Witches, Weres, and Vamps, Oh MY! discussion

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Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
Lillith Saintcrow has created a new pen name - Lili St. Crow (cute) for her upcoming Young Adult book Strange Angels. Kim Harrison is also releasing her Young Adult series in June, Once Dead, Twice Shy
I'm noticing a lot of authors that have written predominately adult books are now writing new Young Adult books / series. I enjoy young adult books so I’m a-okay with it but it makes me wonder….

Do you think that Young Adult books are actually aimed at young adults (teens) or is it becoming a genre of it’s own, like Urban Fantasy vs. Fantasy books, and is aimed at all readers?
What are your thoughts on Young Adult books?
And lastly what’s your favorite Young Adult book/series?

(Wow that sounds like it could be an essay question – don’t feel obligated to answer all 3 Qs)



Kathryn (Kathry) I think that YA books are aimed at everyone. I think of the genre as a lighter version of PNR/UF. The themes are usually the same, though there does seem to be more of an emphasis on youth finding their way. The content of YA books is less explicit than PNR/UF, which usually means less sex and less hard language. Personally, if I have a choice between a YA or a book with more explicit material, than I will not pick the YA book.
I have't read too much YA fiction but my favorite would be the Twilight series, followed by Wicked Lovely. The Twilight series is a perfect example of why I think YA books are becoming more of a genre. The books contain little explicit material but the idea is constantly present and kind of subversive.


Kelley Anne First off, I'll answer the easy question first. My favorite young adult series would have to be the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. My favorite book (not yet in a series) would have to be Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Of course, she is coming out with a second book this summer, so then it will be a series. Another AMAZING book (but not supernatural or sci-fi in any way) is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

I've kinda wondered about if it's a seperate genre as well. But the thing that I don't understand is how they decided if it's considered a YA book or an adult book. Typically I think of the YA ones as Urban Fantasy / PNR that are "clean". There might be romance and stuff, but no real detailed sex scenes. But other than that, I've never seen too much of a difference. But, if that's the case, then why aren't the Mercedes Thompson books by Patricia Briggs considered to by YA? They are completely clean. Personally I think that a lot of times it's just a business decision. If they classify it as YA will they get more people to buy it? Because that way they are marketing it both to teens and all of us adults that will read YA novels.

But, that's a double edged sword because there are a lot of adults that wont even bother with reading anything in the YA section. Personally I think that they are missing out on some amazing books!


Terri (TerriLovesCrows) | 44 comments I really enjoyed the LJ Smith Vampire Diaries books


message 5: by Shanon (last edited Apr 28, 2009 11:12AM) (new)

Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
Kelley Anne wrote: "But, if that's the case, then why aren't the Mercedes Thompson books by Patricia Briggs considered to by YA? "

That's a good point. I haven't read Bone Crossed yet but so far they're pretty clean (sex & language).

My favorite YA series is Morganville Vamps or Vampire Acadamy. I have a love/hate relationship with House of Night as well.

I love that the Twilight series has opened a lot of people up to reading. I have had friends pick up the Twilight series after not reading books for years - now to just keep them reading :)

I typically don't pay attention to whether a book is Young Adult or not when picking my reading material - UNLESS I'm in the mood for something with a little more gore, sex, or violence then you'd be able to get in a YA book.


Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
Terri wrote: "I really enjoyed the LJ Smith Vampire Diaries books"

I just wish the last book would come out! I'm going to have to re-read most of the books to remember who all the couples are & what their circumstances are. It's a great series though - and a fast read so it won't be too much of a burden to read them again ;)


Adrienne the only YA ive read is the Twilight series::but i'm going to read Wicked Lovely after i've finished my current read::YA does not put me off ::i know what to expect::i tailor my reading to my mood::



Kathryn (Kathry) The Mercy series not being YA makes sense to me. The themes are very adult oriented, the relationship structures and particularly what happens to Mercy towards the end of book 3. The language may be clean overall and there may not be graphic sex but the ideas behind the books are written with adults in mind IMO. If a book is borderline, I dislike it being labeled YA.


message 9: by Shanon (last edited Apr 28, 2009 02:24PM) (new)

Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "If a book is borderline, I dislike it being labeled YA..."

Very True - I would be disappointed to pick up a Young Adult book and find adult themes regardless of the lack of sex & swearing. And I should've thought about what happened at the end of Iron Kissed (especially since I just barely finished it). It is WAY to adult for most young readers or to be classified as a Young Adult book.


