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are you ashamed of young adult fiction?

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message 1: by Abraham (last edited Mar 03, 2011 11:39AM) (new)

Abraham | 33 comments So, last night I picked up a copy of Hunger Games by Susanne Collins, and put it on the too read pile along side the mase runner and behemoth. And thought, these three books have all been bought from the young adult section of my bookstore. I know we have just finished Good Omens, but I was wondering if anyone else felt slightly ashamed of deeply enjoying books aimed at younger readers? The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner Behemoth (Leviathan, #2) by Scott Westerfeld Leviathan (Leviathan, #1) by Scott Westerfeld Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) by Frank Herbert


message 2: by Colin (new)

Colin | 278 comments Why? We were young adults once. Or at least, i was. I can't speak for the rest of you.
I really enjoyed the Harry Potter series. I think i was 17 or 18 when i started them. 28 now.
The Artemis Fowl books were great. Eoin Colfer has aptitude for them. Even with the the constant barrage of dwarven fart jokes, the characters are highly enjoyable, and i have to grudgingly admit that the first time the dwarf "assaulted" the big beefy bodyguard...that caused a smirk.

(rant)But he should have left well enough alone and stayed out of the Hitchhikers playground. A great example why it is NOT a good idea to have someone else "finish" a dead author's work. Thankfully Brandon Sanderson has done a good job with WoT. (/rant)

However, certain works involving young vampires/werewolves/merefolk in highschool/love though...yes, there should be copious amounts of shame.


message 3: by Jay (new)

Jay A. Yap (yaplaugh) | 5 comments I'm 46 years old and I feel absolutely no shame at all in reading books such as these. I think that quality storying telling can entice and enchant regardless of the material's intended audience. I am actually quite blown away by the quality of some of the newer YA books and I have discovered great joy in more than a few of them. I recently have been going through the Ranger's Apprentice series and have found it to be as fun and entertaining as anything I've read this year.


message 4: by Ray (new)

Ray Saltrelli (raysaltrelli) | 4 comments If you had asked me this a couple weeks ago I would have said yes. I had been wanting to read I Am Number Four for a while but couldn't bring myself to buy it. It was just too close to Twilight in the book store. Eventually I bit the bullet and bought a copy. Turns out it was a lot of worrying about nothing. Other than the main characters being in high school there was nothing childish about it. This has opened me up to a whole bunch of books that I wouldn't let myself read before. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Hunger Games are near the top of my to read list.


message 5: by Boots (new)

Boots (rubberboots) | 499 comments I know what you mean but I had to stop caring about it a long time ago because I read too much YA which is strange because I don't recall reading much YA when I was a young adult.

I think I had to force myself to swallow my pride when I stood in line at midnight by myself at my local bookstore to buy the latest Harry Potter releases for the last four books in the series. I did realize something standing in those lines though, I'm an idiot, I could have just waited until the next day to buy it with no line-ups but noooooo, I had to read it that night.

Anyway, I find YA novels read very fast and sometimes there's nothing more satisfying than blasting through a book in no time. These days I think I would be more embarrassed if I didn't read at all.

Oh and The Hunger Games is really good.


message 6: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Dune is definitely not YA, most library I know would never catlog the book as YA, just because the main character is YA does not mean the book is YA. The book may be too challenging for YA readers. P.S. I never know what a YA section was until about 10 years ago, I know those kinds of book has always been there, but since 10 years there has been a lot more of a uprise in the publications of YA novels.


message 7: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6251 comments I thought that said 'Are you ashamed of adult fiction?', as in porn.

Why is Dune on that list?


