Post by Laura Li. Li is a West Carleton High School student and member of the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library Teen Advisory Group. She has also blogged on the Ottawa Public Library website as Teen Blogger in Residence.
In a world where high school means straining deadlines, burdening tests, and the daunting urge to stuff a pillow in our bags in the case of a need for an emergency nap, it can often be overwhelming for a teenager to carry the weight of their problems on their own. Thankfully, this exact same world offers an escape to another universe – one where anything can be possible with the flick of a pen. Literature can give teens a break from any kinds of sensibility, which may be the reason why Y.A. novels are so popular.
Take First and Then by Emma Mills, for example.
First and Then follows Devon, a senior in high school wandering her last adolescent year in a haze of love and euphoria, all while taking detours from the road leading to future-defining decisions. Sometimes, however, being ordinary – which Devon has no problem with – is far from the norm of reality, when her her “stray” cousin, Foster, is taken under the wings of her family, whisking her orderly life far away with his eccentricity. Her efforts guiding Foster through hallways and classrooms runs her into the brooding, widely-hated football star, Ezra Lynley, forcing her into a love-hate relationship which frankly, she doesn’t quite understand either.
The uniqueness to Devon’s character comes from her reasonably plain charm. Devon isn’t remarkably gorgeous, nor does she have sky-high grades. Her personal life is often refined with a touch of her wishes and reams. Her future is dangerously close, and yet, still as fuzzy as they were five years ago. In other words, Devon is the embodiment of us, more or less. Her relatable persona as well as the accuracy of her struggles stuck in between childhood and adulthood creates a light-hearted read, which, to say, forms the perfect getaway from the school hardships.
Now is your chance to meet the minds of the people who built those favourite getaways of yours. This year, the Ottawa Public Library is proud to host the seventh Annual Teen Author Fest on Saturday, October 29th. The Teen Author Fest holds a variety of workshops and panels hosted by authors of your favourite books. This year, many, including Shane Peacock (The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim), Victoria Schwab (The Savage Song), Caroline Pignat (Shooter), and Emma Mills herself (First and Then and This Adventure Ends), will be joining readers at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library (120 Metcalfe Street) in an event guaranteed to satisfy any bookworm.
Reading and writing is the perfect way to take a hiatus from life as we know it and explore the boundaries of imagination.
The Teen Author Fest is a great event that can help enlighten those in dire need of an adventure and provide the tools needed to create their own. Join us for author talks, panels, writing workshops, book sales, prizes, and more! Have any more questions? Visit the library’s website to find out more information on the Teen Author Fest and when your favourite author will be on stage.