Here's the thing. Verse novels are different. I get that. But for some teens, they are the perfect kind of different. As I said in my response on that post, I get at least a few e-mails a week from teens who specifically write to me and tell me they usually hate to read, but they love my books.
Here are just a couple of examples of notes I've gotten:
"I am 14 years old. I found the book called I heart you, you haunt me in my school library and I decided to read it. I do not like to read at all. So my teacher forced me to read so I opened the book up and I started to read. WOW. I actually read. This book was so good I could not stop reading."
"Hi I'm Ashley, I love your book I heart you You haunt me.. I read it in only 1 day yes 1 day.. now I really lookin foward to reading Far From You. I think its gonna be another really good book. I hate reading but ever since I started reading your books it makes me want to read more."
I don't post these to pat myself on the back. I post these to say - thank goodness I don't write for the editors of Booklist. I write for teens who want or need a little something different to read.
Different. I'm so glad there are artists before me who weren't afraid to be different. Who didn't let the critical adults of the world silence them.
On January 8th, 2008, three years ago from today, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME was released into the world. Yes, it's different. And it is certainly not the best book ever written. Far from it. I read it now and see all of its faults. But it has touched many teens, and some adults too, and has been a doorway into reading for some teens. And amazingly, it is still on bookstore shelves and continues to sell.
So today, I say - Dare to be different!
And Happy Birthday little book of mine!