?

Log in

entries friends calendar user info Previous Previous
YA fantasy and SF
...for adult readers!
ya_f_sf
romantic_envy
I was searching for a community to share my love of Erin Hunter's Warriors when I stumbled upon this community. I get that look from people when I tell them I'm reading about clans of forest cats... *sighs*

Over the past couple of years I've been reminded of how much that I enjoy reading YA books. It seems that's a huge part of my reading diet this year, hehe! I also really like Howl's Moving Castle, His Dark Materials, Blood and Chocolate, Sirena... uh, the list might go on? And the Inheritance series is a guilty pleasure due to the fact that I really like the character Murtagh. ^^;;

Anyway I've started reading Warriors: The New Prophecy. Very excited to see what happens in these books!
Leave a comment
labellementeuse
ya_f_sf
labellementeuse
Wow, it's a bit quiet in here. Uh. *feels awkward*

So I'm doing a research project on young adult fantasy and how it might compare in theme, style, and content to adult fantasy. The idea is to pick two YA texts and one adult text and use these as tools of comparison. I'm using Holly Black's Tithe, and Charles de Lint's The Blue Girl (YA text) and The Onion Girl (adult text). (Yes, I am taking the most awesome class ever!) All of these texts are, to one degree or another, really concerned with violence against women and violence against girls/children - chiefly, but not limited to, rape and child abuse. At any rate, both the YA books - if you've not read them, I recommend, although I think de Lint's adult books are in some ways superior (and I say that as an egalitarian reader) - and the adult book are fairly graphic and similar in theme. (There's some sanitisation and I'll get into that - they're great texts to use because of their similarities, because variations stand out and are significant.)

HOWEVER, both the books are fairly recent - 2002 for Tithe, 2004 for The Blue Girl. I think urban fantasy generally is interestingly concerned with violence against women - perhaps because de Lint is so influential in the genre - but I also think that Tithe and The Blue Girl represent new levels of willingness to be graphic and honest with it in YA novels. I also believe they represent the move towards female protagonists for YAs as being as sympathetic as male protagonists, and also a broad tradition of women in faerie literature (I have so many ideas, guys, they're coming out of my ears, this essay will be a zillion words long - but the idea for me is that teenaged girls (and sometimes gay boys) are supposed by some authors to have special knowledge about faerie.) ANYWAY! My question to you is: am I right about the trend? I've read a lot of YA fiction but my knowledge is not enclyclopedic and I'm only 20. Do you remember YA fantasy, especially urban fantasy, novels published in '99 - '95 - '90 - '85 that deal seriously with child abuse, drug use, sex, violence? That feature girls or gay boys, especially "alternative" (rebellious, wrong side of the tracks, dealing with class prejudice, whatnot) types? That deal with faerie? How? Is faerie an escape, a dangerous place, a neutral location?

(Side paragraph: There's an argument that in YA fiction gay girls and boys are usually in similar positions to these alternative types - they find themselves feeling as if they're on the fringe of their school's society because they don't conform to heteronormativity, rather than because they don't conform to expectations about appearance, class, intelligence, committment to education. The difference is that these characters have little to no choice in this feeling of being different (although they may "pass" somehow) whereas other alternative types often speak of embracing their difference, or choosing it, and can point to significant moments that made them choose this kind of behaviour.)

Anyway, after all that blather - ladies (& gents?), I'm really interested to hear your opinions as well as your book suggestions. Hit me with it!
8 comments or Leave a comment
bectod
ya_f_sf
bectod
I am an avid reader of YA fiction.  As a school librarian I have to be.
I am currently reading the 2009 Rebecca Caudill list. (an Illinois state contest where they give you 20 books, you read them all and then vote on the best - open to everyone in IL - many states have similar contests.)

I'd thought I give you a couple of recent releases that are fantastic

The invention of Hugo Carbet - part graphic novel, part traditional, totally fantastic
The Twilight Series - Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn - vampire/werewolves/human teenager love triangles
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
Maximum Ride - James Patterson
Gossamer - Lois Lowrey
Airborn - Kenneth Oppel
Marked - PC Cast
Extras - Scott Westerfield - not the first in the series, but the first that deals with not humans.
Leave a comment
i_autumnheart
ya_f_sf
i_autumnheart
My bad - the originator of the book recs meme was jpsorrow, not deense. But deense is still collecting recs for a master list, so feel free to link her if you borrow the meme for yourselves.
Leave a comment
i_autumnheart
ya_f_sf
i_autumnheart
jpsorrow has kicked off a great meme which aims to create a huge list of recommendations for people looking for something to read post (or instead of) Deathly Hallows...

Here are the rules:

1. You must copy and paste the directions, rules, and the list so far into your blog and then add three (and only three) books to the list.

2. These three books must NOT already be on the list so far. They must be fantasy or science fictional in nature that those who enjoyed Harry Potter may also enjoy. You must provide your name and a link to your blog and/or website so that people may contact you to ask for more information about the books, if they want. They must be books that you have actually read yourself.

3. You cannot recommend a series; instead, recommend the first book in the series. Terry Pratchett's Discworld would NOT be considered a series; but Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time would. Use your best judgment about whether you're recommending a series or not.

