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    YA Literature?

    Esme
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    Post by Esme on Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:04 pm

    I'm wondering if any of you read Young Adult literature mixed in with your regular literature? I do, and often find that the YA options are as good, if not better, than many of the adult offerings. 

    Do any of you share that interest? If so, would you like to discuss some YA books too?

    I am gathering information before I get all thread-spammy with stuff that no one else reads.   HA!


    Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
    genkicoll
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    Post by genkicoll on Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:09 pm

    Check out The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and The Books of Pellinor  by Alison Croggon -- both written for "young adults."

    The Harry Potter books were also supposedly for young adults, and while I never actually read them, I did listen to all of them on audio... more than once!  I don't think that JK Rowling is a great author, but I DO think she tells a great story.

    Soooo... the answer to your questions is "Yes!"


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    Post by Frodo on Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:45 pm

    The Hobbit is actualy a children's book (Tolkien wrote it for his young son), but I read it often, and enjoy it.    Big smile 

    And the book is so much better than the film.   Okay 
    One of my favourite scenes in the book, is the barrel scene, when the dwarves are escaping.  But the film turned it into a comedy\action scene, which I didn't like.    Gah!
    Sable
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    Post by Sable on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:55 am

    Love YA books, after stumbling upon one years ago in the Fantasy section of a bookstore. 

    A few of the ones that come quickly to mind:

    Divergent series - first book made into a movie.  Didn't love the third in the series, too talky.
    Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy - by Rae Carson.  I'm on the third of the series, very good.
    Anything at all by Patricia Briggs, one of my favorites.
    The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare - four books that I know of.
    Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    The Wild Hunt by Elspeth Cooper
    Pellinor series by Alison Croggon
    Rigante series by David Gemmell
    Rain Wilds Chronicle by Robin Hobb
    The Briar King by Greg Keyes
    Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

    I'm always on the hunt for a good YA series, prowl Amazon and Barnes & Noble incessantly for even the glimmer of a good one, lol, so you've a captive audience here, Esme.
    Esme
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    Post by Esme on Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:27 am

    LOL Okay! I'm going to post a blurb about a book that I COULD NOT PUT DOWN, but then HAD TO PUT DOWN because I knew it was going to break my heart. 

    Coming up: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
    vervaine
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    Post by vervaine on Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:43 pm

    My genre of choice is fantasy and the young adult version of it usually ranges from mediocre to horrible. I honestly don't understand why fantasy YA has so many fans... IMO the books suffer from stupid characters, simplified plot (one thread only! follow the protagonist! no thinking allowed!) and spoon-fed revelations. The best (bad) example is Trudi Canavan, absolute garbage. 2 vs 2 border fight starting a war between countries, said countries having armies sized 70 people vs 120 people meet in the grand final battle... And that's only the tip of the iceberg. The Magicians' Guild trilogy is the endless source of dumb.

    I can think of only three good YA novels/series. Harry Potter is a bit of exception here, as IMO it doesn't qualify fully as YA - it starts from YA and becomes adventure of sorts. Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen) is so good I didn't notice it was YA till third volume. Sure, it was easy to read and easy to digest, but it didn't feel incomplete. His other YA series, the one starting from Mr Monday, is back to standard single simpleton thread though.
    And my fav is King's Daggers by Dave Duncan (omnibus The Monster Wars), one of the very few books labeled YA that doesn't treat readers like idiots! King's Daggers has multi-threaded plot, multiple protagonists and points of view (!), non-obvious villains (OMG) and touches subjects that aren't easily black and white (!!!!). They're not the main focus of the books, it's YA after all, but they are NOT conspicuously absent like in many YA novels that overly smooth everything to fairytale perfection and simplicity. The best thing is that it makes sense for the protagonist (15 I think) - he notes the serious stuff on the side but doesn't pay much attention / doesn't care because he's young and full of youthful enthusiasm and optimism.

    Young Adult is supposed to be for teens from 12 to 18. They are NOT incapable of thinking processes and it annoys me so when YA books introduce glaring inconsistencies and erratic character behavior for sake of making things easier for target reader. I'm not against simple rides, not everything has to be complex, but please, it should be consistent and feel like a complete experience, not a censored one.

    Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone is YA? :/ I bought The Briar King, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Description sounded kinda dark for YA.
    Edit: not marked as YA on Goodreads. There's hope.

    Oh, and there's also Neil Gaiman's stuff: Coraline, the softcore horror in YA disguise. But I don't think this counts. ;)
    Esme
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    Post by Esme on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:02 pm

    Neil Gaiman always counts in my book. He is a god.  Wub
    vervaine
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    Post by vervaine on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:28 pm

    Oh gosh, I just noticed you intended for this to be only an introductory thread and I went ahead and spammed it anyway. Oops...

