Young Adult Power Surge

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Young adult literature is taking the world by storm right now, and I'm so excited that I get to be a part of providing information to readers about what I like to call the "young adult power surge." I was lucky enough to guest edit the current March/April issue of WOW!, which went live TODAY. And it's all about YA! This issue is full of awesome articles about censorship issues, voice, writing nonfiction for teens, using technology to reach readers, finding inspiration for this age group, and more. You don't want to miss any of the articles if you are a YA writer, a wanna-be YA writer, or a YA reader. Just click on the link to the WOW! e-zine over to the left of this post, and you'll be taken to the issue.

Some of my friends, who are over the age of 30, love YA books and are always recommending them to me. They actually read more YA books than adult books; and when you pick up books like Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Crank by Ellen Hopkins, or City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, it's not hard to see why. Not to mention the Twilight and Harry Potter crazes--teens aren't the only ones responsible for shooting Stephenie Meyer and J. K. Rowling to stardom--adults love them, too.

What is it about this genre? Why is it so popular? Why are adults, like me, marking down the date on their calendars for the release of the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy this summer? I wish I had the magic answer, but I don't. Sometimes, I think it's because we all wish we were teenagers again, but with the knowledge we currently have. So, when we're reading these books, we picture ourselves in this turmoil and how we would get out of it with all our new-found knowledge. Other times, I think we love YA because the writers work so hard to present honest characters in unique situations, and we just fall in love with them. Could it be because these books are just plain good?

What about you? Do you love YA literature even though you're an adult? What are some of your favorites? And by all means, if you have the magic answer of why YA is so hot right now and/or why we love it so much no matter what our age, please share with us!

Happy reading and writing!
Margo L. Dill


Kelly Klein said...

I agree that the YA market is just exploding right now and I'm thrilled that it's a genre I also happen to write! I think there's something about well-written YA novels that taps into the memories that adults still carry from their own teen years. The major issues of the day certainly change, but teens from any decade still experience the same angst, self-doubt, frustration and desire to be an adult. I also think the pace of a YA novel tends to be faster than some adult novels so you don't feel like you're waiting a long time for the story to get going.

I am 41 and have been reading some fantastic YA novels recently. The Hunger Games triology, of course, is high on my list. Other recent favorites include both Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore and the Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer. On my shelf to read soon: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

Margo Dill said...

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for sharing those titles. I also have Shiver on my list. I have heard great things about that novel! I will have to check out some of your other suggestions. Glad to see that my friends and I are not alone. :)


Debra Driza said...

I'm an adult who writes YA and also reads it almost exclusively. Why? Because the typical YA book is more tightly plotted, faster paced, and draws me into the MC more than its adult counterpart. As the mother of two small children, I've found I'm just too ADD these days to stick with many adult books.

My fave YA reads lately are Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers--a must-read for mothers of girls, about a former bully who has the tables turned on her---and, of course, Catching Fire. Love the world-building and tension. Plus, hello romantic arc! Go Team Peeta! :D

Carrie Snider said...

I do find it rather interesting the way YA is surging. Perhaps people prefer adventure without smut, fantasy worlds their childhood memories call up, or it's more of an escape because you don't have to think as much.

Rebecca said...

I'm working on a young adult novel. I didn't set out to write one, it just happened. I haven't dedicated too much time to it because I'm cleaning up my teleplay. But, I will put it on my schedule.

I haven't read that many young adult novels, but one of my favorites is Go Ask Alice. I think it was printed back in 1971 and is still going strong today.

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