I looked up the definition for Young Adult on my handy-dandy Wikipedia.... Here it is:
"Young-adult fiction, whether in the form of novels or short stories, has distinct attributes that distinguish it from the other age categories of fiction: Adult fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, and Children's Fiction. The vast majority of YA stories portray an adolescent as the protagonist, rather than an adult or a child. The subject matter and story lines are typically consistent with the age and experience of the main character..."
There's more to the definition that you can see here

When I think of the Young Adult books I have read I can't think of any that had an adult as the main character - they are always youth of varying ages.


Adrienne i agree::the Twilght books were sold in the Childrens/teenage sections of bookstores in the UK::i've read them but IMO don't think they would be suitable for 13/14 year olds::at what age is someone considered to be a Young Adult::


message 11: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (last edited Apr 28, 2009 03:02PM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) I agree with Shanon. I think the only thing that makes many of these books YA is that the main characters are under 18. I do think, however, that not all the subject matters are entirely appropriate for preteens. My favorite books are actually considered children's books, not YA and that's the Harry Potter books. To me they had too many details for younger kids to pickup on. I've also enjoyed Meg Cabot's YA Princess Diaries and Mediator series.


message 12: by Shanon (last edited Apr 28, 2009 03:10PM) (new)

Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
I think the early Harry Potter books could be classified as Children's books but the later ones are too intense to be Childrens's IMHO.

As to age of Y.A. readers - no idea what the official age is. It's probably more of a state of mind & understanding rather then an age. That's where parents need to step in and decide what their kid can handle or not (HA - in an ideal world).


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) Yes, the first Harry Potter could be a children's book but there's enough scary stuff in the rest of the series to move it up to at least YA. The trouble with screening books for my kids is that I havn't necessarily read all the books they are. I read Swiss Family Robinson and recommended it to my son but hadn't read Artemis Fowl which he listened to on a playaway (preloaded audio book).


Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
Although - my parents wouldn't have let me read House of Night or probably even Twilight when I was younger & I think they are both great series.... maybe parents stepping in to check out what their kids are reading isn't the best move in EVERY situation :)


message 15: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (last edited Apr 28, 2009 03:54PM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) My oldest is only 12. He read Artemis Fowl because I checked out the playaway for it. I'd read somewhere that its a series Harry Potter fans might like. My 8 year old reads Magic Tree House books. Any of them are fine as its a super clean series. He loved the Diary of a Wimpy kid books.

What I think is odd is that my son had to read a holocaust book for 6th grade reading class. I wasn't even sure how much of Hitler and Jewish concentration camps they'd covered in school since they don't have a history class anymore. I made sure he understood the background history myself before he started reading one of the books off her approved holocaust booklist.


Kathryn (Kathry) I plan on reading everything that my kids are reading. Right now it's easy since I read to them but when they get bigger, I know it might be more difficult.

And I think young adult books are marketed for 14-18 year olds, though I have read 12-18 as well. Personally, I think 14-18 is mostly appropriate but everyone is different. Kids and young adults may have different maturity levels so I think it all depends on the young adult. Man, I was reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz starting in fifth grade, which looking back on now was kind of inappropriate at the tme:).


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) I did let the library know that at least one YA book I thought was inappropriate. It was a fictional novel by Meg Cabot but inside the novel it showed girls a way to masterbate. I wanted to at least let the librarian's know and perhaps they could move it to a more appropriate section of the library where it was harder to find for younger kids.


Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
I am planning on reading books with my kids to - but then, I like to read. I just finished A Long Way From Chicago with my 10-year-old that he's reading with school. Cute book.

Kathryn - I can't believe you were reading Stephen King that young! Not necessarily for the adult-ness of them - but they aren't some of the easiest books to read.

BriansGirl - you have to admit that's funny though. I bet the librarian was shocked.


message 19: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (last edited Apr 28, 2009 06:06PM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) Shanon wrote: "BriansGirl - you have to admit that's funny though. I bet the librarian was shocked."

Oh, it shocked the librarian all right. She said they'd set it aside and have one of them read it and check it out and then decide what to do with it. I was a bit shocked to discover it. I realize there is a section of romance novels upstairs in the library that can be very graphic (Harlequin Desires anyway), so kids can learn that from other books at the library. But I was shocked to discover this in a book written for preteens by the Princess Diaries author, Meg Cabot. Might be All American Girl, not sure which one now as I read it about 3 years ago. It was just the age group is was intended for that took me by surprise. I figure kids will figure it out and discover all this on there own and didn't need "help". lol




Kathryn (Kathry) I would prefer for my library to not decide which books are inappropriate. That really concerns me and if I did find out that was going on, I would discontinue use of the library. I understand that some people may find certain material inappropriate and may disagree as to what constitutes children's, young adult, or adult lit yet parents should be responsible for screening material.

