Official Tumblr of YA author Courtney Summers
FOLLOW ON TWITTER | LIKE ON FB | FOLLOW ON IG

Anonymous asked:
I was in Jr. High when I first read Cracked Up To Be and I loved it so much that I shared it with all my friends. And I got into an argument with one of them, because they said they didn't enjoy it because they thought Parker was a bad person and I kept on trying to explain that that was the point. And that this book isn't about good people or good circumstances, it's about Parker and who she is. And what you can learn from her. And I just really lived the book. Thank you for it.

Wow!  Thank you so much.  Thanks for reading it, for loving it, for sharing it and defending Parker.  It means a lot.  However anyone wants to feel about my books is totally up to them, but it thrills me that you “got” Parker and felt that strongly about her story.  I always hope that happens when people read my books but it’s not something I can control, so—thanks for letting me know you were one of those readers and thanks for being one of those readers.  :)

I was thinking about this earlier today and just feel like sharing so hope I'm not a bother! I've read a hundreds of books in my 20 years of life and Some Girls Are is still the absolute best and my absolute favorite. Thank you so much. Your books have gotten me through the hardest times of my life. You are an inspiration and I hope you have a lovely day. Thanks for being someone worthwhile to admire, Courtney Summers!

It’s never a bother!  :) Sometimes I’m slower than I’d like to be to reply to my asks but I always appreciate anyone who takes the time to reach out and this is absolutely no exception.  Thank you for reading.  It means so much to know my books could have helped you during the hard times.  Thank you for letting me know and for your very kind words.  :)

Is there going to be a second book to "This is Not a Test" ? I seriously love your books, thanks so much for the amazing reads :)

While I have no immediate plans for a sequel to THIS IS NOT A TEST, I never say never.  I do love zombies!  Thank you so much for reading my books.  I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them.  :)

Anonymous asked:
Do you pronounce Parkers last name as Fade-lee or fad-lee?

I pronounce it Fad-lee.  :)

this is not a test is one of my favourite books ♥ great plot, character development is 100%, good pace, damn i love it :D

Thank you so much!  I’m so glad you count it among your favourite books and I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me.  :)  Thank you for reading!

Cracked up to be is my all time favorite book and i read it all the time. Thank you so much for writing it.

Thank you so much for reading it!  That means a lot to me.  I’m so glad it’s one of your favourites.  :)

SERIOUSLY THOUGH LANA DEL REY’S ‘WEST COAST’

Brothers + Baby + landscapes

DAMN these are some beautiful screencaps.

bluesargently:

ya meme  » 10 books/series

this is not a test 

"The thing no one tells you about surviving, about the mere act of holding out, is how many hours are nothing because nothing happens. They also don’t tell you about how you can share your deepest secrets with someone, kiss them, and the next hour it’s like there’s nothing between you because not everything can mean something all the time or you’d be crushed under the weight of it."

This is beautiful!

I Am Not My Coming-Out Story: Deeper Representation in YA Lit

catagator:

nitatyndall:

There’s been a lot of discussion these days about YA—about girls in YA and about diversity in YA made by people who are far more eloquent and well-spoken and informed than I am, at least on those topics. But I wanted to throw my two cents in, because I’m tired of sitting back and watching these discussions and reblogging and never saying anything. So this is me trying to articulate the jumble of thoughts in my head in a hopefully relevant way.

I first started getting into YA when I was 13. Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak is the first YA book I can really remember reading, and the first book that made me go “Holy cow YA is amazing hey maybe I could write that.” So after a few failed novel attempts I sat down and wrote my first YA novel (which five years later I’m still working on, so there’s that, but I digress). This was also the age where I thought I was “better” than other girls because I read and I was smart and wore black and not pink and I didn’t read things like Twilight, but that’s for another time, too.

13 was also when I first began to realize I was gay, so being the bookworm I was, I wanted to turn to literature. At an age where I didn’t have a car, I had to rely on my mom to drive me to Barnes and Noble so I could buy books. My mom, being the wonderfully overprotective woman she was, liked to approve my book choices before I checked them out. 