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul Kelly (ptekelly) | 206 comments Never ashamed - sometimes on the bus I have had the odd look when someone noticed I was reading Harry Potter (I am 43) but I just look at them until they notice me and smile - usually they smile back - if they don't - heh who cares :)

Some of my favourite books are younger books Hobbit, Harry Potter - but a series that really is a kids books that is great is the Truckers series by Pratchett - fantastic - the humour is really good and as an adult you can really see how he is writing it for the younger readers without compromising his writing


message 9: by Gisela (new)

Gisela | 4 comments LOL! I am a school librarian dealing with kids from age 2 1/2 to 16, so I am not allowed to be ashamed to be caught reading anything from Dr. Seuss to Judy Blume's Forever.


message 10: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 834 comments No, never. I have read a lot of YA and even children's books in the last years (I'm not 30) and I like them just as much as anything else. I read Holes in one sitting because it was so good.

So, no, I don't feel any shame and I wouldn't know why anyone else would. And if someone thinks that YA fiction is somehow below "real" fiction, he just doesn't know what he's talking about.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2858 comments What I love about a lot of YA fiction is that the authors don't have to "try" to be as literary, if that makes sense. It is like they are freed to just write a good story, and sometimes that is all I want.

Plus most of my friends I went to library school with ended up as childrens/YA librarians, so I'm always asking them what I've missed since I stopped being a kid. There is some great stuff out there!


message 12: by Lindis (new)

Lindis Russell (lindyloudawn) Ray wrote: "If you had asked me this a couple weeks ago I would have said yes. I had been wanting to read I Am Number Four for a while but couldn't bring myself to buy it. It was just too clos..."

Ray wrote: "If you had asked me this a couple weeks ago I would have said yes. I had been wanting to read I Am Number Four for a while but couldn't bring myself to buy it. It was just too clos..."

Jay wrote: "I'm 46 years old and I feel absolutely no shame at all in reading books such as these. I think that quality storying telling can entice and enchant regardless of the material's intended audience. I..."

Ray wrote: "If you had asked me this a couple weeks ago I would have said yes. I had been wanting to read I Am Number Four for a while but couldn't bring myself to buy it. It was just too clos..."

Ray, I would recommend the Harry Potter series. I even call myself a "Potter Geek" I am 40 years old and Harry Potter is what got me back into reading. Actually, I have never been much of a reader before Harry Potter. I have read the series at least three times, and a few of the seven, even more than that. Number four, Goblet of Fire is my favorite. I'll warn you, that the first two, can feel kind of slow, you might not want to finish them. Things don't start to get really exciting until the third, Prisioner of Azkaban. But of course, this is all my opinion. - My, advice, push through the first two. Because that is part of J.K's brilliance. When you are reading books 5 thru 7, you will find your self saying, "Oh, so that's what that was." Or, "hey, I remember that!" Each book is intertwined in with the others. And there is so much more in the books than there is in the movies! If you're reading one of them, and need an explaination of something, let me know. If I don't know the answer, I know where to find it! I hope you can get to them soon! Enjoy!


message 13: by Lindis (new)

Lindis Russell (lindyloudawn) I am 40 years old and I am so not ashamed to love the young reader genre. If you couln't tell by my profile picture. And if you don't know, that's Emmett Cullen from the Twilight Saga. He's my favorite vampire. I agree with others that have said, "we were once young readers" They take me back to the time when I was younger, reminds me what it was like to be 18 and in love, or 16 and starting an adventure. Adventures that I wouldn't have, (or couldn't have) done when I was younger. I have read the Harry Potter series and the Twilight saga several times. I call myself a Potter Geek and a Twilighter. Some of my other young reader favories would be The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, Hush Hush, and Fallen. Right now I am into the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan and The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer. Besides, these are also pretty "easy reads" a good second book to be reading while you are reading the difficult "more adult" books. I also work in a middle school. So, it's very helpful for me to read what the kids are reading. And it's very cool when a kid gets excited because Mrs. Russell is reading what they are too!


message 14: by David (new)

David Newhall | 39 comments I'm not even ashamed to read juvenile fiction. If I were, I would have missed out on Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and the delightful (especially in audio) Tiffany Aching booksThe Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching, #1).


message 15: by David (new)

David (Lawki) | 51 comments Maybe I am... I picked up both Leviathan and Behemoth online and a year apart. Haven't read them yet too. Hmm.


message 16: by Colin (new)

Colin | 278 comments David wrote: "I'm not even ashamed to read juvenile fiction. If I were, I would have missed out on Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and the delightful (especially in audio) Tiffany Aching books[book:Th..."

