Without divulging too much, I will say that my main character is motherless. How? Why? You'll have to read the book :)
Anyhow, for days I reached inward for a good metaphor for what it's like to grow up without a mother. I finally decided to liken it to a night sky without stars. A feeling of being lost at sea under an endless expanse of black, trying to navigate the waters of life with a broken compass.
I drew a lot of inspiration from the poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes. The poem is about the truth that life contains struggles but that one can choose to keep struggling. One can choose to persevere, which is exactly what my protagonist will do.
What are your favorite metaphors from YA fiction and/or classic literature?