I’m currently writing a Young Adult novel. This is a big departure for me, and thus rather scary. Can I pull it off? I’m about a third of the way through and so far, so good.
A big reason for my trepidation was that, before beginning my own Young Adult manuscript, I’d read very little in the YA genre. Ignorance is not bliss in this situation so I had to rectify it. That meant a blitz of YA reading for a few months before launching into my own YA manuscript.
This turned out to be very enjoyable and I am now a YA fan and intend to keep up my reading in YA novels. Really, I’ve still only dipped my toe in the genre.
In a nutshell, YA is where it’s at! It has been so successful because (along with the usual dross found in all genres) it contains a lot of very good books that provide prime reading pleasure to millions.
YA reminds me of a couple of other genres I also enjoy greatly. It shares the strength of hard-boiled or noir fiction in that the stories move along at pace (which is not to say that characterization is lacking; it’s just not preeminent). YA also brings to mind the speculative fiction, primarily British and by authors such as John Wyndham and John Christopher, that flourished from the Fifties to the Seventies or thereabouts. While not always smoothly written, these speculative thrillers often contain good ideas that keep the reader hooked.
Anyway, here are a few contemporary YA novels that I strongly recommend:
The Maze Runner by James Dashner and its sequels and prequels;
Variant by Robison Wells and its sequel Feedback;
Brain Jack by Brian Falkner;
London Eye, the first in the ‘Toxic City’ series by Tim Lebbon;
Double or Die, one of the ‘Young Bond’ series by Charlie Higson;
and a good but underrated novel called Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies.
You can see all the YA novels I’ve read (which is really not very many) here.