Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Defense of YA. Does it Really Need Defending?

This morning I was thrilled to see the announcement that the movie rights to Maggie Stiefvater's "Shiver" series have been snatched up!! I love this book, cannot wait for the sequel and now look forward to a big screen adaptation.

"Shiver" is the latest, in a long line of Young Adult books, to see cross-over success and popularity with teens, young adults and adults alike. The Young Adult 'genre' is breaking free of the small racks in the corner of the children's section, and is being featured prominently, in its own section. Front and center! This trend may be getting more attention now, because of the Twilight series, but it's been there, working it's magic slowly, quietly for a while. Because of this there's a whole lot of great writing and storytelling finding it's way into the hands and hearts of a lot more people. People, who 5 years ago would NEVER have thought of buying something from the Young Adult Section of their bookstore.

Heck, I am 36 years old and have been reading YA books like crazy for the past year. And you know what....I love them, many rank among the best books I have ever read!

Some are quick to criticize authors, publishers, production companies, etc who are currently promoting or moving forward with this sort of project; saying they are exploiting or latching onto Twilight's success, cashing in on it. I don't see it that way. Someone or something will always have to come first, to blaze the trail and the others can either move forward into this new territory or be left behind. Which would you rather be??

I think we should celebrate the turn things have taken lately. The fact that the Young Adult 'genre' (I just don't know if that is the right term) is getting so much attention and has become so successful, is a hugely positive thing. Just think about how many more teens and young adults are reading because of this! I have seen firsthand how falling in love with a book or book series can turn someone, who only read for school, into a voracious reader. What could possible be bad about that?!


Note: I guess I should mention that I am the co-owner and admin of a fansite dedicated to a Young Adult book about a Fallen Angel. Clearly my love for this type of book is obvious and so I may be a little, tiny bit biased :-)


Another Note: MTV.com has posted an article today titled "'Shiver' Is Latest Werewolf Love Story Latch Onto 'Twilight' Success" I felt the need to comment on the post, perhaps you will want to as well.
I have read Shiver and love it! I should mention that I am a huge fan of Twilight, and in fact this entire genre. Yes, they are both Young Adult Urban Fantasy books, and both authors have taken artistic liberties with their 'supernatural' characters BUT I don't really think they should be compared beyond that. I am pleased that SHIVER is moving to the big screen, I hope that it will be blessed with a great screen writer and director who will bring the book to life, not re-invent it.
btw 'latching onto Twilight's success' sounds kind of negative... I think bringing the world of Young Adult books to the bigscreen is great and the fact that Twilight lead the way should be celebrated. Others are smart to follow in it's footsteps instead of being left behind :-)

1 comment:

FictionGroupie said...

I love the surge in YA lit. I enjoy the books (reading and writing) and I'm so happy to see that so many teens are reading.