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YA books and pursuit of excellence

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For an article I'm writing, I'm looking for literary YA contemporary novels which revolve around characters whose lives involve a serious pursuit of excellence. An example is Gayle Forman's Where She Went -- both the male and female leads are deeply committed to their art.
#1 - September 01, 2014, 06:55 AM
In Real Life, Tuttle Publishing, Fall 2014

POINTE by Brandy Colbert--ballet
#2 - September 01, 2014, 07:06 AM
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
@amandacoppedge on Twitter

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Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Audition by Stacia Ward Kehoe

*Also, unrelated by I read an ARC of IN REAL LIFE for VOYA...loved it! I was wary since I am not a video game person, but it was so much more! Great voice and unique idea for YA! Congrats!
#3 - September 01, 2014, 11:45 AM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now

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In EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour, the mc is a driven production designer in Hollywood.
#4 - September 01, 2014, 02:17 PM
NERVE  ~Truth or Dare, without the Truth~ Dial, Fall 2012
CHARISMA ~Gene Therapy Gone Bad~ Dial, Winter 2015

BETTER THAN PERFECT by Melissa Kantor -- just finished the ARC, it comes out in February.
#5 - September 01, 2014, 02:27 PM

Thanks for the great suggestions -- and for the read and kind words Deena! I'm going to see if Better Than Perfect is available via NetGalley.

#6 - September 01, 2014, 07:46 PM
In Real Life, Tuttle Publishing, Fall 2014

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GOOD ENOUGH, by Paula Yoon
I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, by Stephanie Kuehnert

Those are all music, except FB, which is photography.
#7 - September 04, 2014, 04:34 PM
Jennifer R. Hubbard

Loner in the Garret: A Writer's Companion
Until It Hurts to Stop
Try Not to Breathe
The Secret Year

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Do you need just newer books? Some older ones include Brock Cole's CELINE (visual art) and Virginia Euwer Wolff's THE MOZART SEASON (violin).

We're all focused on art, but what about excellence in sports or science or . . . (not that any titles come to me off the top of my head---maybe Chris Crutcher novels or Carl Deuker or Rich Wallace?).
#8 - September 04, 2014, 05:41 PM


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