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.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
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. 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.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 enjoyed your post Vervaine, and appreciate the suggestions!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. ;)