4. You must label the books as either YA (young adult, suitable for the younger fans of Harry Potter) or A (adult, suitable for the not-so-younger fans of Harry Potter). Please be clear about this. It will be understood that anything labelled YA is also recommended for A.

5. If you are an author, you CANNOT recommend your own books. (You can however hound your friends into recommending your books.)

6. Providing a link to information about the books you are recommending is optional.

7. OPTIONAL: Comment on deense's post with this meme to add your recommendations to her master list.

I have also posted this on my personal journal, but as the YA books in the responses so far greatly outnumber the adult-only stuff, I thought this community might be interested as well :)

The List so far...Collapse )

Current Mood: curious curious

5 comments or Leave a comment
cheddartrek
ya_f_sf
cheddartrek
Hey there everyone. I just finished reading an engaging YA story and had to share it with someone. Fortunately I know just the place for that. =)

Title: Shield of Stars (Part I of the Shield, Sword, and Crown Trilogy)
Author: Hilari Bell
ISBN: 1416905944
Genre: Action/Adventure
Plot summary: A young clerk, formerly a pickpocket, escapes when his beloved mentor is arrested for treason. He embarks on a journey to rescue the only person who trusts or cares for him.
Verdict: One of my new favorite YA reads, meaning I quite enjoyed it.

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

1 comment or Leave a comment
the_jackalope
ya_f_sf
the_jackalope
I've been thinking recently about Scott Westerfeld's trilogy (Uglies, Pretties, and Specials) and what I think it says about modern psychiatry. The basic premise of the books, for those who haven't read it, is that in the future everyone on their sixteenth birthday undergoes a surgery to make them pretty. It's a post apocalyptic setting, and everyone lives in the cities. major series spoilers beneath cutCollapse )

Thoughts?
5 comments or Leave a comment
matril
ya_f_sf
matril
I enjoy YA f/sf (hence my membership in this community) but I don't feel like I've read a particularly wide range, and I'd like some recommendations. And I'm leery of just picking any series off the shelf in a bookstore. So what's good? What do you recommend? I'm hoping that once I've read it, I can actually go ahead and discuss it here.

And to start things off, here's my rec:
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

LA was one of my favorite authors growing up, and I'm relatively sure I can classify this series as YA rather than children's. It could be considered a kind of LOTR-lite, with a definite leaning toward Welsh mythology, but I've always enjoyed it on repeat readings. It follows the adventures of Taran, Assistant Pig-keeper and his various companions, and though the stories are fairly simple, the characters feel engaging and sympathetic. Five books, each fairly self-contained, though an arc connects the series as a whole: The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King(The second book, the Black Cauldron, bears only a partial resemblence to the Disney movie of the same name).
4 comments or Leave a comment
fernwithy
ya_f_sf
fernwithy
I've been reading steadily from a pile of books that came into my hands. Three of them were f/sf (I'll review the two historical fictions on my regular journal).

Title: Boy Heaven
Author: Laura Kasischke
ISBN: 0060813148
Genre: Horror
Plot summary: Three girls from a cheerleading camp send some local boys to "Boy Heaven" in an original story based on urban legend form.
Verdict: Much better than it sounded.
Yeah, the story's pedestrian, BUT...Collapse )

Title: The Prophecy
Author: Hilari Bell
ISBN: 006059943X
Genre: Fantasy
Plot Summary: Scholarly, undersized Prince Perryndon finds a prophecy that will help him slay a dragon and earn his father's respect.
Verdict: Not as good as it should be
Are my plotlines showing?Collapse )

Title: 15 Minutes
Author: Steve Young
ISBN: 0060725087
Genre: Time travel
Plot Summary: Casey Little comes across an invention of his late grandfather's, a time machine which will take him back fifteen minutes in time.
Verdict: Too young for my crowd, but funny.
Oh, be honest... you know what you'd doCollapse )
Leave a comment
fernwithy
ya_f_sf
fernwithy
Another leap-off from Warriors, though it doesn't directly come from it.

Warriors is team-written under the pseud "Erin Hunter." As someone who does most of her writing under a pseud, this is not necessarily bothersome to me, and finding out that there is one idea woman and a couple of writers who split the task basically gave me an image of three women sitting together knocking back some cold ones while speculating about the secret life of cats.

On the other hand, while I didn't feel quite as betrayed as one of my colleagues did about discovering that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Gossip Girl (and the whole line from that company) were made to order based on perceived desires of teenagers, I did conjure up much colder images of a bunch of people in an executive suite cackling evilly over the latest survey results and throwing together a bunch of garbage to sell based on a totally cynical ploy. (That they proceeded to start listing the fashion companies that their cover models were wearing didn't help.)

Is there a genre difference between SF/F and mundanefic that would explain this? I mean, I can see my own preferences coming into play--I can't see why, other than base motives, anyone would deliberately manipulate characters to make them do what teenagers are perceived as wanting, while, yeah, making up a world playing around with it is totally nothing more than an amusing social activity. But the truth is, even if I found out that HarperCollins Publishers was doing exactly the same cynical thing--"Girls like cats; let's make up stories about cats and so on"--I wouldn't feel particularly let down.

Thoughts? Bueller?

Tags:

9 comments or Leave a comment