Sunday, March 2, 2014

Young Adult Books; Yet Another I Love Books Post

   In this past month I have read the complete Matched trilogy by Ally Condie, The Legend trilogy by Marie The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, and the problem is, I just can't get enough. I caught myself searching on the Kindle book store, to see what other similar books they could recommend to me. Then, of course, I had to speak rather firmly with myself, because my daughter just had a birthday, and birthday expenses have depleted all of my spending money. I am going to be broke for a while and I can't buy all these books that Kindle is recommending. I am either going to have to wait or go to the library.
   But my pursuit of my next 'fix' got me thinking about books quite a bit. You see, as a tween and teen, for me, I spent all of my time browsing in the scifi/fantasy sections of bookstores and libraries, sections marketed towards adults. The reason for this twofold: I love scifi/fantasy for one, and for the other, there really wasn't a young adult section back in my day (I feel like a dinosaur for saying that, but at the same time, got a kick out of it as well. Don't judge.) I mean, supposedly there was one, but we are talking about one smallish bookshelf at the most. Back when I was a teen, you have children's, which was admittedly smallish, and everything else was adult. So an avid reader such as myself, I had to read the adult section.
   Not that this was really that bad, I mean, my first loves came from that scifi/fantasy adult section. Ann McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, Stephen King (okay, he was in the horror section, and his books are scary, but go read The Talisman and The Gunslinger and tell me that's not fantasy), Piers Anthony -- I loved, and still love, all of these authors. But a lot of kids my age, they just didn't read, and I think that a lot of this not reading is due to the fact that there really weren't a lot of books marketed specifically for that youth group. The few authors that were out there - they didn't seem to get a ton of attention. Fast forward to today, and it seems like every young adult book is celebrated and is getting movie attention (Hunger Games, Divergent, ect).
   I was a teen when Harry Potter came out. His story caused an explosion in the book world. Suddenly, young people had a seriously recognized book with an author who became celebrated. Choices expanded. Then along comes the Twilight series (I was a mom already when this came out), which I have read and own, and liked - loved even - but as a horror fanatic, I find that I must, must, mock her version of vampires. (They are sparkle fairies!) But love Twilight or hate it, you can't deny that this book also exploded the book scene, and suddenly, there are young adult authors everywhere. New series everywhere, new authors all over the place, old ones getting recognition finally, their books in reprint, and the young adult section is finally more than one bookcase. Barnes and Nobles has an entire section, multiple bookcases, and a ridiculous shelving method that ensures that you find nothing. Old favored adult authors of mine, such as Juliet Marillier, now have expanded into the young adult section as well, not that you can find her with Barnes and Nobles shelving method. (Why can't they be alphabetical, by author, like every other section? That's what I really want to know.)
    And I can't stop reading this section, because they have all this dystopian fiction that I can't get enough of. Who knew that this was even a genre? Well, thanks to Suzanne Collins, it sure is now. And heck, go look up Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth: youth zombie fiction. Awesomeness. And one of my newest favorite reads: The Lunar Chronicles. Fairy tale remakes with a rebellious, science fiction theme; Cinderella is now Cinder, the cyborg.I love it.
    And I am happy; my daughter has a ton of books to chose from. Sure, she's reading from the adult sections some, but the point is, she doesn't have to. There are a multitude of books for her to chose from, marketed towards her age. And the bonus? She doesn't even have to ask for me to buy most of them, because she knows I am gonna buy them anyway. (And the daughter scores!) Books sure have changed since I was my daughter's age, and personally, I love it. Happy reading.

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