THE BLOG
05/27/2014 08:12 am ET | Updated Jul 27, 2014

Quirky Is The New Black

Quirkiness is like irony--hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Far more charming than weird, far less studied than cool, quirkiness is that indefinable quality that turns an idiosyncratic, slightly rigid neurotic into a lovable, idiosyncratic, slightly rigid neurotic.

It seems as if these days, we're seeing a lot more quirkiness in YA novels, which is good news for me, since I write YA novels, most recently Love and Other Foreign Words [Dial, $17.99], which are regularly described as quirky. But this isn't a new trend. If anything, I'm coming late to this party, following on the heels of some of my all-time favorite quirky YA love stories. Here are my 11 favorites--or 10 favorites plus mine, which is a favorite, I admit, so, yeah, that's 11, and this is just redundant. Also unnecessarily complicated but correct math.

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Quirk Factor: Teenage genius with a knack for languages takes on sister's pretentious fiancé in a battle of epic proportions. Her weapons of choice? Spaghetti sauce, vocabulary, and bathroom ambushes.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

Quirk Factor: John Green and David Levithan. Need I say more?

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Quirk Factor: Love blossoms over comics and a Walkman on a school bus in the 80s. A Walkman! Google it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Quirk Factor: Charlie, a shy sophomore, copes with some dark, difficult issues, writes about his masturbation routine and makes remarks like this: "Incidentally, I only have one cavity, and as much as my dentist asks me to, I just can't bring myself to floss."