Young Adult, Teen & Crossover Fiction…

I think it’s quite well documented here on Savidge Reads that I have a few little glitches in my personal reading taste; the last one I mentioned was of course audio books. Non-Fiction used to be a real issue, yet in the last year I really worked at it and by the end of the year quite a few of the books I really loved were that very genre. The next genre or category on my hit list is Young Adult Fiction… or Teen Fiction… or Crossover Fiction whichever one you want to call it. I might have just come up with a new way of getting my head around it, but I will need your suggestions so do read on and recommend.

I have been talking this who conundrum over with The Bookboy lately, he did after all suggest I read ‘Just William’ and lend me it. He of course is coming up to the teen market age (he’s 12), though having said that he has just recently finished ‘Wuthering Heights’ a book I didn’t read until fairly recently, and reads widely. The ‘Harry Potter’ novels are the only books that we have both read, and so we came up with an idea. As well as me doing the blog as normal and him doing his collective posts every now and again, wouldn’t it be interesting if we both read the same book and reported back together?

Now of course we have the issue of which titles should we head for? As we all know this is a huge, huge market…

…And one which neither of us feels we fully know enough to pick a prime title or three from to try out. It needs to be something new to both of us, though he is itching to read ‘The Graveyard Book’ and I did mention he read the first three Twilight books and then we could do ‘Breaking Dawn’ but I think that’s too old at the moment for him, plus he gave a very outward groan. We know there are some perfect books out there for us both to get our teeth into. I can almost hear you all screaming ‘The Hunger Games’ before I have even asked for suggestions, its one I think we would consider, but what else is there out there?

So which fairly recent ‘young adult/teen/crossover’ novels would you recommend? What is it about the genre that you love, or indeed that you don’t? Do you think a joint blog from me and The Bookboy every now and again would work?

21 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts

21 responses to “Young Adult, Teen & Crossover Fiction…

  1. gaskella

    Wonderful! Joint points with the Bookboy are just the ticket. As you know, I love YA/Teen/Crossover fiction, so I shall look forward to your reviews.

    My top suggestion for you is Marcus Sedgwick – he’s brilliant, try Revolver for an Arctic Western feel, My Swordhand is singing is one of his best but may be too bloodthirsty! I’d love to hear what you think of Charlie Higson’s Young Bond series too – I’ve yet to read them, but they sound huge fun.

  2. My 13-year-old sister and 14- and 16- year-old cousins swear by the “Tomorrow” series by John Marsden, and I have seen a few adults review them too.

    Lord of the Flies?
    Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy?

    The Harry Dresden files might be a bit old for Bookboy but maybe in another year or so…

    And definitely To Kill A Mockingbird.

  3. I recently discovered Meg Rosoff, she is a wonderful writer, very poetical. I read 13 Resons Why a few years back, completely mesmerized me. It’s sad topic but not a sad book. Very atmospherical. It shows the importnace of tiny actions and reactions. Teens love it. It’s an astonishing book but not sure if you wanted to read together with Bookboy, bit too early for him. Yvann is right, there are adults reviewing the Tomorrow series. I just did it. I think it can be enjoyed at a fairly early age. I like your choice of the word “crossover”. That is really what those books are. I haven’t read the Hunger Games yet but am sure they are worth exploring.

  4. I love the escapism of it & the nostalgia it evokes in me (not that I would want to return to my teens, heaven forbid).

    Meg Rosoff, John Green (book girl could join in), Diana Wynne Jones, Cornelia Funke (Inkheart may ease you in gently, Simon, seeing as it is about books), Siobhan Dowd.

    I’d suggest Matched by Ally Condie but if you didn’t get on with The Hunger Games then doubtful that you will with that.

    Peter Pan, Anne of Green Gables (would be very interesting from your joint male perspectives!) Lord of the Flies, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Great Expectations, The Wind in the Willows, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island…

  5. The Knife of Never Letting Go – although it may be a bit old for BookBoy.

    The Giver is great as well. I only discovered YA lit when I started teaching, and now some of my fav reads of the last 5 years have been YA novels. Hope you find something great.

