#young adult fiction
couldn’t stop thinking about these two after i finished awtwb. I can’t put into words how much I adore this series and it’s characters; Thankyou @rainbowrowell and everyone who made these books so magical <3
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I finally put text on this! I think I started this a year ago. I decided that I actually like it better barely coloured (mostly just pencil crayon) -- it looks kind of weightless, which works with the title.
(and yes this is the third time I’ve posted a new version of this picture 😂)
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Hypothesis: the main characteristic that makes YA literature YA is the very high level of reader identification it promotes with its protagonists. This explains many, maybe most of the common qualities of YA books, and also many of the limitations of YA
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appreciating that a character is well-written does not mean agreeing with their actions or decisions.
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idonotraisecain: that's all very true but who the fuck decided to call older teenagers "young adults"
In terms of book marketing, young adult fiction is situation purely within the 13-18 age range, versus however else you might define the phrase ‘young adult’. It’s also very clearly marketed and labelled as such.
FYI this was done to distinguish it from Middle Grade fiction, targeting 8-12 readers. Though there is blur in the middle - kids usually read up - this was solidified in the late 1990s/early 2000s, for marketing reasons. (I may be wrong on that exact timeline, feel free to correct me if so.)
Young Adult is also very often focused on Coming of Age events, lifetime changes, and (of course) issues that would relate to teens, which is why while you will find YA books with college-age protagonists in them, they are still written for the perspective of mid-teen readers.
tl;dr you can read a marketing genre that’s not aimed at you but good god don’t expect it to conform to your demands when you are not the target audience.
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houses as funny tweets
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11 Anticipated Young Adult Books By Trans/Nonbinary Authors
Teen Vogue has done it again: It has given us a new informative article of relevance to trans and nonbinary people. This time Charlie Jane Anders is looking at young adult books by, for and/or about queer people.
Trans and/or non-binary authors like Akwaeke Emezi, Cory McCarthy, and Kacen Callendar have been taking young-adult fiction by storm.
Just five years ago, there were only a handful of YA novels by self-identified trans/nb authors, but since then the floodgates have opened.
There are at least two dozen YA books by trans/nb authors coming in 2021, and many of these books also represent other identities that have been sorely lacking in teen reads, including BIPOC authors.
"The breadth and depth of genres, narratives, and representation in these books are even more important than the mere presence of gender-nonconforming authors," says author Ray Stoeve, who maintains a list of books for young readers by trans/non-binary authors.
Here are some of the most exciting young adult books coming in 2021:
Can't Take That Away by Steven Salvatore (March 9)
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas (March 23)
Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve (April 13)
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee (May 4)
May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor (May 18)
The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon (June 1)
The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons (June 1)
The [Un]Popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez (June 1)
The Sisters of Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole Davis (Aug 10)
The Scratch Daughters by Hannah Clarke (Sept. 14)
Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar (Fall 2021)
The original article has short presentations of each book.
Click here for Ray Stoeve’s YA/MG Trans & Nonbinary Voices Masterlist.
See also: 5 NONFICTION BOOKS FROM 2020 THAT CHALLENGE MAINSTREAM QUEER NARRATIVES
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Caring doesn't sometimes lead to misery. It always does.
John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson
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This image/room belongs to the lovely @stampsandstamps ~ I really hope to have a space as lovely as the ones they create someday! I absolutely the beautiful vintage/cottage theme in their decor style!
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Young Adult Tropes: The Immortal and the Teenager
Soooo, I was motivated to post this meta today, cause I keep seeing this argument pop up throughout the Shadow and Bones fandom which is decrying Alina and the Darkling because of the age gap. Cause, ya know, she’s seventeen to eighteen (and who knows what they’ve made her in the show) and he’s hundreds of years old.
I assume that these people haven’t read that many YA fantasy novels, because this particular trope is so common that you can’t throw a stone in the Barnes and Noble YA fantasy section without hitting one. And it is popular for a very simple reason: Teens want to imagine themselves with the hot, immortal, fantasy creature.
