You know, it’s kind of a strange thing to be 30(ish) and still loving (some) Middle Grade and (a LOT) Young Adult books:
But seriously . . .
I do try to avoid teenage angst-filled, melodramatic, and overly high school YA books, but sometimes you just can’t tell until you crack the spine. Which is unfortunate, b/c I’m sure that there are several of you out there who feel you have given YA a more than fair shot, but it’s just not for you b/c the teenage angst-filled, melodramatic, and overly high school YA books are the only kind that you’ve happened to stumble across.
Well, I’m here to tell you that there is more to YA than that. LOTS more. In fact, most of my favorite YA books are (IMO) only categorized that way b/c of 1. the numerical age of the MC(s), and 2. lack of hanky-panky.
How do I find these mythical light on angst, heavy on action and entertainment YA books?
A couple of different ways:
- I internet stalk other bloggers who are my age and share my penchant for YA literature.
- I avoid contemporary YA.
It’s much easier for a YA novel to avoid the standard pitfalls if the story takes place in a fantasy or a futuristic and/or post-apocalyptic world. In fantasy worlds, it’s not unusual for a teenager to be considered an adult, and to have adult responsibilities at age 16, or sometimes even younger, if a tragedy befalls a family, and the oldest child must act as head of household. In futuristic or post-apocalyptic, the author has more freedom to chose how mature the characters should be, and often chose more rather than less.
It’s not a foolproof plan, but then again, I don’t think there is one. For ANY genre. Even sticking exclusively to your preferred genres won’t keep you from occasionally falling head-long into a stinker. So you do what you can to minimize the risk. And I think I’ve done that.
Some of my current favorite YA series are:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles:
And some of my older favorite YAs from already completed series (or standalones):
How about you? What are some of your YA favorites? Are any of my favorites your favorites also?