YA, MG, Seriously discussion

The Circle
This topic is about The Circle
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Is this really YA?

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Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
I read this fast. It felt so pertinent and real. And it felt, strangely, like a great YA book. But I'm unsure. That begs the question, too: what feels like a YA book?


message 2: by Shelley (new)

Shelley Muniz (shelleymuniz) | 21 comments I have not read this yet, but will so I can add to the discussion.


message 3: by Joanna (new)

Joanna Leona (joannabranson_author) I haven't read this one yet either, but from the description of the characters/plot, I wonder if it might fit the relatively new category I've been reading about, "new adult." Publishers and agents have been calling the books that have older protagonists than the usual teens in YA- college-age and 20-somethings- and often a bit more mature content and language "new adult." It is supposed to be a kind of transitional category to bridge YA and adult fiction?


message 4: by Shelley (new)

Shelley Muniz (shelleymuniz) | 21 comments Interesting.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
I agree--thanks, Joanna. Interesting new term. I think the plot and details of The Circle may particularly affect baby-boomers or anyone a little suspicious of the new internet/commerce world. And maybe the new adult is less so. Or maybe not. Almost immediately, I contradict myself--I think people who read are interested in everything and all kinds of viewpoints, and Egger's viewpoint and writing style certainly make this worthwhile.


Alisa (flywriter) | 5 comments I swallowed this up in less than 24 hours - yes, a fast read. Enjoyable, too. I really like the term "new adult fiction," and I think the market has been primed for this genre for a long time. I found this especially true when I was fresh out of undergrad and wanted to fictionalize some of my experiences. But when I handed out copies of a novella I was working on, everyone said, "This isn't really appropriate for teens or adults, so who's going to read it?"

I thought The Circle had more or less the right alchemy of satire/irony, tension/suspense, all mixed with necessary doses of realism, though it flirted with being too hyperbolic at times. All of those things seem apropos to the emerging genre. The novel also included perhaps too-healthy doses of swearing, sex, and partying, but I suppose those are also hallmarks of "new adult fiction," and draw in the target audience. I think we can fairly say that anything emergent, including a literary genre, deserves the opportunity to experiment in form, so I was willing to overlook some of the book's own growing pains.

This was the first book I've read satirizing social media and social engineering, which made me think of it as groundbreaking. If there are other YA/new adult books tackling these issues in innovative ways, I'd be curious to read them as well.


Alisa (flywriter) | 5 comments I confess The Circle inspired me to start posting here - ha! After all, where social media is concerned: "Sharing is caring" !!


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
I'd like to read more YA or New A books about social media, too. Maybe it's just the cultural background though to a contemporary story set in computer America. (I just made up that term but having just visited the border area of Texas, I am reminded of sizable populations in America who don't have much access to the internet.)More on point, one of my face-to-face book clubs is discussing The Circle this December and I'm interested in their reactions. Not one is under fifty. So these will be responses from those of us who have experienced all this as a transition not the water in which we began to swim.


Telaina | 4 comments I have about 100 pages left of this I am enjoying it. As for it being young adult... I'm not sure what the criteria is exactly. "Feed" by M.T. Anderson is pretty amazing--deadly serious and seriously creepy while "Ready Player One" is more fun, less concerned with privacy and more concerned with "as life gets better online everyone lives there and the real world goes all to heck."

The only teenage feedback I can give is my daughter (who is the one who told me to read "Feed") says the idea of a chip in her physical body makes her sick to her stomach.

I will check in again once I have finished the Circle. (Hopefully tonight.)


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
My book club just discussed this and, to my surprise, many didn't like it. I think maybe YA readers would have a ho-hum experiences. Like maybe they know all this? Feed took the whole concept farther--real SF and some years ago, too. Visionary.


message 11: by Shelley (new)

Shelley Muniz (shelleymuniz) | 21 comments I've heard others same the same about the Circle. It's in my pile for the holidays.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
For me, The Circle articulated some things about social media that I had been ignoring. Perhaps a little denial there or my Pollyanna streak. The book was a fast, fun, enlightening read--not the elegant or complex writing that Eggers has in A Hologram for a King.


Telaina | 4 comments I did finish the Circle last week and I did enjoy it. I thought a couple of things were very heavy-handed on Eggers' part. Like the metaphor of the Mariana trench animals wasn't enough (both as people in the world, and the three men who ran the circle) but then Ty has to tell Mae the metaphor, just in case we didn't get it.

Also when they are looking at the sculpture of the hand coming out of the screen--that no one got what the artist was saying was an excellent point, but again, Eggers' sort of beat us over the head with it. So I think there might be credence to young adult interest. Not that you need to beat young adults over the head with anything but that would be something a younger reader might not have seen as obvious, and Eggers' big neon signs might have been helpful for a reader with less books under her/his belt.


message 14: by Peter (new)

Peter Riva (goodreadscompeter_riva) | 10 comments A strong book, especially the first half. I thought it lost its way in the second half.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Yes, I've been feeling more critical with distance. When I first read it, though...he just articulated ideas I hadn't fully articulated. I'm a little Pollyanna-ish and don't always see the dark side of things. And I don't want to be the old crotchety person yelling about the modern age and those damn kids. But there are, obviously, some concerns about the internet and this modern age. He spelled them out for me (a little heavy-handedly!).


message 16: by Peter (new)

Peter Riva (goodreadscompeter_riva) | 10 comments "the old crotchety person..." is what I'm becoming.


message 17: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Weatherford | 1 comments This book was assigned to all incoming freshmen last year at the university for which I work—it does seem perfectly aimed at 17-to-18-year-old readers. The "new adult" target/niche is 16-22 (or so), so by that measure it would fit nicely.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
How interesting. I would be interested in what those freshmen think of the book.


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