Graveyard Book was most excellent.
Odd and the Frost Giants is a sweet little story too.


message 17: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Gisela wrote: "LOL! I am a school librarian dealing with kids from age 2 1/2 to 16, so I am not allowed to be ashamed to be caught reading anything from Dr. Seuss to Judy Blume's Forever."

What's bad about Dr. Seuss. I am 37 and still read it :D


message 18: by Abraham (new)

Abraham | 33 comments as for Dune being young adult fiction? I included it because I was 11 when I first read it. Paul is an whiny teen that would fit very well into the twilight world. Oh sure there are a number of more adult sub themes in the story, but the main bulk of the story is just a typical coming of age and becoming the messiah while getting the girl soap space opera. Which I would classify as young adult fiction. Well, for young adults who have an augmented vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, I have read it seven times in the last two decades, and I get more out of it each time, but I would not wave a kid off that book because it had lots of words or big concepts. You could contrast this to the golden compass, with all sorts of adult themes in an apparently young adult book. of the two Dune is the tamer and less dangerous, at least i just spent hours trying to move just my little toe, if I had been given the Golden compass instead, I would be more inclined to hate churches, and playing with armored bears.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 05, 2011 01:51PM) (new)

At 38, I really enjoy a lot of YA fiction. Typically, I find YA fiction is a lot "leaner" than "adult" fiction. A lot of the needless stuff is gone, and the stories are much more concise. I think that has to do with the intended audience. You really have to keep things tight when you are writing for a younger audience, as they often don't have the attention span to deal with a 500 page book. Honestly, I give a second thought to books over 500 pages. George R R Martin's new book supposedly weighs in at around 900 pages. At 14, I wouldn't have even considered lifting a book that big.

Oh, and sometimes the font is a bit bigger. Sigh. That's tough to admit.

And let's face it, the YA books of today are a lot cooler than when I was young.


message 20: by Adam (new)

Adam Hansen (adamhansen85) | 8 comments I'm Y.A., and I'm O.K.
The Kids' Books Are All Right

These are two great essays about this very discussion.


message 21: by Ken (new)

Ken Caudle (tictac_ns) | 7 comments I read for the story, and to escape... I started reading for the YA section a while back, when one of my grandchildren asked my opinion on a book and I had never heard of it. She got her parents to take her home and came back to lend me her copy of "Twilight". Of course I had to read it. And I enjoyed it. So, I finished the series. "Hunger Games" was the next one she asked me to read. There are so many books and there is so little time, that I do not search out books in the YA section, but if I can, I will read any book they recommend. It gives us something to talk about.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Curt wrote "Oh, and sometimes the font is a bit bigger. Sigh. That's tough to admit."

So very true.


message 23: by Abraham (new)

Abraham | 33 comments shuffles feet in an ashamed fashioni... yeah, must admit i like that as well.


message 24: by Levi (new)

Levi Tinney (levis) | 41 comments I read Hunger Games all the way through, and greatly enjoyed it. It wasn't until later I realized it was a "YA" novel, and that didn't bother me a bit. I cut my teeth as a reader on two writers in particular: Stephen King (who ostensibly writes for adults) and Robert Cormier. It didn't bother me as a kid which section of the library the book came out of, and it doesn't bother me now.

