Sunday, October 17, 2010

Reading YA

I write YA. I love reviewing YA on tNBW. I work with YAs. But for some reason I don't read YA, well at least the ones that are selling.

3 years ago, writing YA was probably the furthest thing from my mind. I hadn't picked up a YA book since Sweet Valley High was the big seller. Then the movie Twilight came out and I'm a sucker of cheesy teen romance movies. I dragged my husband and infant daughter to see it. And I loved it. The fact that it came from a book was even better, because to me reading was and still is one of my favorite things to do.

The next day, I picked up Twilight and was done before the end of the day. By the end of the week I had read all four books. And yes, I admit it. I loved the books. Not because they were amazingly well written, and not because Edward and Jacob were so beautiful and perfect. I loved them because they were an easy read, yet managed to give that feeling of being a teenager again.

About two weeks after I finished the series, I started writing. Stephenie Meyer made it look so easy.

It wasn't. I wrote and then scrapped the first 30,000 words I wrote, starting over again. When I joined tNBW, I thought I had some great piece of writing - Uh, NOT! Since then I've grown so much in my writing from all the feedback I've had. Just as significantly, I've seen better YA then Twilight. I'm not going to rag on the issues I now see with Twilight, because it doesn't matter - teens/people read it, she's a millionaire. The point is that on tNBW I've managed to read a number of YA books - fantasy, paranormal, romance, realistic - that I never would have read before. Yet, I know I need to read more. I can usually tear through a book in a couple of days, why not use it t broaden my knowledge of what I'm writing.

So, if you have a favorite YA book/series or you've written one, pimp it out here and I'll add it to my list to read.


  1. I found your link on the Water Cooler, and I'm gonna be all vain and stuff and pimp my own books...And other people's.

    My Reality Shift series is YA urban fantasy, about two teenagers who use skills such as energy healing and channeling to banish demons, send malevolent dead spirits to "the Between," and prevent our universe from being vaporized. One of them, Shanna Bailey, also deals with being bullied and harassed at school and abused at home. The first book, Connection, came out in January of this year; the second, Filtration System, comes out on October 21. There are 8 more books planned; 3 and 4 are already contracted.

    In other authors, I'm a huge fan of the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale, The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper, and Madeleine L'Engle's novels about the Murry family, though I suppose all of those series could technically be considered mid-grade rather than YA...

  2. Thanks for the recommendations! I don't think it's vain pimping out your own work - if you don't do it who will? I'll definitely check these out and congrats on getting your series published!

    :) Ang

  3. I have a couple of complete YA novels that I haven't done anything with as yet. I gotta tell you I've been a tad bit worried about my books, since these are normal young people and these days it seems that supernatural kids rule. :D

  4. You have to read Suzanne Collins' series: Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. They are brilliant. I'm not sure they are motivating to me as a writer, more like why should I bother with writing like that out but they really ARE great reads.

  5. I've heard amazing things about Hunger Games as well (it's on my TBR list), but for ones I've actually read I have to say "Speak" was amazing and vital.

  6. Hey! My name is Jesse I'm an English teacher working on my first full length YA novel. I found you through google and the Next Big Writer and I was wondering if you would be interested in an in depth chapter exchange?

    You can contact me at

    -Jesse Cruz

  7. I've heard a lot of good things about Hunger Games, so I'm definitely getting that one. And after reading the post you did on Speak, I'm going to read that one as well. I meant to go to the library and pick it up, but I didn't make it there!