And Shanon, I remember reading It the summer before sixth grade, every day at the beach, only during daytime, and with people always around me because it was terrifying!


Kristen I think YA books really have to have young adults/teenagers as the main characters. That's why Mercy Thompson books aren't really YA..


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) I just wanted to make sure the library knew what was in it so they could decide where to put it in the library that was appropriate. I didn't want them to remove it from the library entirely.


Melodie (MelodieCO) IMO, what differentiates YA from regular fiction is the fact that the main characters are teenagers. Since reading Twilight, I've picked up quite a few YA books, most at the recommendations of my nieces. I introduced my older niece to vampires at an early age, and she's as much of a junkie as I am now. She just turned 18 and her sister is almost 16. I've read, and liked, Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampire series (this series I like a LOT!), Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy and Claudia Gray's Evernight. I read the Vampire Diaries a few years ago and liked them, too. I read the first House of Night book by P.C. & Kristin Cast and really detested it. I was surprised that my niece liked it because our tastes are so similar, but that's what makes talking books with her so interesting.


message 24: by Shazzy (last edited May 01, 2009 10:51AM) (new)

Shazzy I read a lot of YA books, my favourite series are Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and The Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong.


Adrienne i have decided to read *Wicked Lovely* for a group read::i really don't mind the fact that its YA::i enjoy *romantic* fiction::somestimes no/little sex actually makes the book more emotional::


Kathryn (Kathry) Melodie, though I haven't read the ya series you mention, I can relate. I try to read what my niece is reading and she really enjoyed the first Cast book when I could barely stand it, though our tastes have fairly matched otherwise.


Jessi (JessiM) | 39 comments I just started reading YA books this year. I started with the Twlight series and really loved it. I am now trying out Uglies, which is also really good. Wicked Lovely is awesome so far. Sometimes it's nice to read the YA books because they can be romantic w/o being all sex. The romance/sweetness is a nice break at times.


Adrienne i'm just coming to the end of *wicked lovely*::i think the fact this book has no sex doesn't mean that it's not hot::the relationshiip between Seth and Ash is very sexually::there's a simmering lust between the pair::i have no probs with this what so ever::and will def read the rest of the series::


J.D. Stroube The House of Night series by P.C. Cast is really great! If you like young adult vampire books...it is a must read! Also, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is amazing!
Most books by Tamora Pierce are really great. The main character is usually female , and they involve a lot of magic.
I agree that L.J. Smith is awesome...however, I hated Nightfall! :( I also agree about Richelle Mead's series Vampire Academy!!!! Soooooo good!!!! I can't wait for the next one in the series!
I recently read a werewolf related book by Rachel Hawthorne. It was the first in a series, and was actually interesting.
John Flanagan, Jim Butcher, Libba Bray, and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes(vampires) are all great too!
I hope this list will help when you're looking for a new YA author/series to try! :)



Kelley Anne Right now I'm in the middle of both the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. I'm really enjoying both of them.


Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
Kelley Anne wrote: "Right now I'm in the middle of both the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare..."

I am planning on starting the Mortal Instruments series this month. I have the audiobooks for all 3 it's good to hear you're enjoying them Kelley Anne. Are you listening to the audiobooks or reading them?




Kelley Anne audiobooks! They are great listens. The only thing that bothered me was that they had a different reader for the first book and for the other two. It seems like half of the series that I listen to anymore do that. Kinda a pet peeve of mine, but luckily I tend to get over it quickly!


Melodie (MelodieCO) Joy wrote: "The House of Night series by P.C. Cast is really great! If you like young adult vampire books...it is a must read! Also, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is amazing!
Most books by..."


My nieces read Tamora Pierce, but I've never tried her. I do like the Vampire Academy books and Claudia Gray's Evernight books. I read the first in P.C. & Kristin Cast's House of Night books and truly detested it. I have not had that strong of a negative response to a book in a long time!


Kelley Anne I have a real love/hate relationship with the House of Night series. It drives me out of my mind crazy, and yet I have to keep reading them to find out what happens. I haven't read the lastest one yet though, so maybe I'm ready to just give up on that series entirely. It's funny, I know of a lot of people that feel the same way.


Shanon (Boban) | 1166 comments Mod
I am the same way with the House of Night series. I think it has such a unique premise that could be (and I guess is) really captivating. It's Zoey that bugs me. There are times that I want to yell at her while reading - though that would probably push me into the crazy side of an obsessed reader so I refrain. I find some of the secondary characters more likable.


