Tonight I went to a talk by Ellen Hopkins, a bestselling author for young adults. I read my first book of hers the week of Christmas, and by New Years I had devoured five of her books, totallying nearly 2,500 pages- I was totally hooked. She writes narrative poetry telling the very graphic, gritty and in-your-face stories of teen girls trapped in methamphetamine addiction, abuse of all kinds, cutting, suicide and other destructive behaviors. Three of her books (Crank, Glass and the upcoming Fallout) are based very closely on her own daughter's drug addiction. At the talk tonight, she said that she is so graphic in her books to allow teens to see that they aren't alone in their problems, and to see through her characters that there are better choices that they can make. There were maybe 75 people at the talk, and I'd say that only 5 of us were over 18 years old- her audience of teens are fiercely loyal. I'm such a book geek, authors are like rock stars to me. This is only the third young adult author that I've met (after Daniel Ehrenhaft two years ago and Christopher Paul Curtis almost 10 years ago), but I hope that I'll get a chance to attend more events like this.