Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Finding YA Inspiration

As a YA writer, I find it often helps to immerse myself in the genre when I’m working on a draft.  I read lots of YA novels, but I've discovered that watching teen TV really rounds out my education. This of course is purely a work endeavor. It is definitely not because I’m addicted to teen entertainment, and it’s certainly not because I’m really a fourteen-year-old girl at heart. 

Thanks to this arduous work requirement, I’ve become what I like to think of as a connoisseur of teenage television. So, for all those YA writers out there (or for those who are fourteen, or—ahem—fourteen at heart), here is a list of my 10 most inspiring (read: favorite) teen shows of the past 10 years.
(*In alphabetical order)

  • Friday Night Lights: An amazing cast of characters and very real story lines makes this show stand out from the pack. Chock-full of great, gritty relationships, including that of Coach & Tammy Taylor, one of the best adult relationships in all of teen TV. (Also: There’s Tim Riggins.)
  • Gilmore Girls: You can’t help but want to live in Stars Hollow and be Rory Gilmore. Or at least I couldn’t. There’s no better fast-talking, pop-culture-spewing mother-daughter duo than Lorelai and Rory.  I can watch these episodes again and again.
  • Glee: I don’t always love the plots on Glee, but the songs are awesome and the dancing’s fun. Plus, there’s always something appealing about cheering on the underdogs.
  • Gossip Girl: A total guilty pleasure. Who cares that the characters constantly swap beds and spend insane amounts of money and get themselves involved in outrageous, completely unrealistic plots? It’s fun. Best when consumed one after another, like a can of Pringles.
  • Greek: I held off on Greek for a while because I wasn’t sure I would like the whole Greek System theme on a TV show. But my sister finally talked me into trying it. . .and I was hooked after one episode. The dialogue is awesome, the relationship between brother/sister pair Rusty and Casey really charming, and the characters all completely lovable. (Also: There’s Cappie.)
  • The OC: Seth & Summer. Enough said.
  • Pretty Little Liars: A TV show that manages to live up to the books. You can’t help but love the characters—and be constantly terrified for their lives. Not recommended to watch before bed.
  • Vampire Diaries: Another show I was hesitant to watch, this one because of the vampire angle. But I am so glad I finally did. It’s completely addicting—keeping you on the edge of your seat with constant plot twists and a great cast of (ever dying) characters.
  • Veronica Mars: Best teen protagonist ever. And my favorite father-daughter relationship on TV. (Also: There’s Logan.)  The only bad thing about this show is that it’s only 3 seasons long.
  • Wildfire: Horse ranch + a pretty girl out of juvie + family drama + awesome love triangle = AMAZING

Jacqueline Green's YA thriller, TRUTH OR DARE, follows three girls in a beach-side Massachusetts town, as a game of truth or dare spirals dangerously out of control.The first in a series, it will be out in May of 2013 from Little, Brown. You can find out more at or by following Jacqueline on twitter (@jacqwrites) or adding the book on Goodreads!


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