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In Defense Of Grown-Ass People Reading Young Adult Novels

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | October 14, 2013 | Comments ()


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Last year, in defense of his sci-fi/fantasy habit, our very own Steven Lloyd Wilson wrote this about genre fiction:

The endless piles of genre fiction are the key to happiness. They’re the key to picking out the things that actually make you happy in this world instead of the things that you’re told are good for you. Ninety percent of everything you read is going to be crap one way or the other, so make sure it’s the crap that makes you smile, and don’t apologize for it.
Any one of you mystery fiends, sci-fi nerds or bodice-ripper addicts can appreciate Steven’s sentiment. We can all accept that there is a massive amount of crap to be had in our genre of choice. It’s all part of the fandom. I’m not as lenient as Steven is on the worst of genre fiction. I’ll fling a badly-written book across the room after two or three chapters. Life is too short and my to-read pile too big for me to finish everything. But I can appreciate what Steven has to say about the worst of a genre enabling you to zero in on the good stuff. And that the contrast between the two allows you to articulate why you love what you love.

But what I’m here to defend today isn’t really even a genre. That’s part of the problem. When it comes to children’s books, the sorting doesn’t go by type of story. It goes by age group. And once we’re past the early readers and into chapter books the divisions are as follows: Elementary, Middle Readers and Young Adult (or Teen) fiction. So every kind of story you could want is bashed in there. From serious to frivolous, divided only by perceived “maturity.” Some larger stores, with space to spare and time to specify, will section Teen books into subgenres until you have this, the most unholy of book sections: Teen Paranormal Romance.

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And even stores that don’t have the Teen section portioned out might as well call their YA shelves “Teen Paranormal Romance” or ” Post-Apocalyptic Adventure” because I’ll be damned if the shelves aren’t crowded with Twilight and Hunger Games knock-offs. Round the corner and you’ll encounter inky black covers with lurid red and purple writing as far as the eye can see. Because that’s one of the most insidious aspects of the Teen Fiction market. The publishers prey on impressionable young readers with a disposable income and sell them knock-off after knock-off rather than investing in creative, new, enthralling stories. Even worse than the preponderance of sh*tty knock-offs of a sh*tty,breathless story (not sorry, Twi-hards), is the way in which the Teen Fiction marketing geniuses get their greedy, sticky little hands all over good books. Nay! Great books. Exhibit A:

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Is there nothing sacred? I’ve talked about this before. These covers make me physically ill. And, quite honestly, you can take your argument of ‘“whatever gets them to read” and kindly shove it up your defensive bum. You’re part of the problem. So that’s what YA does wrong. It’s understandable that, like a Hollywood hit machine churning out sequels long after the fire of the original has died out, the struggling publishing industry would want in invest in a sure thing. But here’s where I object. Unlike a summer blockbuster, a book can be absolutely vital to the emotional education of a child. To knitting together their moral fiber. And when said fiber is knit with stalker fiction posing as Romeo And Juliet, well, you bet I object.

So here’s what YA does right. YA is an amazing place for female-centric genre fiction. No, sit limply down, Bella, I’m not talking about you. Katniss Everdeen? Yeah, I’ll allow it. I’m pretty sure Katniss is somewhere on the autism spectrum, but that doesn’t preclude badassery. Katsa and Bitterblue of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling books? Yes. Maddie and Verity of Code Name Verity? F*ck yes. Maggie Stiefvater’s Puck and Blue? A world of yes. And if you inch a little younger you’ll find a trove among the works of Philip Pullman, Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley. Smart, fearsome young ladies who know their own minds and have a weapon of choice. Sadly, the “adult” sci-fi/fantasy section has some catching up to do. Sometimes, I imagine, it must get quite lonely for Arya and Brienne over there with only a a handful of cool female characters to keep them company.