    I meant that Neil Gaiman's YA novels aren't the typical YA fare ^^ I love his books. Also, one of few autographs I have~ <3
    genkicoll
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    Post by genkicoll on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:31 pm

    We're talking young adult books, and that's the basic topic, so it's all good Big smile


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    Esme
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    Post by Esme on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:33 pm

    Pffft... no worries. I spam up stuff all the time. Besides, I'd talk about Gaiman all day long if I could. :D

    The YA book I wrote up is not fantasy, but it blew me away with its awesomeness. I'm hard to impress anymore, so when a book makes me happy, I like to share it.


    Actually, I should just put a link for the Eleanor & Park thread here, but I don't know how for sure. Maybe if I flutter my eyes at genki, she'll help me.  flutter eyelashes
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    Post by genkicoll on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:48 pm

    I added it to the first post -- does that work? :D


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    YA Literature? O9fj
    Esme
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    Post by Esme on Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:48 pm

    That works for me! Thank you so much!  Two thumbs up
    djrum
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    Post by djrum on Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:41 am

    I don't read a lot of YA books. At one time, it seemed like they were all about the vampires.  Rolling Eyes 

    I adored the Harry Potter series & fell in love with The Hunger Games trilogy.

    And have been contemplating starting the Divergent series.
    Sable
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    Post by Sable on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:50 am

    I enjoyed the first and second books of the Divergent series, the third not so much.  Seems to me it veered off the adventure path onto the political.  Just mho, of course.

    I know the first was made into a movie, and the second is shooting now. 

    I don't know if the books by Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind, and Wise Man's Fear are YA, but I do know they're exceptionally well written. 

    Also, I enjoyed Christopher Paolini's books of The Inheritance Cycle; understand he wrote the first when he was fifteen years old.  Remarkable.
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    Post by djrum on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:57 pm

    Thanks, Sable. I'll keep that in mind about the Divergent series. For me, with a trilogy, it seems like there's always one book I don't like as much as the rest.

    Oh my gosh, Christopher Paolini is a wonderful author and to be so young when he wrote "Eragon" totally amazed me!
    That's when I first heard of him & had to get this book. Of course, I had to get all of them.
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    Post by Esme on Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:46 am

    I agree, DJ... there's usually one in a trilogy that just doesn't do it for me.

    I "liked" Eragon, but gave up on the series after the second one. It just wasn't keeping my interest for some reason. (I only read the first Hunger Games book too. I'm not a huge fan of dystopian literature).

    And the movie for Eragon? That thing stunk so badly there were fumes coming off my television from it. Oh man was it terrible!
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    Post by Sable on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:29 am

    Lol, Esme, didn't know there was a movie about Eragon, I'm glad you warned me away from it.
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    Post by Esme on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:52 am

    It's bad. In fact, it's probably the worst adaptation of a book to film that I've ever seen. It only got 16% on the tomatometer at rottentomatoes.com.... that is one painfully putrid movie!

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/eragon/
    vervaine
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    Post by vervaine on Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:04 am

    Patrick Rothfuss's stuff isn't normally classified as YA, but it very well could be. It's one of the recent debuts that received an unjustified amount of hype. The books are well-written as in style is good, but the plot and characters are horrible. The main character is the only one that matters, gifted at everything, knows everything, can learn everything approx. 100x faster than everyone else, etc. The author is very much in love with his creation - let's just say that the trilogy he's writing is the prequel trilogy detailing main character's life before the "main" trilogy can start. =.=

    Eragon has its flaws too, but it was a commendable effort given the young age of the author. Too bad it never evolved beyond promising. I think Paolini got caught up with trying to make third book more complex and wide in scope and it all got tangled up. The result was merely "OK" (but still enjoyable). It's a pity he doesn't seem to write more.
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    Post by kac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:49 pm

    I read the Divergent Series and the Hunger Games, plus a bunch more.  I only started reading YA a couple of years ago when it began to get a lot of publicity.  I basically read stuff from authors I've previously read, recommendations for the forums, and reviews I've read in Entertainment Weekly.  That is more than enough to keep me busy. 

    YA is easy reading and goes quickly which is a plus.
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    Post by RenaissanceMom on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:24 am

    genkicoll wrote:Check out The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and The Books of Pellinor  by Alison Croggon -- both written for "young adults."