Vampires, angels, demons, Fae, magicians, witches, aliens, ghosts, straight up gods--there are a lot of love interests in YA fiction that have been around for 100 + years. And now they’re taking interest in the teenage protagonist (Usually 17 or 18). Why is the protagonist a teenager? Cause that’s the target audience. Now, usually, the love interest still LOOKS young. They died or were turned or present themselves as close to the age of the protagonist. But obviously that doesn’t change the fact that they’re not.
So is this problematic? Is this giving a BAD lesson to teenagers? Is it pedophilia?
Short answer? No. Long answer: No! It’s not giving a bad lesson because guess what? Not a single teenager is gonna get asked out by an immortal entity. They are NEVER going to be faced with this dilemma of meeting a hot guy who looks there age but is actually centuries (or sometimes millenia) old. I certainly never got asked to prom by a vampire or a demon. It’s a problem that simply does not exist.
It’s wish fulfillment in the paranormal romance genre. Teenagers want to imagine joining a magic society of some sort. Getting into a romance with some otherworldly guy. And yeah, occasionally the protagonist will end up with the human love interest closer to their age, but for every one of those there's one when she like...becomes a vampire queen or ascends to godhood or whatever.
To spotlight a teenager x immortal ship I don’t personally like--I don’t vibe with Edward and Bella. But while I make fun of the ridiculous concept of a vampire wanting to go to high school again, it’s not the age gap that matters to me at the end of the day. That’s standard fair for YA paranormal romance. It’s that I don’t like a lot of his behavior toward her. And that’s fine. I don’t have to jump to the age gap to defend my positions.
My point is there are a LOT of reasons to criticize Darklina as toxic. Age gap aside, he wants to use her for her power in book one. He hurts and kills a bunch of her friends.These are very good reasons to not like Darklina and I’m not gonna fight anyone who doesn’t like them (so long as they aren’t clowning in the tags). People who don’t like hero x villain ships aren’t going to like them and that’s chill.
But lets not bring the moralizing ‘the age gap is toxic’ stuff into the game because, again: This is just a trope of YA. And don’t worry. We’re never going to meet anyone like the Darkling in real life. The cool shadow wizard isn’t going to come to my house. Very tragic, but it’s true.
Also, even worse, people who talk about the fourteen year age gap between the actors?? Jessie is 25. A full grown adult by several years with her brain fully finished developing. She’s my age. Ben being fourteen years older is just not the problem you think it is, especially when they are ACTORS doing a JOB. Hell, the age difference between the actors who played Geralt and Yennefer in the Witcher was only one year less and she was younger at the time she played it. Didn’t see people complaining about THAT being toxic. And it wasn’t. Cause they are adults and professionals.
You can dislike a ship without having to get all high and mighty about it. It is possible. And when I see you picking at this particular thing, I just think you haven’t read a lot in the YA genre.
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i see no lie in this. aside from misogyny that shames and sneers at girls for simply liking things or gives a negative connotation to the word 'girly', fear is a significant reason behind the contempt
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It’s 1am, why not post? Snowbaz Spider-Man upside-down kiss scene; I’m not sure if this has been done, but I thought it’d be cute <3 / June 27
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Sang and Clara, round two! These characters are from Rachel Griffin’s debut novel The Nature of Witches. Rachel commissioned me to draw her couple kissing in a derelict house. I’ve since read the book, and decided I wanted to draw it again, only my version this time -- outdoors, because these two have a way of making weather happen around them! (They’re both witches). The book was fantastic btw 😊
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instead of debating whether Young Adult books or literary fiction or popular bestsellers or classics or whatever are better or worse, let’s start judging fiction books based on how interesting they will be to future historians for the purpose of understanding our society
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everyone is out here arguing “enemies to lovers” or “friends to lovers” and some people really went and said “no, siblings to lovers” and we just let them huh
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hidden671254839: I've found some hard challenges, dark moods, and gore in age 10-12 books, a lack of sex in adult books, and you know what? My takeaway is that age-rankings are based on how many times a book says fuck. (For those curious, the book that gave the most fucks? Lies of Locke Lamora my beloved.)
Man, I gotta say that the hard and fast American rule of “you can glorify violence all you want BUT NO SEX ALLOWED” of movies is sweeping into every other media and it’s as bad there as it is in movies (just look at the way superhero comics translates to film - a superhero who cares about innocent bystanders or would never let a villain die just lets them get mowed down, etc).