But it’s not just genre fiction that’s winning the hearts of discerning grown-ups who find themselves in the Teen section. John Green has been doing phenomenal work for years. The Fault In Our Stars is only the latest and the best he has to offer. Or there’s Frank Portman’s King Dork, an unforgettably funny and downright hilarious coming of age novel. And, finally, my favorite YA book of the year. The most potent love potion I’ve chugged in a long time. Eleanor And Park. Here have a sip:

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Oh suck it so hard, Bella and Edward. These sensible teens are where it’s at. So don’t judge every grown-up you meet with a YA book in their hand. They might be reading something as emotionally troubling as Between Shades Of Gray or The Book Thief. Books that plumb harrowing depths your average adult best-seller can’t even begin to reach. Don’t write us off. It’s not all witches and clockwork princes, fallen angels and werepires. So what if it sometimes is? We’re still worlds away from this.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Caleb

    Does Artemis Fowl count as YA? Because a) those books kick ass, and b) Holly Short is an awesome female character. Also, I'm 24.

  • Gabs

    Thanks to this, I picked up Code Name Verity yesterday. Got a little over 100 pages in last night and desperately wish to keep reading now. But (somewhat fittingly) a friend is on his way over to play World at War, and I sure am ready to shoot some Nazis right now. But I can't wait to keep reading tonight.

  • seth

    Nope. I think it should just be ass people.

  • I have nothing important to say, I'm just here to rage that I couldn't find Eleanor and Park today, although my B&N swore it was in the "Teen Romance" section I couldn't find.

    And yes, I did wander through both the "Romance" and the "Teen Paranormal Romance" sections whilst on the hunt.

  • jennp421

    That sucks! Mine had it on an end cap along with her new novel Fangirl.

  • Fangirl was in the "New Teen Fiction" section but I have a thing about reading in order whenever possible...

    I'll keep looking, its bound to turn up.

  • lmtj

    Fine, fine, I'll be the one to say the first Twilight book was not bad at all. New Moon was pretty good too. For me, it took me back to when I thought I was so in love with someone and that wishful thinking of awkward teen who didn't want to lose sight of her boyfriend ever, and one point b/c of my circumstance I completely understood the depression Bella felt in that time frame Edward had left her. The other two, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, were absolutely horrible books and I feel that's b/c Stephnie Meyer gave in to the pressure to churn them out due to the movie being so successful. I also cannot stand Kristen Stewart who I felt ruined the character of Bella, with her lack of acting and lack of eye contact and how she seemed to cringe at Edward's touch when it should have been relaxed, he was the one suffering. It was the over the top fans who gave Robert Pattison a bad rep, I thought he did great with Edward. But b/c of those 2 things, specifically, I think that's when Twilight got it's bad rep....b/c of the movies. Try those 2 books without all the fan crazy stuff and you might see them differently.

  • mswas

    All these comments, and not ONE for The Book Thief??????!!!!! That book is a true gem. Three years after I read it for Cannonball Read 3, and I'm still recommending it to anyone who mentions they're looking for a good book - although I do usually mention that it's YA, but "still so great." YOU SHOULD GO GET IT RIGHT NOW NOW NOW.

  • Parker Jammstein

    The Book Thief is in my top 10 of all time. I might not even go see the movie because there's no conceivable way that the film will affect me the way the book did.

  • mswas

    I feel the same way. I was disappointed that the trailer seemed to be narrated by Liesel.

  • Parker Jammstein

    Yeah I was a sophomore in high school when my librarian told me "Yeah Death is the narrator of this book." I was sold right away but good God. Zusak may suffer from "Harper Lee Syndrome" because I don't think he'll ever be able to top that/he might not see any reason to.

  • mswas

    You can see his potential in his other novel, The Messenger. But I read that after The Book Thief, and it suffers by comparison.

  • Ben

    "And when said fiber is knit with stalker fiction posing as Romeo And Juliet, well, you bet I object."

    Honestly in terms of weird skeevy romances, Romeo and Juliet aint a whole lot better then the twilight of the world (Far better written though obviously)

  • LexieW

    Amen. And as a bonus, now I know a few new authors to check out for my goddaughters! I'm seriously going to have to copy this comments section in a Word doc.

  • Shibuyama

    Ugh yes. YA has more strong ladies, more diversity, and more thoughtfulness about societal shifts than a lot of "adult" lit if you just know where to look. I'm so stuck on The Posterchildren right now because effortlessly LGBTQ superheroes?? This is what i needed to fill the void DC's recent awfulness has left.

  • stella

    I love Kristen Cashmores books. I actually just reread Graceling.

  • Parker Jammstein

    We live in an age that's getting exponentially dumber so the fact that anyone is reading anything makes me happy.

