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Romance and YA
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1669

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: YA Reply with quote

There's an essay in today's New York Times book review by an author whose book was shopped around as an adult book but was finally published as Young Adult. She was a bit nonplussed but happy to be published. Several other authors with YA and crossover books also comment. Sherman Alexie says that he thought he knew about discrimination as an Indian but has meet with even more as a YA author. The article is pretty interesting.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1086
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting article, Susan. Thanks very much for posting. After reading it I went and looked up the book, Cures for Heartbreak, on Amazon. There were a couple of excerpts which I read. My reaction was; beautiful writing and I came very close to ordering the book, but have just maxed out my book allowance for the month! However, I did wonder at Rabb's surprise over her book being marketed as YA. While the subject matter will hit home at any age, it's first person with a fifteen year old girl as the narrator. I would not say that makes it a dead cert in the YA stakes, but surely it raises the likelihood? Particularly in the minds of marketing which control the fates of many Rolling Eyes.

Elizabeth
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think these days there are more YA romance novels that interest me than adult novels.

Mainly this is because there are a lot of really talented YA authors out there where as I've become sort of burned out in adult romance section. And many of those YA novels do not read 'young' to me at all. For instance, Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series has a very sophisticated feel to it yet still retains a youthful innocence to a certain degree. I rate it right up there with Outlander as far as favorite couples go.

Another reason is the heroines - younger heroines are so much more optimistic and less reserved in showing their feelings. They tend to throw themselves fully into the experience of falling in love which is really refreshing. They're sometimes clumsy and naive but not jaded or judgemental to the degree that older heroines tend to be.

Another reason is that for the most part YA novels aren't so littered with sex scenes, I am so sick of reading in explicit detail how the H&H bring each other to orgasm - over and over again. Enough already, this is more than I want or need to know about my best friend, it feels too voyeuristic to me. Not a popular view in adult romance I know. :)

Linda
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Maggie AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2500

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
I see what you mean, Maggie, but does that mean that you weren't reading YA until after Harry Potter became such a hit? Confused I'm just wondering because, while I agree that before Rowling, lots of readers wouldn't have thought of browsing in YA, I was attracted to YA from the beginning.


For a long time the YA market to me was all about problems or self-discovery, two subjects I just wasn't interested in reading. What I am reading in YA right now are books like Artemis Fowl, The Mortal Instruments, Blue Bloods, of course Twilight and I just picked up "The Luxe" and will be trying to get PC Cast's School books which are said to be good. Mostly, you could say I have just expanded my interest in paranormal/scifi/fantasy to include YA Wink

maggie b.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1669

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: YA Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:

Another reason is the heroines - younger heroines are so much more optimistic and less reserved in showing their feelings. They tend to throw themselves fully into the experience of falling in love which is really refreshing. They're sometimes clumsy and naive but not jaded or judgemental to the degree that older heroines tend to be.


Actually, one of the reasons I like YA is the younger heroes. YA books tend to have H/H who are more closely matched in age, and so you wind up with fewer world-weary characters in their 30s matched with sweet young things who seem totally outmatched. I love the enthusiasm and idealism and energy of the young heroes. I also love their uncertainty and how they go from mature and charming to impetuous and ocasionally petulant and then back again. Having raised three sons, I recognize their struggle to become honorable men worthy of respect and love. It's one reason I liked Jamie in Outlander and Jacob in the Twilight series -- they are recognizably young.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mind larger age differences in romances as long as both partners are somewhat on the same level with regards to maturity.

However, one thing I really like about well written YA romances is when they manage to capture the mindset of teenaged boys. For example, I absolutely adored the music obsessed hero in Sarah Dessen's Just Listen, because he reminded me so much of a boy I was friends with in highschool.

I think that's another thing a well written YA novel can give an adult reader. Remind us of what it was like to be a teenager without all the drama that accompanied the real thing.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: YA Reply with quote

[quote="Susan/DC"]
Linda in sw va wrote:


Actually, one of the reasons I like YA is the younger heroes. YA books tend to have H/H who are more closely matched in age, and so you wind up with fewer world-weary characters in their 30s matched with sweet young things who seem totally outmatched. I love the enthusiasm and idealism and energy of the young heroes. I also love their uncertainty and how they go from mature and charming to impetuous and ocasionally petulant and then back again. Having raised three sons, I recognize their struggle to become honorable men worthy of respect and love. It's one reason I liked Jamie in Outlander and Jacob in the Twilight series -- they are recognizably young.


I also (the veteran of rearing two sons, now 40 and 38 ) enjoy this aspect of YA.

One of the more entertaining conversations I ever heard, though, was when my daughter was in high school. I was in my work room off the rec room (they certainly knew I was there, since my project involved mucking around with things like a jigsaw and an electric sander, and the door was open). The girls went upstairs looking for nail polish, leaving four or five boys in the basement.

One had recently broken up with his girlfriend and advanced the question of whether he should ask another girl (named) out. She was, alas, the best friend of the ex-girlfriend. They tossed it around for a while, the recently exed boy pointing out to the one offering the strongest negatives, "But you broke up with Q and started a new relationship."
"But not with her best friend!"
They spent about fifteen minutes arguing the pros and cons. The final consensus was, "I just don't think you ought to **do** that, man. At least not right away. Maybe next year."

It's interesting to watch the development of ethical standards in young people -- possibly one of the most fascinating aspects of parenthood and grandparenthood.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a huge, huge, huge YA fan up until very recently. I'm 19, which may or may not explain why I moved away from the genre.

Mostly, I think I'm just sick of teenagers in general. I've dealt with the high school thing for four years, very recently. I don't feel the need to relive that and experience the tone and mindset that is "typical" of teenagers. Also, while when I was 15 reading about a 16 year old hero, it was perfectly normal for me... but now, when I'm 19 reading about a 16 year old, he seems very immature. I think of the 16 year old boys I know, and think, "HE'S the hero?"

This is all probably something that will go away once I'm more separated from the genre by enough years. I do still enjoy some books-- like many of you, I'm a huge Twilight fan, and I still sometimes read Meg Cabot books (though I feel that her stand-alone romantic comedies are sliding downhill), and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is still one of my favorites.
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