Well, one night I tried to sneak Julie Anne Peters’ Keeping You a Secret past her, and she read the back and asked “Is this a gay book?” and that lead to a really long, uncomfortable discussion about my supposed sexuality in which I was too young to know what I was talking about so I got shut down. And I hurriedly scrabbled back into the closet and tried to forget that I was gay, which worked until high school when I developed a massive crush on my best friend (who luckily was brave enough to admit she liked me back and now here we are three years later).

During my heavily closeted, “there is no way in hell I can be gay” time, I would sneak to the local library or get a parent to drop me off for homework and I would browse the YA section hoping for something, some sort of a sign that yes, this was okay, being gay was a thing that was okay. 

Guys, it was hard for me to find. I could say it’s because I wasn’t looking hard enough, I could say it’s because I live in North Carolina and back in 2007 YA lit hadn’t boomed to the size it was and GOD FORBID we stock something with a gay character, and those were indeed factors in it, but the fact of the matter was I couldn’t find a lot of queer YA because there wasn’t any, save for Geography Club which I read in a hurried afternoon, and Keeping You a Secret which unfortunately I never got my hands on. My library’s pickings were slim. Anything I could find about gay teens was usually about attractive white gay boys or about the angst of coming out of the closet and the (usually horrible) repercussions. There simply wasn’t “happy” YA where I could read about two girls who were gay or who fell in love and everything went well for them. It got to the point where I was tired of reading YA literature, and anytime I saw an LGBT YA book I scoffed or refused to pick it up, because I was sick of books that revolved around a character’s “coming out” as the sole plot of the book. 

Thankfully, the landscape of YA is slowly changing. Is it as good as it should be? Absolutely not, particularly with representation of characters of different races or different sexualities, but again as I linked to in the beginning of this post, far more eloquent people have written about that than I have. Are a lot of LGBT YA books still centered around coming out? Yes, but you know what? To a thirteen year old kid, to little thirteen-year-old Nita, those books are necessary. 

However, they cannot be the only literature we see. We cannot settle for the bare minimum, the bare story, being reduced to one experience or to a stereotype or to a stock character in the background. As YA readers (and YA writers), everyone deserves to see an accurate, thoughtful representation of themself in literature that isn’t reduced to a singular narrative, a singular experience. I am not just my coming-out story, POC are not just your white MC’s “exotic” best friend/love interest. We are people with far, far more facets than just one aspect of ourselves, and we deserve to see that in YA literature. We’re inching towards that landscape, but not fast enough. I hope we get there soon, for our sake and for those teenagers who deserve to know that they are not a stock character, a background piece to fill a diversity quota, they are not their coming out story.

They’re so much more than that. And they deserve to see it in literature.

^ Why we keep talking about this. 

So internet trolls are one thing and you/catagator/aprihop are so eloquent and good at responding to them. Do you have any thoughts about responding to people who say these things about YA to you, like, to your face? (I've had classmates and officemates say things to me about "vapid girls" and about how all literature has depth and meaning "except for I guess YA" and I mostly am speechless, because how can you say that to a real person in real life?? Yet here we are.)

courtney summers
summerscourtney answered:

This is a great question and I would love if other people weighed in with their advice because I am not always certain on how to approach this either, mostly because it can be REALLY difficult when someone throws their lack of intelligence right in your face, in person.  It’s just like you said—the speechlessness!  You spend so long thinking, “Really? Did you just say that?” that sometimes the moment has passed by the time you’re ready for a response.

I think people who say this kind of bullshit (because that is exactly what it is) aren’t looking to be swayed from their opinion.  At least, they rarely are.  They just want to hear their own.  Because people who are interested in thoughtful discourse and opening their minds don’t BEGIN their thoughts with statements like, JUST FOR A RANDOM EXAMPLE, “where are the real stories, you know the ones about boys and by them” or utter the words “vapid girls” when talking about YA. 

