21 March, 2010

How I Learned to Love YA

Recently, I've noticed how popular YA novels have become with people who aren't, well, young adults. My sister has been raving about several authors over the past few years, namely, Anna Godbersen and Maggie Stiefvater. Now, Jenna would not be considered a young adult, (I won't divulge her actual age, because we're twins!) but she reads YA almost exclusively.

Most of the short stories that I have completed, and all of the novels that I have started were aimed at an adult audience. Why not try something new? I thought to myself last year, when I hit a serious wall in my creativity. And so, I embarked on a new YA manuscript. Of course, the first thing I had to do was research.

The first author that I read shelved in the YA section of Barnes and Noble was Susan Beth Pfeffer. Her novel, Life As We Knew It, caught my eye because it dealt with a world-wide phenomenon, that would quickly turn Earth into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And it was all the more compelling, because it was relatively plausible. I read the companion, The Dead and The Gone soon after.

Now, I was hooked. Research? What research? I was now reading books that I liked, not just to study the craft, but for entertainment. I devoured Melissa de la Cruz's Bluebloods and Masquerade (pun intended). Maureen Johnson, Mandy Hubbard, Rachel Caine and Melissa Marr are authors that I found in my local library. I quickly realized how much talent I had missed out on by bypassing the YA section.

I've just finished reading Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under Glass, and I've started Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush. And I have to say that judging by all of these authors, the bar is pretty high. So, I'm going back to my own manuscript, because I've got some work to do.
Until next read,

1 comment:

  1. It's always good to try new things. I'm afraid I haven't read much YA myself. It is a good idea to read a lot in the genre you want to write.


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