Monday, June 15, 2009

Suggetions Young Adult

While I certainly have a major TBR with "adult" literature, a lot of challenges that I am determined to finish etc, I have thought about broadening my horizon a bit and stepping out of my comfort zone (whatever that is, since I read pretty much any genre and don't have genres I refuse to read) and read some YA-literature.

One of the reasons is, that I have noticed that it is a very, very popular genre, also with adults. I am aware that there are many parents out there who read those books in order to see what their kids are reading, but it is also my feeling, that many of you simply read this genre because you enjoy it.

Another reason is that I plan writing an article about this genre later this year or next year, and in order to do that, I think I should sort of know what I am talking about ;o)

However, what defines YA for you? The themes? The writing-style? Or somenthing else? I mean, the themes I guess are seen in YA, are more or less the same themes we read in the "adult" literature, isn't it?

Since I am in Denmark, I do not have the possibility to get those books you will hopefully recommend by the truckload from the library and need to purchase them along the way. Therefore I need to be a bit picky, because books are expensive in Denmark (and we cannot buy from Amazon.com due to tax-rules).

I have read a good deal of vampire- and fantasy books aimed at the adult reader, so I am not primarily interested in reading YA with that theme. But anything else goes. Do you have any suggestions? Also "classic" YA books are okay, although I think I have read some of them when I was a YA myself if they were among those which were translated into Danish. But fire away :-)

I look much forward to your recommandations.

The image is taken from this website.

17 comments:

Beth F said...

I read a lot of YA books, and I'm one of those who reads them for fun. I also read them so I can talk books with my niece (she's 14).

I am no expert, but I consider YA books those that feature teens as the main characters. And because the main characters are teens, their issues are focused on the teen years.

Here are some I've enjoyed and that are reviewed on my blog:

The Luxe series
Wintergirls
Thirteen Reasons Why
John Marsden's Tomorrow series

I'll be watching this post, I hope others offer some good suggestions.

Michelle said...

For me the YA genre touches on subjects that clarify and influence the growth of children. They'll address matters both serious (death, abuse, war etc.) and frivolous -- for lack of a better word at the moment -- (dating, popularity, etc) in a way that helps a child of an impressionable age to relate to them and hopefully learn.

Titles that Beth F didn't mention that I enjoyed recently were:

If I stay
20 Boy Summer
The Hunger Games
The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The last two are more dystopian in nature so may fall into your been there done that vampire scenario but both are worth a mention as they are very good.

Louise said...

Beth and Michelle, I am already about to head to the nearest online bookstore to purchase those ;-) Thanks a lot for your recommendations and explanations! I have seen 20 Boy Summer mentioned only a few hours ago (perhaps at your site, Michelle) and was asking if it was "worth it". Also, The Hunger Games has been mentioned quite a lot the past weeks.

I am definitely going to look into all those mentioned.

Thanks again.

softdrink said...

I think the lines have blurred between YA and adult fiction, but like Beth said, if teens are the main characters, then it's (usually, but not always) YA.

I'd recommend:

The Hunger Games
Looking for Alaska
13 Reasons Why
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Alea said...

My favorites from this year so far are:

Willow by Julia Hoban
The Season by Sarah MacLean
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Hope you enjoy whatever you decide to read!

pussreboots said...

If you want a list of the best from last year, check out the Cybils. They award the best YAs from different genres each year.

susan259 said...

For me, I would take the definition one step further, in addition to having a teen as the main character, it has to be from the teen's point of view in the here and now. That is, a book about teen told by an adult looking back on being a teen is an adult book in my view--an adult book teens might enjoy, but still adult. However, I also agree with the previous comment, about how it can be about growth inducing events, and that's why sometimes books featuring 19 or 20 year olds are young adult in my opinion.

I would go with some older titles maybe? The Outsiders is considered the first ya book...other titles...Speak, Fallen Angels, Perks of Being a Wallflower, I am the Messenger and I'm sure tons more...plus all are probably less expensive (I think?) then brand new titles...

Here is a great "best of the best list." http://www.teenreads.com/features/yalsa-best-of-best.asp

Louise said...

Thank you very much for comments and recommendations. I am going to make a seperate post about this later this week or next week when I've had time to do some more research.

Scrap girl said...

The Hunger Games - a definite.
Also City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
Valiant and Tithe by Holly Black - dark faerie books but utterly fabulous.

Nymeth said...

Many of my favourite reads of recent years are YA! I particularly recommend:

Nation by Terry Pratchett
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Anything by John Green
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Are you familiar with TheBookDepository? They have free shipping, and since they're UK-based maybe you wouldn't have to pay taxes, what with the EU trade laws?

Dorte H said...

If you buy second-hand books via Amazon, they are not taxed.

Via Abebooks.com you can also buy cheap, second-hand books, and if you buy several from the same seller, the shipping is cheaper.

The Book Depository do NOT ship books to Denmark any more (I have tried recently).

Louise said...

Thanks for more rec's, you all rock, its going to be easy to find some good YA to read :-)

We can get books from Amazon.co.uk without any trouble, its just the American sites we cannot buy from - and that goes for all other sorts of goodies, clothes, shoes etc. However, the UK Amazon adds taxes and duties to their prices when sending to Denmark. They are not THAT bad, though, and considering how weak the Pound Sterling has been, it has actually been ok price wise to buy from Amazon.

I also buy used from ebay.co.uk from time to time, and its true that used books will not have extra taxes added.

Dorte, did you mean buying used books from the Amazon.com or the .co.uk?

Dorte H said...

I buy them from Britain. It is faster, and you can also get many American books there.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I'm going to suggest The Book Thief and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Both were smart and fun to read (even though The Book Thief was also sad).

Louise said...

Thanks Kim, I am going to check them out :-)

Krissi said...

I have a friend who is a librarian and she tells me that a book is classified YA or Adult based on the age of the main character. That totally shocked me but it would explain why I have read some YA books that are very mature.

As for my suggestions I am a huge Meg Cabot fan and Sarah Dessen. They are fun and girly and I enjoy them tons.

Louise said...

Thanks Krissi, I will have a look at the books/authors you suggested :-)