Which then puts you in the position of—is there a point in saying anything at all? 

I think it’s always okay to point out when someone is being a jerk or hateful or rude or when they’re wrong, especially if how they are wrong is damaging and hurtful.  If they are being aggressive about it though, and you think the discussion would devolve into something really unpleasant or unsafe, you do not have to engage. 

Your approach (or non-approach) is going to depend a lot on theirs. 

Some suggestions:

1) asking them to repeat themselves.  “What did you say?”  Make them say the stupid thing twice!  Maybe they will actually hear how dumb it sounds the second time?  (This is more often than not wishful thinking but sometimes it works!)

2) You can ask them why they feel that way, but prepare for the possibility of getting an even more ridiculous response in return. As in, “Because YA is about vapid girls, OF COURSE!” with no further elaboration. 

2 a) In which case you can just say, “Oh,” and physically remove yourself from the conversation, which is basically a declaration that their opinion is not even worth the time to pursue.  I think if you are dealing with someone who doesn’t want to hear other viewpoints/is interested in discussion—and you’ll know that when you see it—then there is no point in continuing the discussion.  Put your energy where you CAN reach people and make a difference.

3) If you feel there is still hope—and this is a possibility too—ask them if they have read YA.  This is where they will usually give themselves away.  They either haven’t or they think YA is The Cat in the Hat.  This is where you get to tell them they haven’t read YA and they don’t know what they’re talking about!  State it like it’s a simple fact because it is.  Not meanly… it’s just a fact.

How they respond to that will, again, determine your response.

if they are genuinely interested in understanding why their logic is flawed, you might want to share some YA books they could read, classics that would be categorized as YA today, and why YA deserves more credit.  This would be the best outcome!

If they come back insistent on their dumbness—that YA can’t be deep, that girls stories are vapid etc etc—just repeat yourself:  “You don’t know what YA is. When you know what you’re talking about, I’m happy to have this conversation!”  Maybe this person will think about it and try to educate themselves.  Because THERE ARE TONS OF RESOURCES OUT THERE for them to not be so misinformed about this.  They have less excuse to be stupid than you have an obligation to educate them.  Maybe they won’t educate themselves.  The thing is, you’ve given them enough that they COULD expand their own line of thinking—if they want to. 

Which does not make the whole experience any less frustrating, I know.


catagator:

I think what Courtney says is perfect, and I’m going to add this: most of the time when you turn the question back around to the asker, the fire shifts. The questions and accusations they say to you like that are signs of their own ignorance and, often, insecurity and envy for your ability to take a stand and hold on to it. When you shift the why back to them — why they asked that, why they believe that — you force them to examine their ideas which are clearly not as well-thought out or articulated as your own.

If you believe in something passionately, it comes through. You don’t owe people more if they aren’t willing to listen to you, and questions or comments like those posed here are not a sign of someone wanting to listen to you. They’re sign of someone wanting to hear themselves and that’s it. 

In the library, I’ve had people say dumb or mean things to my face. I’ve had people say YA is dumb or full of dumb girls and love triangles and vampires and (fill in the blank with a gross statement perpetuated by terrible media). If those people indicate they want to listen, I tell them they’d be surprised and I share with them what they can find if they want to discover it. 

In the instances where it’s clear they’re there to tell you their opinion and that’s it, I just tell them thanks for sharing. When you kill the conversation like that, they have no reason to come back. 

As long as you can return the power to yourself, either by putting the questions back on them or shutting down the talk all together, you become more solid, more secure, and more empowered with and by your own beliefs. 

So internet trolls are one thing and you/catagator/aprihop are so eloquent and good at responding to them. Do you have any thoughts about responding to people who say these things about YA to you, like, to your face? (I've had classmates and officemates say things to me about "vapid girls" and about how all literature has depth and meaning "except for I guess YA" and I mostly am speechless, because how can you say that to a real person in real life?? Yet here we are.)