  • You mentioned Code Name Verity so I am too emotionally distraught to add anything of value.

    HOWEVER THIS POST IS AMAZING.

  • Lena

    I know what you mean. I get choked up even thinking about that book. So good!

  • rd

    wow...new slang term...grown ass people...

  • BWeaves

    When the Harry Potter books were released in England, they came out with two different covers. One was for children and another for adults who didn't want to look like they were reading a children's book. Now, with the e-readers, who's going to know?

  • Wrestling Fan

    The Virals series, by Kathy Reichs, is my current "i'm 20+ years too old to be reading this" series. The main character is Teperance "Bones" Brennan's grand-niece (great niece? i dunno.) The kids (teens) act like real people, they talk like real people, they even swear. Good sci-fi'ish adventure mystery books.

  • brian

    40 year old women are not screaming at 17 year old boys
    they are screaming at actors in their twenties playing 17 year old boys

  • Also, if they were screaming for Pattinson, then they would have shown up en masse for his other movies, which they did not. They were screaming for Edward, who was perpetually 17. There was no indication that he had any form of emotional growth in the 100 years after his death/undeath.

  • foolsage

    Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree firmly. Taylor Lautner was born in 1992, so he was age 16 at the time "Twilight" came out; age 17 and 18 for the next two movies respectively.

  • Yes to all of this. I have no shame about my love for YA, because a good story is a good story, and for a long time, YA writers were pushing boundaries that other genres weren't open to exploring. Or, more accurately, the publishers wouldn't let through in other genres. Despite the Twilight influence, YA is not all vampire romance, but it is often dark and frequently deals with very disturbing things that actually happen to teens (and others).

  • foolsage

    Absolutely agreed; there's some fine stuff out there, that's shelved under YA because bookstores don't know where else to put it. Some of it is probably aimed at teens, and some of it just doesn't quite match up to "normal adult" fiction. From T.H. White's "Once and Future King" to Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" through modern stuff like Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" books or Eoin Colfer's "Artemis Fowl" series, you can find some decent stories out there if you don't care what others think (and you should not, in this regard).

    I'm reminded of the famous quote by C.S. Lewis: "Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

    I'm middle-aged, dammit. I don't have to prove a damned thing to anyone with what I read. I'm just as happy to read something aimed at a 14-year-old audience (provided it's well written) as I am to read Umberto Eco or Paulo Coelho or similar "adult" fare.

  • Bea Pants

    I was half way through The Fault in our Stars before I realized it was YA. I loved that book!

  • jollies

    I love King Dork. The narrator in King Dork would think I am very old. Yet I still love King Dork.

  • TK the Other (de-lurking)

    Part of the perks of being a teacher is that you "have to" read these book to make sure your students can handle it. I've been on committees that nominate books for state awards for the past five years, and I am continually loving the middle grade fiction that is coming out. It's a little gentler, but still confronts a TON of issues. don't believe me? Try Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, or The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Those books stay with you for a long time. So, not YA, but gateways to YA are just as good too!

  • Wigamer

    Oh my gosh--I get to teach Wonder to my sixth graders this year and am practically giddy about it!

  • BWeaves

    I love kiddie books and YA books. I'm over 50 (cough cough) and I don't care. A good book is a good book. Too many adult books are about disfunctional families. Well, some YA books are, too, but not in that creepy adult way.

  • oilybohunk7

    I had, HAD, a friend that was in DEEP in the YA Paranormal Fiction mess and, yes, that included Twilight. She would recommend books to me and I would ask "Is that young adult?" and she would get really defensive about it. I'm not knocking YA as a whole but she really read the worst of the worst. I read a lot of really dumb books, I will admit, but I like to balance it by occasionally reading something of substance.

  • Professor Sara

    And YA does offer something of substance, which was the point of this article. Don't judge all YA by one friend's reading choices.

  • oilybohunk7

    I should have been more clear, I wasn't judging all YA, but I was judging all of the YA SHE read. I also admitted that a lot of what I read is not great either. I read a lot of romance novels and a lot of them are pretty darn stupid so every now and again I have to cleanse my palette with something of more substance. Somewhere else in these comments I was telling someone that I was interested in reading The Fault In Our Stars, so I'm definitely not judging all YA.

