30 Day Book Challenge, Day 6

It is a gloriously hot day here in Canada. Yes, we get heat in Canada. I want to be stretched out on a lawn chair reading instead of cooped up inside working. But them’s the breaks, I guess.

Day Six: Your Favorite Young Adult Book?

Young adult (which I will shorten to YA for the duration of this post) is a very tricky genre. I think authors feel they have to “dumb down” their ideas to make them acceptable and accessible to a YA crowd. Teens and tweens don’t care much about social change, politics or the finer points of adult life. For the most part. There are exceptions to every rule, and some teens and tweens are very globally minded. But a lot of them are not. And as such, the literature geared towards them is geared towards things that will make them feel something. i.e. sex and love, failed romances, escaping high school (usually into something fantasy related) and lots of angst.

This is why so much YA is bad. It is dumbed down TOO much into these categories, and it doesn’t pay attention to being good literature, a good story, etc.

That said, there is some good YA out there. Including…

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

This series has it all. Magic, evil family, great friends, well-written romance (that doesn’t dominate) and an underlying message that doing the right thing dominates over doing the easy thing. And J.K. Rowling is one of the best people ever. I want to meet her someday. I don’t know what else to say about these books. I laughed, I cried, and I re-read these books on a regular basis just to see how the characters are doing. Some people don’t classify Harry Potter as YA, but it was originally meant to be. And it has transcended genres since then. Truly brilliant book.

Do you have a favorite YA book?

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3 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge, Day 6

  1. I totally agree with how you describe YA here.

    Despite how much I love Harry Potter, my favorite YA book is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I love the story, the unique point of view. It’s a very small, personal story to represent events of WWII in a really intriguing way.

    • Honestly, The Book Thief wasn’t on my radar when I was writing this, because it transcended genres for me. The only way it was YA was because it featured a young main character… that was it. And I loved it dearly for that. Great pick!

  2. Yeah, there’s nothing to do here but agree with you about the Potter gig. I was so happy to finally read the entire series in one shot and then watch the movies. My friend then officially labeled me a Potterhead. It was a happy moment.
    A great series with yes, like you said, magic, emotions, relationships, evil, castles, a great school life, mystery, fantasy… It is amazing. I’m not sure where else to go with this genre. There was a string of books I read as a kid called the Dakota King series – a cool little mystery series. I’m not sure though, it could have been middle-grade. Ah well.

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