These Words Matter: Rachael Allen

These Words Matter: Rachael Allen

I can’t remember which book made me fall in love with reading. I do, however, know exactly which book made me fall in love with YA: The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

These Words Matter: Rachael Allen

Okay, so maybe I couldn’t relate to being the princess of a small European country (I wish!), but I still felt like I’d found a kindred spirit in Mia. I loved that she could be self-conscious and brave at the same time, that she was funny as all hell, that she wasn’t perfect. Sometimes she screwed up and wasn’t a good friend, but she and Lily worked things out anyway. It was so important to me to read that one disagreement wasn’t a friendship death sentence.

This is the book that got me hooked on YA. I wanted to read it. I wanted to write it.

What I really wanted was to fill a big, giant safe with it and swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck. I read this book and I said, “Yes. Yes, I have found my tribe.”

Would I still be a YA writer if I hadn’t read The Princess Diaries? Maybe, but maybe not. Meg Cabot’s books had a profound impact on the course of my life.

I think it’s important to tell people that, because sometimes people think the only words that matter are the gritty, literary*, issue-y ones. However, I’m here to tell you that stories about girls on summer road trips, falling in love at boarding schools in Paris, and sharing a pair of jeans that magically happen to fit all of them are just as important.

These words matter too. They change lives every day, and I think they deserve a lot more credit and respect.

* Note: I don’t mean for it to sound like the books I’ve mentioned here aren’t literary. I’m going for the more narrow (and dare I say snooty?) definition of literary, rather than my personal definition.

Rachael Allen

Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, two children, and two sled dogs. In addition to being a YA writer, she’s also a rabid Falcons fan, an expert dare list maker, and a hugger. Rachael is the author of The Revenge Playbook (HarperTeen, June 2015) and 17 First Kisses (HarperTeen, 2014).

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