That said, there are some definite rules of themes when it comes to age groups - MG is about finding your place, YA is about discovering yourself, etc. Neil Gaiman has a great insight on why his book Ocean At The End Of The Lane stars a child, but isn’t for children laid out in this series of tweets here (spoilers, etc).
So when we approach such concepts as sex in YA, we have to remember to keep it at a teenager’s level. You also have to remember that teen readers read up, so your 18-year-old protagonist will have a lot of 15/16-year-olds reading it. At 18, your idea of sex may be totally different than it is at 15, but you want to scale accordingly to include your average readership range. Therefore sex in YA is usually either focused on first time experiences, figuring out your sexuality, working things out amid cultural expectations, or navigating new relationships.
(This often changes slightly when it comes to YA fantasy, but let’s be frank, YA fantasy is a bit of a mess and filled with books forced into the YA category rather than written for YA from the start.)
Honestly, I think one of the reasons why this issue comes up is because sex in YA is such a disconnect for adult readers. They either don’t relate to it as a person way beyond that phase, or they’re offended by it because they’re using YA to avoid sex in adult fiction, rather than look for adult fiction that doesn’t have sex in it (AND THERE’S PLENTY, JUST TRY HARDER).
It’s a mess, basically.
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Book Recommendation #11
Comments: Loved it first because it had dragons, and it kept me interested with all the worldbuilding. Nice that it had a glossary of spells in the back of the book.
Series: Inheritance Cycle
Author: Christopher Paolini
Synopdsis: One boy...
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Word Count: 157k
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To save their country from alien invaders, boys of Huaxia become pilots of huge transforming mecha called Chrysalises. But the boys do not have the power to pilot these mecha alone... they need a concubine... a woman... to siphon qi from. Unfortunately this arrangement is often fatal for the woman. But because the government pays very well for these sacrifices, poor families from all over Huaxia offer up their daughters in the hopes that their deaths will benefit their sons.
This is what happened to 18-year-old Zeitan's older sister. Except her sister died at the hands of her pilot=husband and not in battle, which meant her family got nothing. Now with vengeance in mind, Zeitan offers herself up to the very man who murdered her sister. And she succeeds... but not in the way anyone expected. During battle, she kills him through their psychic link, earning herself the title of Iron Widow.
Enraged, the powers that be pair her up with their strongest pilot, Li Shimin. Shimin is a murderer... a man who killed his own family. He's an alcoholic. And no woman has survived a battle with him.
Okay who's ready for some trigger warnings? Because--Oh boy!-- does this book need them. Triggers for: Rape, domestic abuse, foot binding, sexism, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, murder, physical abuse, alcoholism, substance abuse, gaslighting, parental abuse, spousal abuse, major character death (I mean...*points to the blurb*), and more I've probably missed. Please make sure you're in a good place before reading this.
Also this review will contain some spoilers.
But they're good spoilers. The kind that will likely be important to potential readers.
Now that I've gotten the warnings out of the way, I need to gush about this book. It's so freaking good, y'all. Like seriously good. Like I want all the fanfic for it now.
First off, it's a novel written by a queer Author of Color @xiranjayzhao. You might know them for some of their other online things. But this is their debut and it is faboo.
We totally need more of this. Seriously, we need more of this. Additionally, I'm happy to see a book that is rooted in Chinese culture and mythology playing with so many tropes.
I absolutely adored how this book flipped a lot of tropes on their ears while at the same time playing a lot of them straight. This book read like a fanfic, but that is not a bad thing. Fanfic is not a bad word. Fanfic is an incredibly popular and influential type of derivative fiction that is produced by fans for fans. So when I say that the book reads like a fanfic, it’s a compliment. It means that the book was readable and could appeal to an audience who wants something familiar while also having their alternate universes.
Because that's what this is. An AU of Chinese history and mythology with sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal elements. If you like that kind of thing, you will love this. This is the kind of book that readers of the Hunger Games will love. Seriously. I got so many Hunger Games vibes from this, and I loved it.
