I have many! MANY. Here they are.
JK Rowling, aka The Queen
I love her so much, I often refer to her as Jo, since JK is her pen name. AND I'M A NUTCASE.
Love you too, buddy. It's an honor and a privilege to have my heart broken by you.
Stephanie Perkins (image from her website stephanieperkins.com)
Girl is so talented, it physically hurts me but in that good way that inspires you and makes you feel all the emotions and I'm not crazy I swear.
But the winner winner chicken dinner is
Meg Cabot aka The Princess!!
I have been a Meg Cabot mega-fan for years, since The Boy Next Door, which is not YA. I read all of Meg's adult books as fast as I could and as soon as they were released. She is definitely one of my pre-order-without-question authors. A few years ago, armed with a library card and a Paperback Swap account, I decided to read her most famous YA series, The Princess Diaries. Just when I thought I couldn't love the woman any more than I already did... she went and created one of my favorite male characters in YA literature, Michael Moscovitz.
What I love about Meg Cabot's writing is that it's so down-to-Earth. She writes in a very universal way, but it's still so good. It's lyrical and sweet, hysterical and honest. She does an amazing job establishing a voice for her characters, especially Mia (who I will rave about tomorrow!). I love simple, attainable, delightful writing, and Meg writes just like that, every time. I'm never disappointed.
Also, Ms. Cabot? If I ever get the chance to meet you, I apologize in advance for the extreme amount of fangirling I will do. Squealing, stuttering, telling an awkward story that has no relevance to the topic at hand- yeah, it's all happening. Sorry, Meg.