Melodie (MelodieCO) Shanon wrote: "I am the same way with the House of Night series. I think it has such a unique premise that could be (and I guess is) really captivating. It's Zoey that bugs me. There are times that I want to y..."

On another board I post on alot we call the books "throw-across-the-roomable" when we feel that way about characters!


J.D. Stroube Melodie wrote: "Joy wrote: "The House of Night series by P.C. Cast is really great! If you like young adult vampire books...it is a must read! Also, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is amazing!
M..."

Really? The only thing I found irritating about the House of Night series was that she has too many men! Seriously, what ever happened to being with one guy at a time! LOL
I've been reading Tamora Pierce since I was in junior high. She is actually very good, and I enjoy the fact that she focuses on females, who do what people thought only men could do. I don't want to say anymore than that b/c I don't want to ruin the storyline. Her Lioness Rampant series was great though!


J.D. Stroube Kelley Anne wrote: "I have a real love/hate relationship with the House of Night series. It drives me out of my mind crazy, and yet I have to keep reading them to find out what happens. I haven't read the lastest on..."

LOL The latest book is much better than the rest of the series. It is much more involved...




Kelley Anne So, I'm in the middle of the first book in a new series. It's not actually young adult, more preteen and up. About the same level as Harry Potter. It's called The Dragon Eye by Kaza Kingsley. I am really enjoying it so far! If you like Harry Potter, you should give this book a try!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

My favourite YA series is the 'Tithe' series by Holly Black. 'Valiant' is the best on to start off with as it's standalone and it's just damn good. It's like 'Trainspotting' reimagined by JK Rowling.

I read YA novels because YA authors write for a more ruthless audience than adult writers. They have to be more economic in their prose, writing stories that are leaner and do more with less. Reading a good YA novel is like seeing the storytelling stripped down to its growling mechanics. Another reason I enjoy YA novels is that YA authors are freer to mix and match different genres. They are less concerned with being pigeonholed than adult writers leading to novels with a richer scope.


message 41: by Kathryn (last edited Jun 08, 2009 04:20AM) (new)

Kathryn (Kathry) Piotr, I think you explain ya fiction very well. There are times when I prefer a stripped down and bare story and then times when I prefer the opposite. I definitely must be in the mood but I also wish that certain ya books had included further details.

Some ya fiction that I have read did not give readers enough credit. I've said it before, and it bothers me because I do not feel it should be done, but I think some authors of ya fiction feel they must dumb down their writing. I despise books with such a feel.


Julia | 119 comments Yesterday I read a wholly forgettable very YA novel or as Melodie called it "throw-across-the-roomable." No, that's no right, the characters didn't annoy or irritate me, they *bored* me.
Never Mind by Avi & Rachel Vail. Not supernatural.

I do like the Holly Black series beginning with Tithe, though it's clearly not for all readers. I also like Kelley Armstong's YA series in the same 'verse as her Women (and Men) of the Otherworld. I also like Charles de Lint's The Blue Girl, but find some of his other YA too superficial. His typical adult stuff is messy and wonderful.
A high/ middle school I was working at had several of Laurell K Hamilton's later books in their collection. The librarian told me she was careful who she loaned it to and tenured...
While Harry Dresden & Mercy Thompson are "clean" enough for teens, their concerns are not the concerns of most adolescents. Paying rent, bills, working.

And as a teacher of high school students, my students love it when I teach them a banned or challenged book like Whale Talk (Crutcher, not supernatural) or Kindred (Butler, has a supernatual element)or Of Mice and Men.


Melodie (MelodieCO) Julia wrote: "Yesterday I read a wholly forgettable very YA novel or as Melodie called it "throw-across-the-roomable." No, that's no right, the characters didn't annoy or irritate me, they *bored* me.
A high/ middle school I was working at had several of Laurell K Hamilton's later books in their collection. The librarian told me she was careful who she loaned it to and tenured... ..."


I guess she would be careful who she loaned any of the later Anita Blake books to!! The early Anita books were great and I wouldn't have a problem with high schoolers or even middle schoolers reading them as long as the violence didn't bother them. But the more recent ones.....they bore the crap out of me because they read like Penthouse Forum...."let's see if I can make this kinkier than the last!". Wonder how they even made it into a middle school library?




Julia | 119 comments Wonder how they [later Laurell K. Hamilton books:] even made it into a middle school library?

a) It is a very small rural school. Maybe there's 500 kids k-12. The MS & HS library are one and the same. The elementary school is just across the parking lot.

2) The librarian had a small cadre of older girls who loved these books, which is why they were there. They read them. Possibly the public library down the street wouldn't/ didn't carry them.

C. No bookstores in this small town.



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