Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 Wish I'd Written by Elana Johnson

I have read many a book that I wish I had written. Whether it be because of the amazing way an author has with words (Ally Condie’s MATCHED), or a particular character I love (Rae Carson’s GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS), or because a concept is so far outside my realm of thinking (LANDRY PARK by Bethany Hagen).

I just love books. I love to read, and I love to imagine myself someone who can someday write something that another person will fall in love with.

I’m going to go old school, and choose Scott Westerfeld’s UGLIES as my feature title for what I wish I’d written. Besides The Giver, UGLIES was the first dystopian novel I read – and I remember feeling such a sense of wonder about it. He’s created a new world! A world I don’t think I’d like to live in. A world where Tally can explore and find out what she believes too—where I can too.

And I was hooked into dystopian. I’ve read just about everything in the genre since then, but I always come back to UGLIES – it’s one of the few series where I’ve read every book – as the type that all other dystopians must measure up to.

I love the dystopian genre still today. I think it such a great genre to question ourselves in a very safe way, as the characters on the page question themselves in a not-so-safe way. That is also why I love reading and writing YA fiction in general, in all it’s genres.  


by Elana Johnson

 The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

 Praise for ELEVATED:

"ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

"Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go


Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for free download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

Social Media Links:


  1. I liked Uglies too, but my son warned me away from the rest of the series, then proceeded to tell me what happened. Oops. I LOVE dystopian stories.

  2. My daughter and her friends loved Uglies. I need to read it. And I love dystopian books too. Congrats on your new book! So excited for you.

  3. Elevated looks terrific. Congratulations. I'm not much of a dystopian fan, so will probably skip Uglies, although the concept is interesting.

  4. Congrats, Elana!!! I really enjoyed UGLIES--and I read PRETTIES too. Great concept. Agree with you on MATCHED and GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS too! :)

  5. Okay, it's definitely time for me to read UGLIES. I was hooked on the Matched trilogy. Congrats on Elevated.


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)