Station Eleven Station Eleven question

Reccommended to YA readers, yay or nay?
Emily Florence Emily Jul 30, 2014 02:12PM
This book isn't YA/Teen, but its a theme that is mostly found in books for that age. Would you recommend this as a more literary post-apocalyptic novel for people who usually stick to YA? I would, I think its important to expand our reading comfort zones and challenge ourselves to read something we might not usually!

Why does a dystopian novel need to be labeled YA? It seems "On Such a Full Sea" is also not labeled YA even though it's dystopian. If YA refers to simpler language, then this is not YA. But a great book mature high schoolers could easily enjoy.

Donna I think that the label YA in the genre of fantasy, including dystopian and post-apocalyptic books, refers more to certain expectations associated with ...more
Dec 09, 2014 08:20AM

I know that I'm late to this party, but I wanted answers to this very question. As far as the definition of YA, it seems to me that the language is often very simple (simple present or simple past tense, stream-of-consciousness, and now tweets and texts). They seem to be plot driven, with little character or setting development. That is just how I have experienced them. I'm sure there are examples of YA writing that are not like this.

Emily wrote: "This book isn't YA/Teen, but its a theme that is mostly found in books for that age. Would you recommend this as a more literary post-apocalyptic novel for people who usually stick to YA? I would, ..."

I definitely feel like this should be read by YA readers. The concepts and themes of the book are complex, but vital for a YA reader as they expand their minds through reading. It’s not a book with a lot of action, but that’s because action isn’t the main focus of the book. I would dare say this should be on a required reading list for YA readers, just for the fact it is different from most YA novels, in a good way.

I guess the question is, what is the expectation or taste of the reader to which you might recommend it? If it is a reader who enjoys specifically dystopian/end-of-civilization stories and sticks to YA because there are a lot of those marketed as such, then i'd say sure, and that there are many other non-YA novels with those themes for this reader to dive into.

If it's a reader who sticks to YA dystopias because they like first-person protagonists fighting to survive in a fairly linear narrative, then this is going to be really challenging and not to their tastes--the ensemble cast of focus characters, the complex narratives jumping around in time, those might just not be something they'd dig. Or maybe it would crack open their expectations of what a story can be, and they'd love it.

Me, i think i would have loved this book to pieces from about age 14 on, but i was big into reading adult-marketed books as soon as i could get my hands on them.

I really dislike the YA label and have no idea what qualifies a book as YA. It certainly cannot be the age of the protagonist or the label would have to be affixed to The Goldfinch and All the Light We Cannot See. This is a book that can be enjoyed by anyone who is at ninth grade reading level, regardless of their age.

I think perhaps we underestimate young adults sometimes. Not every postapocalyptic read has to be action packed and fast paced. Station Eleven definitely could be recommended for YA readers who enjoy a more literary twist to their fiction. -Tracy M.

YA is usually simple to understand, but I think it depends on the teen reading it. Those that are more mature would be able to read this.

Yes, I agree Station Eleven should be highly recommended to YA readers. Its heroine is a young adult as are many of the members of the Traveling Symphony. Many themes here are great for this audience, including finding courage and hope in hopeless situations, choosing loyalties, defining one's self within a new world, creating a new world... I think the novel's great characters, beautiful language, its vividness, and its gripping plot make it an excellent book for YA's to read and discuss.

I agree with you, Barbara. Well said. I also think that this would be a good book for YA readers so that they can experience a quieter end of the world as we know it scenario as opposed to higher fantasy. It is a book that should get readers of any age thinking about what's important in life and how to persevere. And the writing is beautiful, very lyrical. It is something enriching.

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