Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dena and YA. Together at last.

So it's the last night before my husband comes back into town. I can't say I've really enjoyed him being gone, like some wives do. I get lonely and I hate sleeping alone at night so I've recruited my 4 year old to sleep with me. Not having that much needed break at 5 pm is not that easy, but I've kind of developed a haphazard routine. My hats are off to those single parents out there that do it all alone 100% of the time. I'm freakin' exhausted.

Luckily, I've been kept company by everyone that participates in Tina's Practice Room. Basically you unplug for an hour to write and then you chat about the progress you made after the hour is up. Unfortunately, both times I have participated I erased more words that I wrote. But I did manage to type out an outline of sorts for a YA novel. Yes, I might be branching out into the YA world soon. But before I really get into that, I need to do my research.

What are your favorite YA books and why? Why would you recommend them to me? I'm creating a list and I want to read as many good ones as I can. I have to admit, I'm excited to branch out into YA. PB's are hard as crap. On the plus side, I finish them quickly. On the downside, they're hard as crap.

So....I'd like to take a stab at this but I'm embarrassingly naive when it comes to YA fiction. I haven't read this stuff in years. I didn't even know if they had sex and hard core violence in them- apparently they have both quite frequently. So my question is this- what makes them young adult?
Anyway, please leave your favorites in the comment section! Thanks, guys!

13 comments:

ElegantSnobbery said...

Hey Dena, firstly, I'm excited for you, because I love YA and I hope you love it, too. Second, I have a LONG list of my faves and look forward to sharing them, but is there a particular genre within YA you are interested in reading first? Paranormal/Urban fantasy? Dystopian? Contemporary? Mystery? Or just everything?

Dena Daw said...

I just want favorites, regardless of genre!

ElegantSnobbery said...

Okay, here is my list (although my favorites change frequently)

Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta
Shiver, Lament, Ballad - Maggie Stiefvater
Uglies, Pretties - Scott Westerfeld
Luna - Julie Ann Peters
Speak - Laure Halse Anderson
The Adoration of Jenna Fox -Mary E Pearson
Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen
Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I have a million more favorites, but here are some on my list for you to look up and see if you want to read.

I hope you like one, some, or all of them!

Kris said...

Aw, Dena - YA doesn't have to have sex or violence if you don't want it to. It's more about the protags age than anything else. The beauty is that there' something for every taste. Recent faves are Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and .
Magic Under Glass by Jackie Dolamore. For realistic fiction, try Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert.

Jeff Hirsch said...

I love this question. Love recommending books.

Feed - MT Anderson
Looking For Alaska - John Green
Clay- David Almond
Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
How I Live Now - Meg Rossoff
St. Iggy - KL Going
Girl - Blake Nelson
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks - E Lockhart
The Knife of Never Letting Go-Patrick Ness.

As to what makes something YA. I think that's a great question. I think as long as the story is deeply rooted in a teen POV and is about the struggle of growing up in some way then it's YA.

Jonathon Arntson said...

1. THE ROAD - Cormac McCarthy
2. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE - J.D. Salinger
3. CATCHING FIRE - Suzanne Collins
4. THE HUNGER GAMES - " "
5. THE VAST FIELDS OR ORDINARY - Nick Burd
6. LOOKING FOR ALASKA - John Green
7. THE MAZE RUNNER - James Dashner
8. THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN - Sherman Alexie
9. THE HOST - Stephenie Meyer
10. THE GIVER - Lois Lowry

7/10 of these are YA most of them notably so. 2 are Adult and 1 is MG. Most of them are notably so. 2. is one of the most famous books of all time. 3. and 4. have made huge waves in the YA world in two short years. 5. is little known, but very YA about a gay kid that just graduated high school and isn't sure he wants to stay on the path his parents set for him. 6. is THE YA book of this past decade, IMO. 7. is YA sci fi at it's best. 8. will drag you back to your YA days and make you cry.

The common denominator isn't sex, isn't subject either, it's the connection the author makes with the audience, and most commonly that is done with a believable (living/breathing) narrator/MC.

You can so do this, Dena. I suggest you start reading the hell out of the genre and let your idea roll around in your head. Before you know it, you'll have a full fledged first draft.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

These are some awesome lists! Sorry I have transferred the one at the practice room yet! I will I promise.

I loved Jelicoe Road! and also Frankie Landau Banks, Feed was awesome! And of course hunger games, and I love Kelly Link's short stories. Laurie Halse Anderson is awesome!

Heather Kelly said...

Hmm. I second most of the above, and add Graceling. And Fire. And, I'll think more on this...

Dena Daw said...

OMG guys this feedback is awesome!! Thanks so much! Keep 'em coming!

Ann Marie Wraight said...

"HOT SIX ON SUNDAY"
(The new MG/YA novel by Sister Janet Sexanovich)

"When a Sunday School outing goes horribly wrong, 6 members of the children's choir are on the spot to bring HARMONY to the damned"

DENA - I can highly recommend this. It's a FANTASTIC MG/YA novel and has been short-listed for an OSCAR.....

Can't wait for your response my friend....and you will SO be sleeping in the barn with the livestock when you come over...!

Kate said...

YA is a really fun genre, and there are tons of good books out there for you to read. Some of my favorite YA authors are

Aaurie Halse Anderson
Libba Bray
Chris Ccrutcher
Sarah Dessen
Amy Efaw
Gayle Forman
David Levithan
Lois Lowry
David Lubar
Frank Portman
Elizabeth Scott
Jake Wizner
Sara Zarr
Gabrielle Zevin
and Jennifer Ziegler

Jonathon Arntson said...

Ann's comment scares me and moves me at the same time.

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Jon ....I have NEVER EVER said I wasn't SCARY!

* HUGS * to you both....
btw this doesn't exist so DON"T spend hours googling it!! Just wanted to bring a smile to your face!

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