Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cammie McGovern

Cammie McGovern was born in Evanston, Illinois, but moved to Los Angeles when she was seven years old. She is the author of three adult novels, The Art of Seeing, Eye Contact, and Neighborhood Watch.

Her new YA novel, Say What You Will, was published by HarperTeen in June, 2014. McGovern currently lives in Amherst, MA, with her husband and three sons, the oldest of whom is autistic.

Last month I asked the author about what she was reading. McGovern's reply:
Because I was an adult author before making a recent conversation to YA with Say What You Will, I’m particularly drawn to books targeted for YA that will also appeal to adults and vice versa (adult books that will appeal to teens.) In the latter camp, I have two books I’m re-reading because I loved them so much and they should absolutely have a wider teen audience, I think.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. This has all the terrifying thrill of a new dystopian grounded in the world of 13 year old, Julia, who wakes up one morning to a television news broadcast announcing that the earth has begun to slow its rotation. Daylight hours are thrown into flux as is time entirely. It’s a beautiful character study about family and friendships and what endures as these people face-down the unknown. It’s my 14 year-old son’s favorite (of my recommendations) and the only one he’s passed along to his friends who also loved it.

Land of the Blind by Jess Walter. For all of his new legion of fans after Beautiful Ruins, this is the second book he wrote, back in his mystery-writing days, and it has a glorious set-up: A man shows up at a police station, confesses to a murder, but won’t tell the poor over-worked, burned out female detective who he murdered and where the body is. He’s got to write it all down, he says. On legal pads. His story goes back to elementary school and high school and is some of the funniest, best, most haunting writing about the hierarchical class system of high school that I have ever read, bar none.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. by Gabreille Zevin I suspect every writer this spring is including this one on their list because it’s such a pleasure of a read for readers, writers, bookstore habitues. What surprised me in reading it was first, how funny and sweet and light it was, and then by the end, how sad and haunting it is. Absolutely worth the read for all bibliophiles, young and old.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I’m re-reading this right now because I’m working on something where a group of teens are putting on a play and I wanted to figure out how they got the excitement of a theater production onto page (hard to do) but, reading it on page (I listened to it the first time) I’m even more impressed with it. So much is done so very well here—the friendship between a straight 17 year old and his gay best friend (how often have we seen this? Not often and yes, folks, it happens all the time in life), the funny/sad voice of another teen who’s been brutally betrayed by a so-called friend. I’d put this one way above some of Green’s other books that are sitting on the bestseller lists right now…
Visit Cammie McGovern's website.

--Marshal Zeringue