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Romance and YA
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject: Romance and YA Reply with quote

+IHS+

Xina mentioned on the "Beyond Romance Covers" thread that most Romance readers are also YA readers. If you fit the profile (or even if you don't), why do you think this is so?

I'd say that something Romance and YA have in common is a generally optimistic point of view. Authors who write from the point of view of teenagers or people in love tend to frame the world with more awe and joy. For me, it's all about the frame: no matter how uncompromising or realistic the picture is, how its presented makes the whole difference.

What about everyone else?
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Romance and YA Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
+IHS+

Xina mentioned on the "Beyond Romance Covers" thread that most Romance readers are also YA readers. If you fit the profile (or even if you don't), why do you think this is so?

I'd say that something Romance and YA have in common is a generally optimistic point of view. Authors who write from the point of view of teenagers or people in love tend to frame the world with more awe and joy. For me, it's all about the frame: no matter how uncompromising or realistic the picture is, how its presented makes the whole difference.

What about everyone else?


After the Potter books, YA become THE market. All the new and exciting stuff seems to be coming out in YA so that's where I'm reading.

I have to add, it is nice to see people make immature decisions cause of age as opposed to lack of intelligence Wink

maggie b.
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To my amazement, a couple of authors I have recently discovered and totally enjoyed are YA writers: Stephenie Meyers in her vampire series and Meg Cabot who has the teenage world down pat. For me to really enjoy a book, I must like the characters. YA writers know that their characters are often seen as role models, so they make sure that the heroes and heroines behave ethically and intelligently. Meg Cabot's teenage heroines are normal, nice kids. They want desperately to be popular, do not "rat" on the villains, and do not confide in adults--pretty typical teen behavior. At the same time, there is a time, usually the climax of the book, where the heroine has to decide whether to stand for the right decision or to curry favor by betraying her principles. I especially have enjoyed "How to be Popular," and if you have a teenage daughter, it would be an excellent book to read together. Meg Cabot excels at portraying the petty, often malicious world of teenage girls. I haven't read beyond these two YA authors, but both are excellent at combining very interesting plots and appealing characters, even villains.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy a lot of the books aimed at the YA market because they have a discernable beginning, middle, and end. I get impatient with narratives that flop around.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Romance and YA Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
+IHS+

Xina mentioned on the "Beyond Romance Covers" thread that most Romance readers are also YA readers. If you fit the profile (or even if you don't), why do you think this is so?


What about everyone else?



Schola, Even though I did mention that romance readers seem to like YA, I am not one of them. I guess I feel I have such a huge pile of TBR books, mountains really, I don't have the interest in that genre right now to delve into it. Although, I have thought about buying Twilight and giving that book a try. I think I could pass it around to my daughter's friends. I know of at least 2 girls who might read it. My daughter has no interest in vampire books, but I think I sparked some interest in a few of her friends who are big readers. Such a long book though...I've really got to be interested to pick it up.
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:
I enjoy a lot of the books aimed at the YA market because they have a discernable beginning, middle, and end. I get impatient with narratives that flop around.


Genre fiction and children's books have always been my favorites because I really like *story*. When I read books that are praised for being beautifullly written, I'm always left going, "but... but... nothing happened!"
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b wrote:
After the Potter books, YA become THE market. All the new and exciting stuff seems to be coming out in YA so that's where I'm reading.


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.

willaful wrote:
veasleyd1 wrote:
I enjoy a lot of the books aimed at the YA market because they have a discernable beginning, middle, and end. I get impatient with narratives that flop around.


Genre fiction and children's books have always been my favorites because I really like *story*. When I read books that are praised for being beautifullly written, I'm always left going, "but... but... nothing happened!"


Laughing I remember saying something like that to a huge Thomas Pynchon fan. The Crying of Lot 49 may be a really great novel that people will be still be reading in five hundred years . . . but BLOODY NOTHING HAPPENS! The Pynchon fan accused me of blasphemy, but generously allowed that my poor reception of Pynchon may be due to the fact that I'm not American and therefore can't put the novel in context. Rolling Eyes

Aside from story, I also really like form. A critic has pointed out that The Crying of Lot 49 has the form of a quest, in which case I can only protest that the quest ends without them finding their grail!!! That's just not good form to me.

Romance and YA are still the only genres with which I can be at least 85% sure that I'm getting some beer with my foam.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read widely across genres, but for a long time I gave YA a miss, because I thought "Been there, done that, don't need to do it again". Plus, I hadn't been too happy with what passed for YA when I was a teenager (lots of issue and problem stuff) so I wasn't too keen on trying it again.

I eventually caved in and gave those YA books everyone was raving about a try, Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Cornelia Funke, Meg Cabot, etc..., and found that I enjoyed them quite a bit. I'd been avoiding Twilight, because I feared it would be Buffy in bookform and I didn't like Buffy. However, the trailers for the film version swayed me and so I finally bought the first book. I didn't get around to reading it yet.

One YA author I enjoy very much is Sarah Dessen. In a way, she does write issue novels, but not in the way they were written when I was a teenager. Her characters and their reactions feel very real and the issues, including some difficult themes such as rape, abuse, eating disorders, losing a parent, etc..., don't overwhelm the story. They're usually very nice romances as well. Plus, Dessen's heroines tend to end up with genuinely supportive partners rather than the guys who seem perfect at first glance and turn out to be unsupportive or downright dangerous at a closer look. Considering how many adult romances still depict highly problematic relationships, this is very refreshing.