  • Replica

    I had 60 barbies and The Blue Sword series. God help me, Robin McKinley turned the tide.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Life is too short to read any kind of bad book, unless it's entertainingly bad or you get to write a spiteful review for the Cannonball Read.

  • PDamian

    Nancy Pearl at the Washington (state) Center for the Book and author of Book Lust suggests the 50-Page Rule: until one turns 50 years old, one should give a book 50 pages, because some stories take longer to develop than others, and if you don't read at least 50 pages, you might miss something good. After you turn 50, start subtracting a page for every year you age. I've always found this to be very good practice.

  • bartap

    The only exception I've found to this is the first Dragon Tattoo book, which was deathly dull for the first 150 or so pages. The only reason I kept reading was the voice in my head that said, "This is an extremely popular book all around the world. It HAS TO get better." And it did.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ok, so lots of fans of YA literature here. Have any of you ever actually been mocked for reading it? I never have been. I might make fun of someone for reading a specific book, but not because it's YA. More because it's a terrible book.

  • Berry

    I've been mocked for everything I like, at one point or another. There are snobs on every walk of life, and if it's not YA they don't get then it's Jane Austen or Doctor Who or certain kinds of music or this or that or the other. It doesn't phase me anymore, and I try very hard not to let myself develop a persecution complex based on that. Sometimes people don't understand the things I like, so what? And I don't hide my passions, except maybe for one thing -- I'm an avid fan fiction reader, and even people who defend everything else will mock fan fiction. But such is life.

  • Even Stevens

    i get a lot of eye rolling or the person completely loses interest once they hear it's YA, it's very frustrating because I feel like I'm always ending conversations with "No, REALLY, it's good!"

  • foolsage

    I've never been mocked for anything I've read, that I can recall. But then I'm probably not a prime target in that regard. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm a HARDCORE bibliophile, and if I'm reading something, I can defend my choice; there's value in there for me somewhere. Those who do not know me will simply see a tall bald guy and generally back away without provoking me. More's the pity, as I'm quite nice. ;)

  • PDamian

    All the time. ALL the time. And totally worth it.

    One of my all-time favorite memories: years ago, I was about to fly from Phoenix to Chicago for a conference (work-related), and I'd forgotten to buy a book for the flight. The cheapest novels in the airport Borders were the first two Harry Potter books, which I'd never read (I believe the third had just come out in hardback), so I picked them up. I was in the waiting area in front of my gate, waiting for my flight to be called, and deep in the first book, when I felt a hand on my knee. I looked up, and there was a little boy, about eight years old, looking at the cover. He leaned toward me charmingly and whispered, "Do you like that book?" I said, "Yes I do, very much," and he sat cross-legged on the floor and proceeded to tell me why Harry was the best ever, and he was going to go to Hogwarts as soon as he got his owl, and someday he would marry someone like Hermione ("... but not her, because she's going to marry Harry") and have lots of wizard babies, and he would be a pro Quidditch player. His father was seated a few feet away, and kept smiling and rolling his eyes. I wonder if that little boy still loves Harry, and if he was disappointed when Hermione ended up with Ron.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I don't use the word "cute" very often, but that's a really cute story.

  • Julie Chase

    Most of my friends have read Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. I bring them on the bus/subway and haven't had anyone say anything. Hell, when the last Harry Potter came out half the people on my trolley were reading it. The only weird comment I've had while reading in public was some nutty guy telling me that the devil lived inside my book (I was reading Lolita).

  • emmalita

    Yes I have been mocked for reading YA. I've also received funny looks for recommending YA books.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Which gets a worse reaction - the YA or the other one we both enjoy?

  • emmalita

    The other one. Most definitely the other one.

  • Agreed. And it shouldn't be, damn it. Perhaps we need a post on that, too.

  • emmalita

    I just had a conversation with my father about the value of romance novels to explore gender roles. As a joke he brought up paranormal romance. I suggested that were-hyenas are actually a great vehicle for exploring gender roles. He suggested that he had possibly paid for too much of my education. :)

  • foolsage

    Ewww, romance, yuck! That stuff is all crap.

