They always say, "Read in your genre," meaning whatever it is you're writing, then you'd better read copious amounts of that same kind of book, so you can be up on the hip-happening stuff that's current today.
I've been reading a lot of YA stuff, but I finally realized I've been off in sub-genre-land. I've been reading paranormal, dystopian, fantasy which all are now young adult sub-genres. I'm writing YA Contemporary. You know, real life stuff. No Vampires--sparkly or otherwise. No Werewolves who take off their shirts every other second--wait, that's the movie version (that's what I've heard anyway). Not even any Shapeshifters ala Kiersten White.
Hopefully, I haven't lost you, but there really were novels written before Twilight's Edward came on the scene. Stories about real (fake) people who live in real (fake) worlds. That's what I'm writing.
I went to the library to find those kinds of books and just stared at the shelves, stymied as to what to choose. I had printed a list, but none of the books on the list were there. It seemed like every one I picked up contained fantasy elements or over-the-top teen angst or other unmentionables that I have no interest in reading.
I did the only thing I could do...grabbed all the Janette Rallison's I could find that I don't already own and off I went.
If you have any other reading suggestions IN MY GENRE, please share. And hurry before gruesome creatures from the underworld start cropping up at Ideal High. [reference to my novel]
(And yes, I know Janette has those Fairy Godmother novels, but most of what she writes seems to be the real (fake) world stuff. And BTW, I'm really enjoying Just One Wish.)