I’m probably most actively looking for something fairly light with a commercial voice, or a classic-feeling story. I love retellings, especially of familiar plotlines like THE PARENT TRAP, THE LITTLE PRINCESS, etc. Some MG books I’ve recently read and loved: THE WITCH’S BOY by Kelly Barnhill, RED BUTTERFLY by A.L. Sonnichsen, and A SNICKER IN MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd. I absolutely loved HOOK’S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz.
I’m mostly looking for contemporary stories, romances, and friendship stories. When I say romance, though, it would have to be in the vein of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven, which I think is brilliant. Offbeat, voicey, engaging, and well-written. YA is probably where my tastes are the most diverse. Some of my favorite authors: Nova Ren Suma, Sarah Dessen, John Corey Whaley, Lauren Oliver, Andrew Smith, and Barry Lyga. I also really like YA that rides the line of being adult. I love it when a YA novel is so sophisticated that I get to simultaneously shop it to adult editors.
In mysteries/thrillers I go for upmarket and literary, so something like GONE GIRL that a book club could read. For women’s fiction, I’m particularly fond of friendships, heartbreak, and novels set in the south. In literary fiction I tend to go for coming-of-age stories, like SWAMPLANDIA! or TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME.
I’m looking to build a strong list of author-illustrators and am especially eager to find graphic novelists. GNs for kids and teens are my soft spot.