    Just kidding. To each their own. Genre doesn't equate with skill; there are good and bad writers in every genre. Anyhow, I enjoy a good romance from time to time. :)

  • Modernlove

    I took a YA Lit class in undergrad a zillion years ago and it was hands down the best class I've ever taken. I fell in love with Chris Crutcher and Laurie Hals Andersn and that opened the floodgates. I've been an unapologetic YA Lit reader since. So thanks, crappy state college, for giving me two of the best things in my life. (I'll count Husbando as the other.)

  • I have a friend who uses YA urban fantasy to teach her Gender in the Humanities class, and it is always full, even though she gives a quiz at the start of each class. I give a guest lecture on "mythology and the other" each time she teaches it, which gives me a good reason to read (or reread) the material she's teaching.

  • Modernlove

    I would love to know what books she teaches! I love that genre, especially when it's done well, and I'm always looking for suggestions!

  • Last time she taught it, I know she used Twilight (Not because it's good, but because you can't escape the gender tropes in it.), Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, Holly Black's Valiant, Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver (though I think next time she may switch to The Raven Boys) . I will get the rest of her list and let you know.

    I would also suggest checking out Brenna Yavonoff and Tessa Gratton. Their first novels are a touch uneven, but only a touch. You can check out their short stories (and Maggie S') here for free: http://merryfates.com/

  • Modernlove

    And I've added these to my GoodReads list. Thank you so much!

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I felt slightly embarrassed reading the first Harry Potter but I got over it quickly. The Hunger Games trilogy was a delight.

    Some of those "supernatural romances" aimed at adults creep me out. I had never even heard of that "genre" until amazon told me I might be interested in it since I had bought a Jim Butcher book (I'm still not seeing the correlation there but whatever) and apparently having sex with an angel is some pretty exciting stuff for certain readers. Angel sex? I didn't know they even had genitals.

  • Also, according to The Book of Enoch, angels were able to get it on, because they bred with human women and created the nephilim, who were so destructive that God sent the Great Flood. I love the apocrypha (although there is some brief mention of it in the actual bible, too).

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'll have to take your word for it, I've never read the bible and I have no plans to any time in the future. I just remember seeing it mentioned somewhere that angels were sexless.

  • Pat C

    Genesis 6:4 "The Nephilim were on earth in those days (and even afterwards) when the sons of God resorted to the women, and had children by them. These were the heroes of days gone by, men of reknown".

    I presume Gilgamesh was one example the writer had in mind, and others whose names have not been preserved.

    That might be the basis for an interesting historical-fantasy series; I'd rather read that than the Left Behind series.

  • They are in Dogma, too. I read the Old Testament and apocrypha because there is some great source material for writing urban fantasy. The New Testament is far less interesting in that regard.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    There are so many different kinds of angels, any way. I mean, some are essentially just eyes and wings - so those particular ones probably are. (did you read they were sexless in The Golden Compass/speaking of YA?)

  • I believe part of the explosion in paranormal romance is the ability of monsters to have condom-free sex. If your hero/heroine is not human, you get to define whether or not they can carry human illness, and most writers opt for not. Add to that the agent/publisher demand for new and different monsters, and you cycle through vampires, shape shifters, demons, gods and, eventually, angels. If it's immortal and you don't have to worry about where they're gonna find Trojans in the middle of the desert/on top of a mountain/in an alternate dimension/on the prairie at night, well, then that makes writing the love scenes a bit easier. Also, you can write them as alpha-male types and brush that off with "well, that's how that particular race, etc. are..." instead of embracing the fact that lots of women like to read about alpha males, even if they aren't our cuppa in real life.

  • emmalita

    One of my friends reads only PNR. I just asked her about the appeal. Her list: hot sex, fast recovery time, and the wisdom of age in a body in it's prime.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I dunno. I feel like if life-forms are close enough to cross-breed, they can share STDs. But I'm kind of grossed out that I just thought about it.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I feel like Harry Potter probably made it more permissible to read YA books. But I also feel that the sci-fi/fantasy YA is more less likely to produce scorn than an adult reading "Dicey's Song" or "Island of the Blue Dolphins." (people would assume you are a poor reader. Though I'm not familiar enough with the books being listed by commenters to know if any are non-fantasy/sci-f.)

