Monday, April 11, 2011

New Category: YA or YA Crossover

As you may know, for the most part I read and review books written and marketed for adults. Once in a  while, maybe for Banned Book Week or if something just happens to catch my eye, I'll read a young-adult title, but not often. This is not to suggest that I don't respect young adult literature, just that for the most part it's not my thing. However, once in a while I'll read an adult title that I think might nonetheless be a good fit for the young adult reader, maybe because it stars a teen or it's a great coming of age story, or for any number of other reasons.

Until now I've had no really good way of indicating when I feel this way, other than to say somewhere within the text of the review itself. I want to do better than just hope you notice this as you read a review. and since I'm always looking for ways to improve the usefulness of my blog, I've decided to create a new tag, YA or YA Crossover, which I'm now applying to those reviews for which I think it's appropriate.

Major caveat: I am not a young adult librarian and these opinions represent no more than just that- my own personal opinion. Books written for young adults will bear this label along with those written for adults that I think are suitable, and books bearing this label may still have some adult content of some kind, be it mild sexual content or suggestiveness, adult language or mild violence. You as readers and/or librarians are free to disagree with any or all of my choices.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you about what you think constitutes a YA crossover novel. What's your favorite adult novel that you think has YA appeal? What does it take for an adult novel to appeal to teens?

So going forward, you can look on my sidebar for the tag YA or YA Crossover to see what might be there. I hope it's a good way of directing curious readers of all ages to literary fiction and nonfiction that will appeal to readers of many ages.

11 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

That Mark Haddpm book I read had been targeted to both adults and YA so I guess that could be one.

Sandy Nawrot said...

One great example of this would be Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt. I believe it was marketed as an adult book, but my 13 year old read it and loved it. Another book that went the other way was The Book Thief, which is marketed as YA but is universally loved by adults. I scratch my head sometimes at how this all works. I never used to be a YA person, but since my kids have grown into this category, I have too and some of my favorites have fallen into this category.

Zibilee said...

I am glad that you found a way to organize these posts within the blog! I would have to say that I can't really answer your question because I read so few YA titles. I have a few coming up, so I am hoping to get a little more familiar with the genre, but right now I am just sort of clueless about the whole thing.

Brandy said...

Grrrngh, I wrote up a whole intelligent post and Blogger ate it, that jerk. Hmph.

In the case of Book Thief (which I agree, is an EXCELLENT book): Australia has a handy publishing demographic for Young Adult, meaning 20-somethings. When Australian "Young Adult" books are ported here to the states, publishers translate "Young Adult" as "Teen." For authors like Marcus Zusak, whose books are very teen-friendly and accessible, it's not a big deal--but authors like Sonya Hartnett (who writes lyrical, dreamy, wonderful books that really speak to the 20- and 30-something sensibilities and experiences) really suffer from being published as "teen" books here.

The adult books that the teens really go for in my library are generally current and past best-sellers [insert snark re: relative sophistication level of Bestselling Fiction here], particularly books featuring teens or abuse (e.g., _The Room_ or _A Child Called It_).

Rayna Eliana said...

I am not really into YA books. Basically, if it is a Holocaust memoir written by a teenager, I might read it in order to review it for the YA it is geared towards.

Melissa said...

THE EYRE AFFAIR was an Alex pick and it's one of my favorites. The list for this year has a number of great titles.

Alayne said...

I'm definitely interested to see what you review that falls under this category. For me, I had to stop. Sadly I do not have the patience for YA.
Alayne - The Crowded Leaf.

Sheryl said...

when my teens raid my bookshelf - they tend to pull out the sci-fi and fantasy. These do have some violence, but usually (with some glaring exceptions) don't have much sexually explicit material

Jeanne said...

I read a lot of YA in the past few years, and think the funniest crossover is that, at least in our local library, all the Jane Austen novels have migrated into the YA section. A lot of stores put anything with a main character who is 19 or younger in the YA section. I first noticed this with Ender's Game, which as Sheryl notes was always sold as SF before that.

Space Station Mir said...

Off the top of my head, I can't think of an adult novel that is particularly YA (although I've been reading adult novels...since I was 11 or possibly younger..)but one YA novel that I loved was The Hunger Games, a dystopian novel I'd consider on par with Brave New World or Fahrenheit 451, and I think a lot of adults would like it if they read it.

Michelle said...

Great idea! I'll be checking it out often :)