^At least there's an index/glossary thing at the back.
Okay, (taking deep fortifying breath) I've only just signed up here, and I'm probably with this response going to completely obliterate my street cred. I've seen some say that they don't care for YA novels, and most of what is listed here seems like pretty Serious Reading.
But I used to be a YA librarian, and I have a real love for the books. YA Fantasy was how I got so many reluctant readers to pick up books. So, despite no longer working with teens, I still find myself reading "their" books.
And right now, I have been sucked AGAIN into A.G. Howard's delightfully imaginative take on Alice in Wonderland. Her Splintered series is just...fun. Sure, it's not deep or serious, but it is a very pleasant way for me to pass a few days. It's sort of my "brain vacation" time, not that I view it as throwaway fluff. Far from it. I think this is my fourth or fifth time reading the series (there's four books) in two years.
Lest you think I am a Reader of Little Substance, next on my list is a reread of Harry Dresden, and I recently read Cassandra A. Clarke's The Mad Scientist's Daughter which was wonderful.
@RogueAngel : there is a lot of great YA work out there, often doing more interesting things that adult novels are doing, which seem to me on the whole to be more conservative in terms of approach.
I've noticed this too. YA seems to be more adventurous and genre-bending very often. Part of why I find many adult novels hard to interest myself in is that they seem, well, as you said, conservative. In their concepts, their ideas, etc.
Not sure why that's the case, but it appears to be. Maybe younger readers are perceived as being more open to experimentation with things like narrative structure, genre-bending, and the like.
I think it's just that the YA label is unifying. YA books are more defined by their YA-ness than their genre, so crossing genres is easier.
As someone who loves weird and unique books, I like this about YA.
I'm reading Mage Slave and it's very boring.
This is exactly my problem with fantasy novels these days. The story line has promise but for some reason, I'm bored to tears. I promised myself that I would finish it anyway. Except for the Champagne Queen & Submerged, I've abandoned every book that I've chosen to read in the past several weeks. Maybe it's what I'm choosing to read, who knows. I miss reading good fantasy. Considered reading Mists of Avalon for a moment but the library is always out of the copy and it's like $15 on Kindle so nope.
^It's terrible, isn't it? When I read the reviews of these books they're raving. Sometimes I wonder if it's all the writing advice to take this out and that out...dunno. Just that many books today lack personality imo.
Yes. I was making this point in another thread, and tying it (speculatively) to a lot of rules for modern writing that have resulted in a more or less generic "voice" spanning across many novels. That's my feeling on it, anyway. I see more diversity in YA, and of course there are exceptions within adult SF/F.
My theory wasn't met with unanimous support, but I think there is something to it.
There's a fear of being bold and risky with your writing, breaking rules, being more flowery than is considered acceptable, or having a unique style. At least that's my thought.