We all know that being a teenager sucks, but it's even less easy in a Young Adult novel, where everyone's always trying to kill you, your love interest is at risk just talking to you, and sometimes the fate of the world rests on your shoulders. Observe, for example, the premises for the five novels by the five young female YA authors on the "Breathless Reads" tour.
They are (deep breath): Fiona Paul with Venom, about a wealthy young woman in Renaissance Venice caught in a love triangle and a deadly world of murder; North Carolina's Beth Revis with Shades of Earth, the conclusion to her trilogy about a young girl trapped on a generation starship; Elizabeth Richards with Black City, about a human and "Darkling" who enter into a forbidden romance; Jessica Spotswood with Born Wicked, about a teen forced to hide her witchy nature while entering into a forbidden romance; and Morgan Rhodes with Falling Kingdoms, about four young people from three warring kingdoms whose lives are unexpectedly bound together in the conflict.
Bring it on home with me now: Ain't that a bitch? When I was in high school, my biggest worry was getting to the library during lunch and overcoming my stress nightmares about math. Dare to confront these writers on the misery they inflict upon their hapless protagonists, or just get a book signed, at 7 p.m. —Zack Smith