My posts during April form part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I will be writing to a theme: book genres, largely taken from the comprehensive Goodreads list.
When I first came across the acronym YA, it meant nothing to me. At a later stage, someone in my book club mentioned the phrase 'young adult' and I had an 'aha' moment.
I wasn't drawn to reading this particular genre - pretty much the only book I'd read at that point that I felt would fall into this genre was "Lord of the Flies" which I totally and utterly loathed. I only read it to help my daughter with her English GCSE homework - I wouldn't have finished it for anyone I loved less!
But then came that day when my mother introduced me to the Harry Potter series and it all changed. I did view my enjoyment of the whole Harry Potter phenomenon as a one-off and felt in no way drawn to change my attitude to the genre. Then someone I know highly recommended Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy and I dived in without realising its marketplace. The trilogy proved to be a most satisfying read, with the added bonus of the final part being the best (and an award winner). The concept of each human having a 'daemon' - a creature that reflected each person's inner being - felt similar to the 'patronus' which wizards could summon to protect themselves from the Dementors in Harry Potter. So, it's clear from my limited experience of YA literature that, whilst being written for the younger generation, there's no lack of maturity in the concepts being dealt with.
I read "Code Name Verity" at the behest of another friend and found it a well-written, if pleasing read. It never occured to me that it was written for the YA market until I found it categorised so much later. That got me wondering, is young adult literature a better genre to select than chick lit? From these examples, the concepts they deal with are more mature, they are well-structured and not stereotypical. Hmmm ... something to ponder on further when I've read more examples.
As part of an exploration into science-fiction, I had "Red Rising" come highly recommended. And this was the first time I came across the sort of negatives I'd heard before - all that teenage angst and overly dramatic stuff! An enjoyable enough read, containing some really excellent world-building ... it was just the characters. But then, I'm not the target market - I'm nearer 60 than 16 (lots nearer) and can roll my eyes at the behaviour of my teenage self, let alone that of our book's cast. I have bought part two, at a sensible price and may well proceed to part three, if that also falls from its current high.
A book I've had on my TBR list for quite a while is Malorie Blackman's "Noughts and Crosses". It also deals with the have and have nots from the persective of the younger generation and I'm looking forward to it reaching the top of the list.
Where my ruminating on this genre has taken me is that I'm unlikely to actively seek out examples of YA literature in preference to any other genre, but I will certainly read those examples which come recommended.
How do you feel about the genre? What brought you to read it, if you are not in the target market? Do you have any recommendations?