What Teen Books Do You Love??

Authors may gear their novels toward the secondary school crowd, but adults are snapping up the books, often about misfit teens or fantasy worlds.

It used to be that the only adults who read young adult literature were those who had a vested interest (eg teachers or librarians or parents who either needed or wanted to keep an eye on developing readers' tastes).  But increasingly, adults are reading YA books with no ulterior motives. Attracted by well-written, fast-paced and engaging stories that span the gamut of genres and subjects, such readers have mainstreamed a niche long derided as just for kids.

Thanks to huge crossover hits like Stephenie Meyer's bloodsucking Twilight saga, Suzanne Collins' fight-to-the-death The Hunger Games trilogy, and Markus Zusak's Nazi-era The Book Thief, YA is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak publishing market.
"Even as the recession has dipped publishing in general, young adult has held strong," said David Levithan, editorial director and vice president of Scholastic, publisher of "The Hunger Games," as well as of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, the series largely credited with jump-starting this juggernaut of a trend.

"You go on a train and see 40-year-old executives reading Twilight," said Levithan, himself a YA author.
Often, word of mouth will bring a teen title to an adult's attention. Such was the case with the Twilight series, which has sold more than 85 million copies worldwide since the first book was published in 2005. Add the growing number of movies made from kids' books, such as "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" and "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," as well as all the successful adult authors -- James Patterson, Carl Hiaasen, Francine Prose and Terry Pratchett -- now writing for younger readers, and you've got a phenomenon that extends beyond the gatekeepers who want to know what their kids are getting into.

Many think that part of the reason we're seeing adults reading YA is that often there's no bones made about the fact that a YA book is explicitly intended to entertain.  YA authors are able to take themselves less seriously. They're able to have a little more fun, and they're less confined by this idea of themselves as Very Important Artists. That paradoxically leads them to create far better work than people who are trying to win awards.  YA books are arguably more vibrant than many adult titles, with better plots, better characterisations, a more complete creation of a world. Often, those worlds are steeped in the imagination.

Many of today's YA authors were born and raised in the 1960s and 1970s, when YA began to move beyond the staid, emotionless tales of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in favour of more adventurous work from Judy Blume, Madeleine L'Engle and Robert Cormier. Now, they're turning out their own modern masterpieces.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/

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