I have a profound love affair with the Young Adult genre. This is something that I am proud to admit and also something I cannot deny since, as you will find, my fondness for YA has leaked into my work. The following article is a piece I’ve written for an assessment when I was at university. As they say, “write what you know” or “write what you love.” Well, why not both?
WHAT IS IT ABOUT YA BOOKS: A LOOK AT ITS POPULARITY AND FANDOMS First published on 16 July 2014 on Where Words Fly.
Over a decade into the boom in Young Adult Literature and 2014 looks like it is still yet the year that the Young Adult genre is going to be cemented as a true force.
There were 30 000 Young Adult titles published in 2009, which is a massive increase from the 3 000 titles in 1997. In the same year, publishing companies’ total sales for YA exceeded $3 billion and it has been publishers’ favourite bet ever since. To add, according to an artice in The LA Times, more than a dozen publishers has launched young adult imprints. And finally, with websites such as Epicreads releasing lists of “The 15 Most Anticipated YA Books Coming” every month since September in 2013 to date, it is evident that YA popularity is as strong as ever if not growing even stronger.
Unspoken, the first book of The Lynburn Legacy Series, is a book not to be read at night or in the very early hours of the morning. (Yep. I stayed overnight until the break of dawn reading this.) This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Or maybe, I’m just faint-hearted. ‘Sassy gothic’ is the term used by the author to describe this, which cannot be more spot-on. Romance. Check! Horror. CHECK! (But then again, I’m easy to scare.) Sassiness? Oh yeah… overflowing in every shape and form.
Unspoken tells of Kami Glass, a female protagonist who can defenestrate her own thugs. What can I say? She totally kick ass and quite literally as well because she knows handy self-defense moves. She’s an aspiring journalist who just successfully set up a school paper. With that comes along her strong nose for stories and incurable and sometimes dangerously placed nosiness too. You can easily rule her out as ordinary (and also awesome, of course) if not for her ‘friend’. This friend exists in the name of Jared and only in her head (have no mistake, she’s still awesome). She’s been talking to this ‘imaginary’ friend all her life – from shared lullabies to puberty tantrums. It is both a connection which became her source of strength and comfort and the cause of her estrangement from the rest of her tiny placid ordinary town. Laughing at nothing and staring at empty space while she’s lost in her head are the norms for Kami until Jared turns out to be corporeal and volunteers to throw thugs out windows for her.
Jared is real and incredibly tall and incredibly handsome and incredibly getting on Kami’s nerves. Just like Kami and the author, Sarah, I have no real objections to handsome princes… so, I’m all in for that! However, Kami’s bewildered. All her life she thought she’s mental but now here’s a deal breaker for her craziness or has she only became even crazier? The story continues to unfold as Kami deals with this big revelation. While that’s happening it’s not like everything else around her is helping as a bigger and more sinister reveal is brewing.
Clockwork Princessis not a roller coaster of emotions. It is a massive dizzying swirl. A moment you are laughing and the next you are pulling your hair out. It shifts so rapidly – not even between chapters. Sometimes, even within the same page.
The Infernal Devicesis one of my favourite series. I love it so much and I don’t say that lightly. The historical references, the setting (Victorian London, mainly), the classic book quotations, the concept, the characters, the plot, the narrative, the prose… I love it in its entirety. My only complaint is that Clockwork Princess is too tragic. But really, having read Clockwork Angeland Clockwork Prince… I should have seen that coming (I love it nonetheless). It’s also the final sequel of the series and it’s harder to get through it when you know that at the end there will be no more. I am not in the least kidding when I say that strawberries and chocolates got me through this book.
If I have claws or talons for hands, my sheets and mattress would be shredded. Also include the desk and shelf beside my bed as collateral damages in this reading experience, for I might have scratched at them too much. Those didn’t stop me gripping at the pages though or sticking my eyes at the words.
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”
Cliché much? Never fear because this book is something else and so much more. In this fantasy fiction, recently named by Amazon UK as the #1 Young Adult Book of 2012, Laini Taylor grabbed the characters of mythology and religion and took them for a spin. And maybe some cartwheels, prances, and happy dances too.
Teenage girl Karou has been threading between the modern world and ‘Elsewhere’ all her life. She’s equipped with wish beads and coins though, so that’s pretty cool. Somehow, she finds the balance and sanity in being raised by magical chimaeras in the completely mundane, yet beautiful, Prague. Well, only until Akiva, also known as her love-interest-slash-mortal-nemesis-of-her-family, shows his gorgeous face. Karou suddenly found herself also trapped between an ongoing war of two ancient races, the Chimaeras and the Seraphims.