on book titles

courtneybooks, some girls are (your mom), writing

I get meaningful spam subject lines in my inbox sometimes. Recent favourites include, but are not limited to:

I miss you, come home
Mad of your silence
Remember 3rd grade? Where were you?
Executioners as they
Repair the past

I almost think they could make fantastic book titles. Almost. Maybe with some slight modifications. I MISS YOU, COME HOME. MAD of your SILENCE. Okay, I don’t know about that last one, but I like the simplicity and plaintiveness of the first. Plaintive and simple as a good country song.

So now that I am on the topic of titles, I think I will discuss them further! Titles are important. What are your favourite YA/MG book titles? What kind of titles do you like? I like titles that send your mind reeling with the stories they tell, are vivid, or ones that would make you go WTF if you saw them on a book in a bookstore and had no prior inkling as to what the novel was about.

Here is a sampling of some of my favourite titles:

All Unquiet Things (Anna Jarzab)
Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson)
The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (Robert Cormier)
Dani Noir (Nova Ren Suma)
Everything is Fine (Ann Dee Ellis)
Gothic Lolita (Dakota Lane)
In the Miso Soup (Ryu Murakami)
It’s Too Late to Say I’m Sorry (Joey Comeau)
Initiation (Susan Fine)
King of the Screwups (K.L. Going)
The Lighter Side of Life and Death (C.K. Kelly Martin)
Nothing (Robin Friedman)
Paris Pan Takes the Dare (Cynthea Liu)
School for Dangerous Girls (Eliot Schrefer)
Skin Deep (E.M. Crane)
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning (Danette Haworth)

One word titles are more miss than hit with me, to be honest. I feel like there’s so much going against one word book titles because for them to be excellent–in my opinion–they MUST: sound good, look good and not be sensationalist or cheesy and especially they must be intriguing. I have a long check-list of requirements for one word titles. Probably I am determined not to like most of them right out of the gate.

It’s pretty sad.

Also I am not a big fan of precious sounding titles. You know. The kind of titles those hipsters you secretly hate would like. You know those hipsters. The kind of hipsters that have asymmetrical haircuts who think they’re better than you. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Sufjan Stevens has song titles like that, actually, except I love his music enough to forgive him for it and he doesn’t have an asymmetrical haircut. I’m not sure if he’s a hipster but he IS friends with Rick Moody, or so I’ve heard. What does this mean? I do not know.

Or maybe I do.

In between edits for Some Girls Are, I have been working on books three, but I am debating setting it aside because it is going to be very dark and bleak and lately I just sort of want to write a love story that looks like a film made by a hipster with an asymmetrical haircut who thinks they’re better than me. I do not know how to come to terms with that want, either. It makes me feel very dirty in my soul.

How do I reconcile this side of myself?

I bet hipsters with asymmetrical haircuts who think they’re better than me don’t like Toto’s Africa.