It makes me happy that kids today have access to books as good as Hunger Games and Harry Potter. I just hope they can find the good stuff behind all the millions of Twilight clones.


message 25: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 689 comments A good book is a good book. I guess I don't think too much about the "age" classification if it's a well-written story.


message 26: by Tamahome (last edited Apr 21, 2011 06:28PM) (new)

Tamahome | 6251 comments I got a strange look from a female bookstore employee reading Uglies in the store.
Uglies (Uglies, #1) by Scott Westerfeld


message 27: by Elie (new)

Elie Harriett | 56 comments A good story is a good story. Some of Heinlein's best work is YA. Rocket Ship Galileo? Have Space Suit-Will Travel? The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

And it has been awhile, but I seem to recall reading the Star Wars Boba Fett series of YA books. They are listed and marketed as YA, but I seem to recall they were dealing with many adult (read: NOT porn) themes.


message 28: by Derek (new)

Derek Knox (snokat) | 274 comments I read a lot of so called YA. For the most part they're very well written, tightly plotted, witty dialogue, and just fun.
Many 'adult' novel seem to rely on overly elaborate plot devices, long boring monologues, and exceptionally graphic sex and violence. I don't mind any of those... when they're well written, or even just interestingly written.
Sometimes it's nice to just reads story where this is the good Guy, this is the bad Guy, they have a few adventures, and the bad Guy is stopped; without all the ambiguities 'adult' writers like to throw in.

I look for a good story irregardless of genre or age classification.


message 29: by Hope (new)

Hope (littlehope) | 82 comments Honestly? It depends on the cover.

Some covers look so childish that I will only buy those books on ym kindle...

But for the most part I am not ashamed, though that might be because I AM a young adult...


message 30: by Dennis (new)

Dennis | 90 comments I think young adults have it good these days. When I was growing up, I think all we had was The Babysitter's Club 1-26.


message 31: by Ed (new)

Ed | 16 comments I know what you mean but I loved the hunger games!


message 32: by Derek (new)

Derek Knox (snokat) | 274 comments Dennis wrote: "I think young adults have it good these days. When I was growing up, I think all we had was The Babysitter's Club 1-26."

You're forgetting Hardy Boys Complete Series Set, Books 1-66, Nancy Drew Complete Series Set, #1-64, etc. YA wasn't too bad growing up, just different.


message 33: by Dennis (new)

Dennis | 90 comments I always considered the Hardy/Drew books to be children's fiction, like Encyclopedia Brown.


message 34: by Dennis (new)

Dennis | 90 comments Oh, wait. I forgot about the Dragonlance novels!


message 35: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6251 comments Encyclopedia Brown, I read those!


message 36: by Derek (new)

Derek Knox (snokat) | 274 comments Dennis wrote: "I always considered the Hardy/Drew books to be children's fiction, like Encyclopedia Brown."

While nowhere as graphic as today's books, even YA, there was enough violence and teenagers romance in the series that I think calling them children's books is wrong.


message 37: by Dennis (new)

Dennis | 90 comments You're probably right. I read the Hardy Boys at the same time I read Highlights magazine because they both came in the same box of hand-me-downs.


message 38: by Craig (new)

Craig | 53 comments Elie wrote: "A good story is a good story. Some of Heinlein's best work is YA. Rocket Ship Galileo? Have Space Suit-Will Travel? The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

And it has..."


Heinlein wrote lots of what would be YA books before he grokked sex and wrote Stranger in a Stange Land. After that, many have some adult content so you'll have to screen before suggesting to an actual YA.


message 39: by Derek (last edited Apr 28, 2011 01:53PM) (new)

Derek Knox (snokat) | 274 comments I don't think you need to screen Heinlein, compared to a lot of YA books today, even his wildest books are pretty tame.


message 40: by Dennis (last edited Apr 29, 2011 09:30AM) (new)

Dennis | 90 comments Snokat wrote: "I don't think you need to screen Heinlein, compared to a lot of YA books today, even his wildest books are pretty tame."

I donno. There's a lot incest and general weirdness in the Lazarus Long books.