    The Harry Potter books were also supposedly for young adults, and while I never actually read them, I did listen to all of them on audio... more than once!  I don't think that JK Rowling is a great author, but I DO think she tells a great story.
    I'm generally not a lover of YA; wayyy too much substandard "Mary Sue" style writing for my taste, especially the romance. However, that's true for a lot of adult fiction too these days.  Rolling Eyes  But years ago when my DD was young I began casually exploring YA fantasy to share with her and I'll second Genki's praise of the Prydain books, which are excellent. Anything Lloyd Alexander wrote was smartly written and entertaining.

    Probably more in the children's category than YA but I also remember DD and I taking turns reading aloud The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper, and Diana Wynne Jones' Christomanci books were fun reads. Of course the Harry Potter books were good too but not my favorite. I much preferred Philip Pullman's terrific trilogy as well as Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy, especially the first, Sabriel.  Wub  Many other great YA - mostly fantasy, some sci-fi - but the titles escape me just now.


    In terms of gritty, modern YA, I'm sure many excellent novels exist. I never read The Hunger Games series but I've heard they're very good.

    Confession: my DD works for a literary agent and keeps me supplied with the best books from their authors. Otherwise my preferred category tend to be period classics. I know, I'm predictably boring but can't help it - and I make no apologies.  Silly face


    Last edited by RenaissanceMom on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:27 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Post by RenaissanceMom on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:26 am

    vervaine wrote:My genre of choice is fantasy and the young adult version of it usually ranges from mediocre to horrible. I honestly don't understand why fantasy YA has so many fans... IMO the books suffer from stupid characters, simplified plot (one thread only! follow the protagonist! no thinking allowed!) and spoon-fed revelations. The best (bad) example is Trudi Canavan, absolute garbage. 2 vs 2 border fight starting a war between countries, said countries having armies sized 70 people vs 120 people meet in the grand final battle... And that's only the tip of the iceberg. The Magicians' Guild trilogy is the endless source of dumb.

    I can think of only three good YA novels/series. Harry Potter is a bit of exception here, as IMO it doesn't qualify fully as YA - it starts from YA and becomes adventure of sorts. Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen) is so good I didn't notice it was YA till third volume. Sure, it was easy to read and easy to digest, but it didn't feel incomplete. His other YA series, the one starting from Mr Monday, is back to standard single simpleton thread though.
    And my fav is King's Daggers by Dave Duncan (omnibus The Monster Wars), one of the very few books labeled YA that doesn't treat readers like idiots! King's Daggers has multi-threaded plot, multiple protagonists and points of view (!), non-obvious villains (OMG) and touches subjects that aren't easily black and white (!!!!). They're not the main focus of the books, it's YA after all, but they are NOT conspicuously absent like in many YA novels that overly smooth everything to fairytale perfection and simplicity. The best thing is that it makes sense for the protagonist (15 I think) - he notes the serious stuff on the side but doesn't pay much attention / doesn't care because he's young and full of youthful enthusiasm and optimism.

    Young Adult is supposed to be for teens from 12 to 18. They are NOT incapable of thinking processes and it annoys me so when YA books introduce glaring inconsistencies and erratic character behavior for sake of making things easier for target reader. I'm not against simple rides, not everything has to be complex, but please, it should be consistent and feel like a complete experience, not a censored one.

    Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone is YA? :/ I bought The Briar King, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Description sounded kinda dark for YA.
    Edit: not marked as YA on Goodreads. There's hope.

    Oh, and there's also Neil Gaiman's stuff: Coraline, the softcore horror in YA disguise. But I don't think this counts. ;)
    I enjoyed your post Vervaine, and appreciate the suggestions!
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    Post by djrum on Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:23 pm

    I finally got around to reading a preview of "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak.

    I thought I'd seen where it was listed in YA literature (I'm not sure, though).

    After determining who was narrating the story, it's definitely different, so I got it.

    One thing I have figured out, movies are NEVER as good as the book! As much as I loved The Hunger Games, I've never seen the first movie, nor the second.
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    Post by luvtoread on Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:23 pm

    The Hunger Games,   I would recommend the Movies.  They really are true to the book..
    (which, means, of course,  you know what is coming,  which is in some instances heartbreaking!)
    Watching  Cinna's fashions come to life is wonderful to see.    Lenny Kravtz does the role
    wonderfully.    (He's not so bad to look at,  either.)
    djrum
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    Post by djrum on Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:09 pm

    Both of my sisters loved The Hunger Games movies. And Lenny Kravitz is in the movie????

    I agree, he is easy on the eyes!!!!!  Silly face

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