    I'd bet 50% of the people on this thread have reread "A Wrinkle in Time," "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" or LOTR (which I don't consider YA, but many do) as adults. I also feel that people who read fantasy/sci-fi are more used to blowing off the opinion of the general public. :)

  • Three_nineteen

    Why would I ever want to revisit the adventures of Meg and Charles Wallace? Oh, right, because they are awesome.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Speaking of Island of the Blue Dolphin, I remember seeing the movie decades ago. I wish they'd do a remake, it's a wonderful story... in a heartbreaking kind of way.

  • emmalita

    Relevant to this discussion and Cindy's letter on writing strong women - Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching is one of the best YA character's out there.

  • foolsage

    Hells yes, she is. I was devastated when Pratchett announced there would be no more Tiffany books. :(

  • Professor Sara

    But he left her in a pretty good place in the final book. If it had to end, at least it GOT an end, you know?

  • foolsage

    Agreed.

  • emmalita

    I was so excited a couple of days ago when a friend posted a picture of her daughter reading The Wee Free Men. I sent it to her a few years ago.

  • Tinkerville

    They'll pry my young adult and children's books from my cold, dead hands.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Katniss is not on the autism spectrum.

  • Tinkerville

    If I lived under those harsh circumstances I'd absolutely behave exactly like her.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I never felt she was anything more than a hard scrabble girl struggling to survive.

  • Artemis

    Yeah, I raised my eyebrows at that, too. There's no indication that she's not neurotypical -- she's just not particularly good at/doesn't care about making friends, and then she gets some bad (and understandable) PTSD that leaves her pretty messed up for the rest of the series.

  • Julie Chase

    I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone my Junior year of college, a week after my parents announced their separation. Those books got me through an incredibly difficult time, it was the perfect world in which to immerse myself. I can't wait to share them with my own kids one day, but for now I'll continue to reread the series once a year.

    Also, for anyone looking for great books I highly second Joanna's recommendation of the Kristen Cashore books (Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue) and would add Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

  • RAVEN BOYS (book #1 & 2 are out). If you like Laini Taylor I promise you'll adore them. The second one just came out and I finished it a week ago. Am still desperately mourning the fact that I have to wait ~2 years to see what happens next...

  • Lena

    Raven Boys series is amazing! I didn't think the second one could possibly live up to my expectations because of how much I loved the first one, but I couldn't put it down.

  • Julie Chase

    Ooh, thanks, I'll add them to my (ever growing) list!

  • APOCooter

    Chris Crutcher, Walter Dean Myers, and Laurie Halse Anderson are three of the best authors I've ever read, and YA authors all. Hell, I'll put Sherman Alexie there too, just for Part Time Diary, even though it's the only thing if his I read.

  • abell

    Does Garth Nix count as YA? Because that shit is excellent.

  • emmalita

    I am not familiar with Nix. Where would you recommend I start?

  • abell

    Sabriel.

    Sabriel is the first of the Old Kingdom books, which are my favorite of his. Also worth looking into, though more Young Adulty are the Keys to the Kingdom (unrelated) which starts with Mister Monday.

  • emmalita

    Thanks. I just ordered Sabriel. I hope the publisher sees this and sends you a kickback of some sort.

  • abell

    I'm happy to hear that. Let me know if you like it.

  • Berry

    Is it crazy that I envy you because you're about to read these for the first time? Nix created a wonderful fantasy universe, and it's always such a joy to find a new one. Plus if you're at all fond of magical libraries, you'll love the second one in the trilogy, Lirael.

  • Michelle

    I just bought this for my Kindle based off of these comments. I love book recommendations when the person so clearly loves the books!

  • emmalita

    Who wouldn't love a magical library?

  • Berry

    That is an excellent question. Certainly no-one I would want to know. (Did I do the negatives right just there? I meant to say that I wouldn't want to know people who don't love magical libraries, but English is so confusing sometimes.)

  • emmalita

    I think you were fine. I knew what you meant. The failure to appreciate a magical library would trigger further investigation. Is the problem the other person or the library?

  • Berry

    Along those lines, yes.

  • PDamian

    YES!!! Love the Old Kingdom books!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    ah, my roommate's favorite. (she is not a YA) (unless you count the Charlize Theron kind of YA)

  • Samantha Klein

    YES. More powerful female protagonists.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Also everyone: Stevens is the go to source for YA suggestions. She has that genre locked down.

  • Even Stevens

    I sure do, and proud of it!

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