Thursday, July 7, 2011

YA Books Make Great Reads for Adults

In the last decade, booksellers and readers have delighted in the crossover book: either the adult book that teenagers find on their parent’s bedside table or the YA novel that daughters and mothers are fighting over for the first read.  Great examples of this are: The Book Thief, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the Harry Potter books, the Twilight series, and more recently The Hunger Games.

Last week, the NPR (National Public Radio) website featured Karma as one of five new YA books that have great appeal for adult readers.

The writer of the article, Julianna Baggott, says this about teen novels:

 A good novel doesn't just transcend the boundaries of its target market — it knows nothing about target markets. Young readers have always reached above their reading level to get to meatier stories, and lately we've seen adult readers reaching into the world of teen fiction in search of the same thing — no-holds-barred storytelling. But the attraction isn't just related to the fact that young adult novels tend to have faster-paced narratives. Many of these crossover "teen" novels are satisfying to adult readers because they tap into ageless themes, namely the sense that each of us longs to know who we really are in a strange, confusing and sometimes otherworldly world. As it turns out, the search for self is a lifelong one.”

About Karma she writes:

Karma is a rich historical novel by Cathy Ostlere that's wild and unpredictable. Set in 1984, it begins with the poetic diary entries of 15-year-old Maya, whose more-or-less typical high school life in Canada is shattered when her mother commits suicide. Maya, who is half-Hindu and half-Sikh, flies to India with her father and her mother's ashes. Caught up in the violent aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination, the two are separated, and Maya is cast into the streets alone. Sandeep — an ebullient, charming, fiery young man — shares the narration. Epic and almost surreal in scope, a love story emerges. Ostlere divulges secret after secret. Depicted as a "novel-in-verse," the language is beautiful, the pages turn quickly and the story becomes a fast-paced whirlwind of startling images, action and heartfelt emotion.”

Check out the other four books featured:

Flip by Martyn Bedford   

Delirium by Lauren Oliver 

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark

Trapped by Michael Northrop