From the Wikipedia entry on To Sail beyond the Sunset:

The adventures of Maureen are a series of sexual ones, starting with Heinlein describing her as a young girl who having just had her first menstrual period is examined by her father, a doctor, and finds herself desiring him sexually. Her sexual life story then continues with various boys, her husband, ministers, other women's husbands, boyfriends, swinging sessions, and her own son who is actually Lazarus Long/Theodore Bronson. Additionally, she continues a lifelong pursuit of her father sexually, and encourages her husband to have sexual intercourse with their daughters - and is there with him when he does. She does forbid a son and daughter of hers from continuing an incestuous relationship, primarily for the sister not being willing to share the brother with other women.[1] All of that is set against the backdrop of a history lesson of an alternate 20th century in which a variety of social and philosophical commentary is delivered.



message 41: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Heinlein (mattsyco) | 9 comments I just finished up The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, the latest in The Ranger's Apprentice Series. Defiantly a book that is in the young Adult section, but I enjoyed it as much as any of the books Joe Abercrombie wrote.

Also, I have to ask, did anyone else read the Star Wars novels when they were kids?


message 42: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelbetts) Matthew wrote: "Also, I have to ask, did anyone else read the Star Wars novels when they were kids? "

Absolutely! I started my reading career with the Young Jedi Academy series... Well, I'm not really sure what it was called, but it starred Anakin Solo, if I remember right. Children's books. I then graduated to the YA ones with Jacen and Jaina Solo, which eventually got me interested in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, which was the gateway drug that opened my young mind to adult-length novels as a whole.


message 43: by Alex (last edited May 04, 2011 05:30PM) (new)

Alex DeJesus (zeus) | 21 comments I love YA and was semi-trained for it in SLIS before life had different plans. I think that the stories in YA are wonderful and inventive, in many ways more so than in much of "adult fiction". Good YA focuses on great experiences and intensity of emotion while keeping the plot constantly moving forward. All of these factors are there to catch the attention of an audience notorious for short attention spans.

I unashamedly love YA and cannot recommend enough that people take the time to delve into it. The quality of these novels is increasing by leaps and bounds as more and more young authors write for YA and churn out quality work. I myself am a huge fan of John Green's books and feel that they are a great way to get into non-sword and laser YA.

I forgot to mention that I am 25. So while I am societally a Young Adult I'm not literature YA anymore.


message 44: by Nick (new)

Nick (whyzen) | 1295 comments Leviathan
Has anyone read this series? This was recommended to me by a friend who teaches the age group the series was aimed at. Just was wondering if anyone else thought the series was worth the time to read. The reviews seem to say so.

As far as being ashamed of reading YA fiction, this is why eReaders like kindle and nook are so great, no one has to know.


message 45: by Alex (last edited May 06, 2011 09:49AM) (new)

Alex DeJesus (zeus) | 21 comments Nick Wrote: Has anyone read this series? This was recommended to me by a friend who teaches the age group the series was aimed at. Just was wondering if anyone else thought the series was worth the time to read. The reviews seem to say so.

As far as being ashamed of reading YA fiction, this is why eReaders like kindle and nook are so great, no one has to know.


I strongly recommend the Leviathan series to anyone who likes Steampunk or alternate history. The writing is definitely skewed to the younger end of the YA spectrum and the characters develop a touch slowly for my tastes the story and writing more than make up for it. I tore through the existing books in 1-3 days each and can't wait for the third.

Long story short, yes, read them. These books are most definitely worth the time and effort to read them.


message 46: by Michael (new)

Michael (zephyrkey) | 21 comments The thing that I find cool about YA is that authors seem much more willing to experiment and genre-bend than they would with more "adult" novels. And, as someone has already mentioned, they are much more lean, especially the sff books. Less world building, more action, and you can read through them pretty quickly; makes them a good pallet cleanser after slogging through something like ASoIaF or WoT.


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