This is a great question and I would love if other people weighed in with their advice because I am not always certain on how to approach this either, mostly because it can be REALLY difficult when someone throws their lack of intelligence right in your face, in person.  It’s just like you said—the speechlessness!  You spend so long thinking, “Really? Did you just say that?” that sometimes the moment has passed by the time you’re ready for a response.

I think people who say this kind of bullshit (because that is exactly what it is) aren’t looking to be swayed from their opinion.  At least, they rarely are.  They just want to hear their own.  Because people who are interested in thoughtful discourse and opening their minds don’t BEGIN their thoughts with statements like, JUST FOR A RANDOM EXAMPLE, “where are the real stories, you know the ones about boys and by them” or utter the words “vapid girls” when talking about YA. 

Which then puts you in the position of—is there a point in saying anything at all? 

I think it’s always okay to point out when someone is being a jerk or hateful or rude or when they’re wrong, especially if how they are wrong is damaging and hurtful.  If they are being aggressive about it though, and you think the discussion would devolve into something really unpleasant or unsafe, you do not have to engage. 

Your approach (or non-approach) is going to depend a lot on theirs. 

Some suggestions:

1) asking them to repeat themselves.  “What did you say?”  Make them say the stupid thing twice!  Maybe they will actually hear how dumb it sounds the second time?  (This is more often than not wishful thinking but sometimes it works!)

2) You can ask them why they feel that way, but prepare for the possibility of getting an even more ridiculous response in return. As in, “Because YA is about vapid girls, OF COURSE!” with no further elaboration. 

2 a) In which case you can just say, “Oh,” and physically remove yourself from the conversation, which is basically a declaration that their opinion is not even worth the time to pursue.  I think if you are dealing with someone who doesn’t want to hear other viewpoints/is interested in discussion—and you’ll know that when you see it—then there is no point in continuing the discussion.  Put your energy where you CAN reach people and make a difference.

3) If you feel there is still hope—and this is a possibility too—ask them if they have read YA.  This is where they will usually give themselves away.  They either haven’t or they think YA is The Cat in the Hat.  This is where you get to tell them they haven’t read YA and they don’t know what they’re talking about!  State it like it’s a simple fact because it is.  Not meanly… it’s just a fact.

How they respond to that will, again, determine your response.

if they are genuinely interested in understanding why their logic is flawed, you might want to share some YA books they could read, classics that would be categorized as YA today, and why YA deserves more credit.  This would be the best outcome!

If they come back insistent on their dumbness—that YA can’t be deep, that girls stories are vapid etc etc—just repeat yourself:  “You don’t know what YA is. When you know what you’re talking about, I’m happy to have this conversation!”  Maybe this person will think about it and try to educate themselves.  Because THERE ARE TONS OF RESOURCES OUT THERE for them to not be so misinformed about this.  They have less excuse to be stupid than you have an obligation to educate them.  Maybe they won’t educate themselves.  The thing is, you’ve given them enough that they COULD expand their own line of thinking—if they want to. 

Which does not make the whole experience any less frustrating, I know.

amyspalding:

catagator:

Oh, you know.
Rookie Magazine linked up to my interview with Laurie Halse Anderson this week.
Right along with a piece on Joan Jett and Lorde and a whole lot more and this is SO cool.

Congrats to Kelly, who has been doing amazing things for YA lit and feminism for awhile AND IS GETTING NOTICED. I am really thrilled. When good people do good work, they should get recognition.

^ THIS x a million.  Yay, Kelly!!!!

amyspalding:

catagator:

Oh, you know.

Rookie Magazine linked up to my interview with Laurie Halse Anderson this week.

Right along with a piece on Joan Jett and Lorde and a whole lot more and this is SO cool.

Congrats to Kelly, who has been doing amazing things for YA lit and feminism for awhile AND IS GETTING NOTICED. I am really thrilled. When good people do good work, they should get recognition.

^ THIS x a million.  Yay, Kelly!!!!