August 08, 2020, 12:41:52 AM

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Re: What is YA? Basically, in my mind YA is: coming of age story, moral values are usually an issue  which includes sexual tension but is not described if acted upon, book is not long in length thus the plot moves quickly. Another factor that seems to run rampant in the YA world is that the protagonist's parents are absent or have no influence in the character's life.  Almost a sense that parents are some what useless...this is an annoying trend. Even if the character does not have parents present; there should be another type of adult mentor present; IMHO.   

I agree that YA books tend to "tell" the reader what is going on instead of allowing the reader to come to conclusions based on what is being alluded to per the dialogue, setting; the overall scene.  Although, that is not good writing anyway, in my opinion, for YA. I think that type of writing is more for a children's/ middle-grade audience. 

YA can contain some great stories, but unfortunately, it seems that many YA authors tend to water down the vocabulary and make their storyline too simplistic.

 I agree that the re-marketing of classics in a "teen" style cover is annoying, but hey, if it gets them to read the classics then really no harm as long as the actual content has not been touched.
I do not like when an adult intended paranormal/urban fantasy story is remarketed to the YA audience. An example of that would be Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Not an YA book. Why? Well, one reason is the sex; the way it is written.  YA is a vast age audience; 12-18 or so therefore the publishers need to keep that in mind. A 12 year old reading about sex is far different than a 16-18 year old.

I think it is easier to say what should be absent from a YA book; explict sex, strong cussing language, and stuff that is way too viloent. Although, that last one is a very grey area in my opinion; what is too viloent to one person is okay with another. For instance, ASIOF is a great series, YA, no way. For me, this is so because of the sex more so than the violence.  History is full of violence so that I can tolerate more than my child reading sex scenes.

If you go purely by age-of-protagonist, you have to put Rothfuss, Canavan, Scott Card etc. in YA. They're not.

Agreed, which is why people need to keep in mind the age of the narrator as in Rothfuss's case, the story is being told by an adult. This indicates to me that the protgaonist will age, and come across adult themes.

My son is 7 and has read (with help) the first 4 Harry Potter books. However, I think he is too young for the later books not because they are hugely violent but because he wont understand the concepts. It's not a straightforward good vs evil, it the undercurrents of racism, dictatorships etc.
The Hobbit was a book aimed at children but it is extremely wordy. We chose to read the graphic novel to our son because we thought he may get bored with the book (and we couldn't have that now could we!!!) A lot of people enjoy The Hobbit on a second read better.
So anything that has a bit of depth, isn't too wordy and isn't too violent could be classed as YA.

I think Harry Potter is a great example of a Middle-Grade books expanding into YA books.  The first few books are great for middle-grade kids, but the books do grow darker, deeper concepts, and the kids are growing up with different relationship and growing pains too.  Thefact is that Harry Potter took 10 years to come to its end.  That means, the kids who were reading the books also grew with the series, thus the middle-grade to YA. I would not at all want my 11 year old to whizz through the series. I'd rather her take her time and read the series over the course of the next several years which she is doing.
The Hobbit; this book, IMHO, is more for the older Middle-Grade to YA audience because it is  a more detailed book. So it is not really a children's book per se which conjures up the ages of  5-10 years old in my mind.

March 28, 2011, 06:28:13 PM