BTW, I like Pynchon a lot. It's not that nothing happens in his books, actually a lot of things happen. It's just that there usually isn't an ending in a traditional sense, which can be highly dissatisfying, if one insists on closure.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blasphemy: I love Meg Cabot's books for adults, but I don't much care for her YA books. Some of them are okay, but a few are really, really awful. I'm thinking specifically here of Haunted, one of her mediator books, where the heroine allows an abusive liar to take advantage of her and never takes any steps to stop him. Teaching girls that abuse is okay and you shouldn't call the police or tell your parents about it stinks.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cora wrote:
for a long time I gave YA a miss, because I thought "Been there, done that, don't need to do it again". Plus, I hadn't been too happy with what passed for YA when I was a teenager (lots of issue and problem stuff) so I wasn't too keen on trying it again.


I know what you mean. To this day, I still avoid Paula Danziger titles--and she wasn't even the worst "issue and problem stuff" culprit. (I liked Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig, though.)

Cora wrote:
BTW, I like Pynchon a lot. It's not that nothing happens in his books, actually a lot of things happen. It's just that there usually isn't an ending in a traditional sense, which can be highly dissatisfying, if one insists on closure.


That's exactly right. I stand corrected. Embarassed I was just overreacting to that last run-in with a Pynchon fan.

*****

Now how about YA Historicals like the novels of Scott O'Dell? I prefer to read stories set in past eras from the point of view of children or people well disposed to romantic love. Ironically, my favourite O'Dell book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, was not originally intended to be a children's book.

The last really good YA Historical I tried was The Book of the Lion by Michael Cadnum. (I still rave to anyone who will listen.)

It's also rare to find heartwarming family novels these days. I grew up with Madeleine L'Engle's books about the Austin family, but can't think of any fictional family I've encountered lately that I'd like to keep reading about.
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Retrograde



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
I know what you mean. To this day, I still avoid Paula Danziger titles--and she wasn't even the worst "issue and problem stuff" culprit. (I liked Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig, though.)

I loved her! Cool The Pistachio Prescription and The Cat Ate My Gymsuit were pretty much the only YA books I read in my teens - aside from books released to tie in with TV shows like Buffy or Roswell, but I'm not sure if they count. I was either reading historical fiction or Mills & Boon at that time, so the whole Harry Potter thing completely went over my head, and I didn't even notice it until the movie came out. Even now, probably the only YA author I read is Stephenie Meyer. I'm nearly 21 now, so I was a teenager not that long ago, but my main issue with reading YA is that I don't particularly enjoy reading about teenage relationships and what goes through a teenage mind. With the Twilight series, it's a little different because Bella seems so much older than she is, and her relationship with Edward is so intense and unusual.
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Schola



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

Quote:
The Pistachio Prescription and The Cat Ate My Gymsuit were pretty much the only YA books I read in my teens


Would you believe I mixed up Paula Danziger and Judy Blume???

It's Blume I avoid, but I didn't remember the fact until Retrograde reminded me that I actually was crazy about Danziger's Pistachio Perscription. Embarassed It was Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? that made me eventually give up on Danziger as well, but she never really drove me away the way Blume did.

Quote:
I'm nearly 21 now, so I was a teenager not that long ago, but my main issue with reading YA is that I don't particularly enjoy reading about teenage relationships and what goes through a teenage mind.


Some teenage relationships are more teenager-ish than others. There are some ChickLit-type YA books that I avoid for the same reason. I don't really care to relive my own high school days.

However, there are some teenage characters whose thoughts are unusually profound and lyrical. I'm thinking of Madeleine L'Engle's Vicky Austin . . . but can't really come up with someone more recent. No, I haven't read Twilight yet. Embarassed
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grew up with those awful problem novels too, but YA this days is very different! It's a golden age for YA right now, just like my childhood was for middle grade books. Sure, there's still pretty of dross out there, but that's true of anything. Sturgeon's Law.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:

Cora wrote:
BTW, I like Pynchon a lot. It's not that nothing happens in his books, actually a lot of things happen. It's just that there usually isn't an ending in a traditional sense, which can be highly dissatisfying, if one insists on closure.


That's exactly right. I stand corrected. Embarassed I was just overreacting to that last run-in with a Pynchon fan.


There's nothing wrong with not liking Pynchon or indeed any other big name writer we're told to like. We all have different tastes and there are plenty of highly regarded writers and novels I don't particularly care for myself.
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Retrograde



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 458

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
Some teenage relationships are more teenager-ish than others. There are some ChickLit-type YA books that I avoid for the same reason. I don't really care to relive my own high school days.

However, there are some teenage characters whose thoughts are unusually profound and lyrical. I'm thinking of Madeleine L'Engle's Vicky Austin . . . but can't really come up with someone more recent. No, I haven't read Twilight yet. Embarassed

I've read my fair share of childish "adult" romances, so maybe I'm being unfair with YA fiction. I should probably clarify that what I'm mainly avoiding is an author that tries to portray young adults in a stereotypically shallow way. That's why I love Twilight, because it has that "other" quality about, where not everything is as it seems. I'd recommend it for sure - but be warned, it'll get in your blood! Wink
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