Friday Writing Prompt: Fresh YA Fiction

29 May


As my colleague mentioned in her review of Illuminae on Wednesday, often YA fiction for teens gets a bad rap for being very cliche and having standard story lines only slightly varied.  Yet a good YA novel is something that has the power to be transformative and make a difference in a person’s life.  A good YA novel is one who is marketed as being “YA” due not to the quality of the writing, that is not fit for an adult, but due to the age of the protagonists or themes represented that particularly resonate with a younger audience.  Another similar genre is the “New Adult” category which appeals to a slightly older audience in their 20’s.  Whether you are still in your teen years or decades older some of our most vivid memories are ones created when we are just starting out as adults.

Think of what your fears, goals, and interests were at that time.  Think how you can write about the Young Adult or New Adult experience that many have, but in a fresh way.  What unique characters can you place in your story, what unusual story elements can you include?  You can set your story in space like Illuminae or in a fantasy realm like Coraline, here on earth like The Hate U Give, but remember writing about teenagers does not mean you need to talk down to your audience.  In fact some novels have been published first being marketed to an adult audience and then to a YA Audience in a second edition, and vice versa.

Have a favorite YA novel that you think would be another great example for those writing in the genre?  Share it in our comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

Destroy Your Misconceptions of YA Novels: Illuminae

27 May

illuminae

Illuminae is a rather unusual book, especially for YA. On the surface, with its bright orange cover and lettering, you might think you’re picking up a book with your typical YA story tropes and cliche characters that give it that reputation YA is known for. A glimpse at the summary might spark your interest, but even still, you might be going in thinking you’ll get something slightly edgy at best.

You would be wrong.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is one of the those books that will take all of the misconceptions you have about YA and destroy them.

Our protagonists, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason only just broke up when their home planet, Kerenza IV, was attacked. The pair are then boarded onto two different rescue ships and a series of terrifying and chaotic events begin to unfold while they try to escape the enemy ship hunting them down.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The intensity of the plot and blend of scifi-horror elements really make this book shine. The writing is flawless and the character work in this is something to behold. As the first of a trilogy, Illuminae makes a spectacular entrance.  You can read a previous review of the novel here.

Enjoy writing?  Check out this Friday’s Writing Prompt for Fresh YA Fiction!

Written by:
Lauren Lapinski
Circulation Assistant

 

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