6 Sept 2016

We Can(ada) Read: Adriyanna from Life Writings of a Reader discussing Courtney Summers!

We Can(ada) Read is by Canadianfor EVERYONE to learn more about some amazing Canadian authors! We have 16 Canadian bloggers highlighting 16 Canadian authors plus you can hear about what it's like to live in Canada and write CanLit from 8 Canadian authors, most of which are 2016 debuts! For a full schedule of events during We Can(ada) Read, please click HERE!

Adriyanna Zimmermann is a student at the University of Toronto, completing a Bachelor of Arts (double major in English & Art History). Adriyanna loves all things bookish, art and DIY. She loves reading fantasy and science fiction – alternate worlds are an obsession of hers! Some favourite authors: Sarah J. Maas, Courtney Summers, V.E. Schwab, Ellen Oh, Susan Dennard and the list goes on…

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In high school there weren’t a lot of ways for me to find good Canadian fiction. Now, if I’m looking for a specific book I can just go on Twitter or Goodreads and I’ll get an answer immediately, which I’m so thankful for. The fact that I’ll never run out of things to read is amazing. When I was a teen, I could however always count on the Forest of Reading program. This initiative run by the Ontario Library Association (OLA) promotes Canadian books and publishers, and aims to encourage literacy from kindergarten to high school and even adults. If you’re looking for something good to read, the selection ranges from contemporary to fantasy - there’s always a variety of titles to choose from. It was through this program that I discovered Courtney Summers.

Four of her books have been OLA White Pine nominees: CRACKED UP TO BE, SOME GIRLS ARE, THIS IS NOT A TEST, and ALL THE RAGE. CRACKED UP TO BE was my first read, but it’s SOME GIRLS ARE that I most vividly remember from high school. Summers is a compelling writer, particularly for her unlikable, female protagonists. The things she writes about are also significant - rape culture is so often that taboo subject, especially in high school. SOME GIRLS ARE wasn’t the only book I read as a teen that touched upon victim shaming and sexual violence, but there’s something about Summers books that stand out from the rest - it’s the author who stands out. When I’m thinking about important Canadian YA, I think Courtney Summers. I consider this author to be a rising star of Canadian YA, for providing a voice and continually being a part of Canadian libraries and classrooms. 

Not only that, but Summers is not afraid of making the reader uncomfortable, which seems unusual because more often than not you want the reader to like your book, to hopefully give it a good rating or review, and to buy future books. There were times, when reading ALL THE RAGE, that I was completely shocked. Summers books are so realistic, so brutally honest, that you can’t walk away and not be impacted in some way.

If you’ve never read this author’s books and are wondering where to start, it really depends on your reading history. Not familiar with books like SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, or books that talk about rape culture and victim shaming? CRACKED UP TO BE and SOME GIRLS ARE are good warm-up books. Summers has mentioned online that each book helped prepare her for writing the next one and I feel that also applies to the reading order. If you have read books like SPEAK, then I definitely recommend ALL THE RAGE. It’s the author’s most recent book and my favourite Courtney Summers book to date. It has impacted me so much, is so hard-hitting that I try to recommend it every chance I get.
Courtney Sumemrs was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. To date, she has authored five novels. Her first novel, Cracked Up to Be, was published when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published three more books–2011 YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick and White Pine Honour book, Some Girls Are, 2012 YALSA Quick Pick, Fall for Anything, and 2013 YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick and White Pine Honour book This is Not a Test. Her next projects are an e-novella, Please Remain Calm (a sequel to This is Not a Test) and a new novel, All the Rage, both out in 2015.  

When Courtney is not writing, she enjoys playing video games, watching horror movies, Supernatural and planning for the impending zombie apocalypse. Her favorite color is green.

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  1. My favourite Canadian author has always been Kenneth Opel, ever since I picked up Airborne like 10 years ago! Loving the chance to get to know more Canadian authors and bloggers. Thanks :)

  2. Courtney Summers! Love her books


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