAS HERE
Chuck Klosterman                 DOWNTOWN OWL
Martha Brooks                        MISTIK LAKE
Jessica Blank                       ALMOST HOME
Melina Marchetta                   JELLICOE ROAD
Neil Schusterman                 DOWNSIDERS
Paul Sizer                                BEATS PER MINUTE  (a graphic novel)

The following suggestions are soon-to-be-released YA novels:

Alexandra Bracken              BRIGHTLY WOVEN
Kristina Springer                 ESPRESSOLOGIST
John Green and David Levithan  WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON
Cynthia Chapman Willis    BUCK FEVER



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