This is also a YA fantasy novel that contra to what is typical in the genre goes "Nope! No love triangles for you! We're going to have some healthy polyamory." and I am 100000000% here for it. Like seriously... no more love triangles... give me polyamory instead. And it's an equal triad. Squeeeeeeeeee!
Readers do need to note that there are closed door sex scenes. What that means is that there is implied sex on the page but nothing is shown. There's some kissing and heavy petting, but that's about it. Nothing too explicit. And nothing that would take this out of YA.
So let's talk characters. Zeitan has a very Katniss feel to her. She's protective of her family to a point. But moreso she's protective of those that she's deemed as innocent and those who have been wronged by the system. She starts out as focused on only one goal -- kill the man who killed her sister. And when she succeeds, she discovers a new goal -- save the women who are sacrificed/murdered by a system that chews them up and spits them out like cherry pits. She's strong, but she's also flawed. She's powerful... but she also has bound feet so cannot fight physically. She is a disabled heroine who kicks butt and takes names. And she's also human. Her family doesn’t value her, but they want her to value her family. It’s something that is common in a lot of cultures not just Chinese ones. Part of her growth is learning to value herself for herself and not just as an exentsion of others. Her character growth is grea,t and I am here for it.
Then there are the love interests. The first is Yizhi: a rich, scholarly boy from the capital. He's very much a beta hero. The kind of guy who is safe. Gentle. He's a good doobie who is willing to let Zeitan take the lead.
Then there's Shimin. He's darker. An addict. He's your brooding YA hero. with a twist. He's closer to the alpha male archetype but also not fully there. He lets Zeitan take the lead as well when it comes to their relationship. He’s not going to force himself on her and he’s got some of my favorite lines in the whole book. I also love him because he owns his mistakes. He knows he's got blood on his hands and that he has to atone for it. He's like a mix of Gale Hawthorne meets Han Solo. I loved him. I loved them both.
There's a lot of heavy and difficult themes in this book. But I never felt that things got too heavy-handed. The story is compelling and it's definitely got reread value. It's the kind of book that makes you think while being entertaining.
As a note, the book does end on a bit of a cliffhanger. A very Empire Strikes Back cliffhanger. Which seems to be the norm for YA duologies nowadays. But it is something people need to be aware of.
Honestly, I feel like this is book for everyone.I loved it. It was fun. I loved the themes. I loved the characters. I literally gasped outloud at one point in the plot.
So of course I'm going to give this...
If this is your jam, you can get it here.
If you like these kind of honest reviews, please consider supporting us here!
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley
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just! because! a! fantasy! novel! is! written! by! a! woman! does! not! mean! it! is! Young! Adult!
to explain, there is this incessant problem, amongst publishing in general but especially amongst readers, to instantly categorize a fantasy novel as Young Adult simply because it’s written by a woman. now, there is nothing wrong with YA fiction (duh), nor is there anything wrong with women writing fantasy (again, duh), but just because a fantasy novel happens to be written by a woman does not instantly make it a YA fantasy. this problem has to do with two things: 1) misogyny bc obviously women can’t write “real fiction” (“real fiction” being Adult fiction, predominately Adult literary fiction, as genre fiction is often looked down upon as inferior) and 2) YA being considered “lesser” than Adult fiction, across all genres, but most especially SFF.
and when it comes to women trying to argue that their book isn’t YA, they often receive boatloads of ridicule afterward from people telling them that they cleary must hate the Young Adult category since they’re unwilling to allow their books to be categorized as YA. off the top of my head, three authors who’ve gotten this kind of response are R.F. Kuang, V.E. Schwab, and S.A. Chakraborty. their Adult books absolutely need to be Adult for the content, themes, and plot, and to mis-categorize them as YA is not only perpetuating the problem women face in publishing, it’s opening young readers up to the chance that they’re going to pick up a book that they might not be ready for or that they probably shouldn’t be reading. if young readers pick up an Adult book, it needs to be a conscious choice on their part, so they’re going in equipped to consume the Adult content (and R.F. Kuang’s books absolutely need to be in the Adult category, no matter that Rin is a teenager. Adult novels can focus on children). this is why i’m so adamant about the content of Young Adult books being safe for anyone from age 10 to age 18 (it’s intended for readers from age 13 - 19).
thanks for coming to my ted talk
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