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Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance

Not Your Mother’s YA

A few months ago, I was in an online discussion with a writer who insisted you couldn't have vampires in books for teens and if you did, they certainly couldn't be the love interest. (!!!)

Writer, I said, meet the sparkling resplendence that is Edward from the Twilight series.

A friend of mine recently expressed interest in writing young adult fiction, but worried that she didn’t have the normal teen experience to draw from. When she was younger, she’d moved around a lot, never did the things other young people did like join clubs, go to football games, and other aspects of high school life.

I introduced her to How Not To Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler.

Strange as it seems, even some writers have missed the phenomenon that is Stephenie Meyers’s Twilight series, and the larger phenom of the young adult genre in the twenty first century.

This is not your mother’s YA.

Sure, you can still find Sweet Valley High (updated, even), Judy Blume, and The Outsiders on the shelves, but you’re going to find a whole lot more. If you can imagine it, chances are you’ll find something like it in YA.

A look at the New York Times Bestsellers List for Children brings: A story about a ghost-seeing girl who juggles a complicated set of adolescent trials, the tale of a teen who sends audiotapes to 13 peers before committing suicide, a novel about a boy who takes up residence in a cemetery to avoid a killer. You can also find faeries, models, a 16-year-old rookie police woman, and a girl who fights for survival on live TV. There’s even an eco-mystery. And that’s just in Top Ten Hardcover books.

If there’s a subgenre or genre you enjoy reading, you’ll find it in young adult. From the gritty, edgy and literary to the soap opera romps across the page--and everything in between.

The next time you enter a book store, wander back to the teen section. The young adult book world is full of surprises these days – and full of great writing too. Enjoy!

NOTE: Leave a comment on our review of this book and earn another entry into the drawing!


Sarita Leone said...

I think it is great that there is such a diverse selection of YA reading material. You're right, times have changed.

Best wishes!

robynl said...

I would have never thought you'd be able to find such things in the YA section. Interesting.

Kytaira said...

It does seem as if YA is becoming more diverse. I'm hearing of more and more adults that read YA and the lines between YA and *adult* books is bluring.

Charity Tahmaseb said...

I was traveling yesterday and didn't get a chance to comment.

The YA genre is very exciting these days, and books range from the very sweet to very edgy, and everything in between.

The lines are blurring in some cases. My son and I often read the same books, which is great because we have wonderful discussions about them.