  6. lizzysiddal

    Mortal Engines (and the Hungry City Chronicles) – Philip Reeve

  7. Jo

    I recently read I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend. I loved it and only when I finished it did I realise it was pitched at the younger audience!

  8. novelinsights

    I don’t read lots of YA fiction but I did really enjoy The Radleys by Matt Haig. Quite dark in places!

  9. I have no idea about age-appropriateness of this book, but a YA book I read last year that I quite liked was “White Darkness” by Geraldine McCaughrean. I’m not a big reader of YA, so that recommendation comes out of someone who dips in them now and again.

    The Hunger Games books are very gripping. I haven’t read the last of the trilogy but I whipped right through the first two.

  10. I would suggest something simon ,but I don’t read ya or have a wanting to just not my thing ,all the best stu

  11. federay

    I am watching this thread and post keenly. Yes, please cover some YA stuff because I know nothing and have 3 sons who have very different tastes and inclinations. I don’t always want to go to the usual tables and titles for them – there is so much out there and I can’t keep up!
    I keep hearing Laura Ingalls Wilder is, politically and conceptually, a whole lot more challenging and stimulating than I might think… so that is my suggestion. But anything. I am sure there will be brilliant contemporary YA writers that I will miss because I haven’t time to read everything before my kids do!

    Mind you – I envy them their choice… not like in my day.

  12. I suggest Incarceron & Sapphique by Catherine Fisher. Very accessible fantasy.

  13. M

    A few favorites:

    -Maniac Magee – Spinelli
    -The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Alexie
    -To Kill a Mockingbird – Lee

  14. Reading and blogging together is a brilliant idea I think! The Bookboy says he is a fan of classics, so why don’t you try “The Pickwick Papers”?

  15. Martin Robbins

    Well, my view is it’s a bad idea!
    Book Boy could be influenced by Simon’s views.
    I like the fact that Book Boy reads what HE wants and writes reviews on the books HE has read.
    Let the young mind develop it’s own style and use of words.
    Too many times, OLDER people try to control or influence….
    Let BOOK BOY learn on his own and spread his wings…

    Old Enough To Know Better, TOO Thick To Care!

  16. The titles mentioned by comments above are all good, some better than others.

    I agree with Martin to a point. Bookboy should get to choose his own books as much as possible. Where an adult reader can help is in finding possible books. On their own, children and most other readers, will only find books that the market puts in front of them: the ones on special tables in books stores and in special displays at the library. An adult reader knows what has come before, may have a wider reading experience, and can suggest titles the younger reader would not have found otherwise.

    The younger reader will make up his own mind in the end, of course. As he should.

  17. I can recmmend a couple fo titles for younger readers (8th Grade Superzero – Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Wolf Brother – Michelle Paver and Magyk – Angie Sage which is a bit Harry Potterish in that it has wizards), but I’m not sure if it’s best for an adult reader who doesn’t really know if they’ll like YA to start with the younger end of the spectrum. You might do better going for the crossover stuff (like Dark Materials series mentioned above) then moving on to full on YA, then mixing in a few books more marketed for Bookboys age range like the ones I mentioned above. For crossover I recommend Crossing – Andrew Xia Fukuda.

    Keeping that in mind here are a couple suggestions for that sub-age group of YA that you guys might enjoy:

    Dooley Takes the Fall – Norah McClintock (mystery/thriller)
    The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff (creepy fairytales)
    Liar – Justine Larbalestier (thrillerish with twists)
    Hex Hall – Rachel Hawkins (like Harry Potter with a female protagonist)

  18. Jimesa Wilson

    Have either of you read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I think it is YA but I’m not sure. I read it over last summer and it’s excellent. It would make for a wonderful conversation and it would be interesting hearing thoughts on it from each of your points of view.

  19. If you want to try something a little less well known I recommend the Tunnels series by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. My mom, me and my 12 year old brother have all loved them.

  20. Mae

    I recently read two YA – the only two I’ve read since Harry Potter. ‘The last dragonslayer’ by Jasper Fforde and ‘The Recruit’ by Rob Muchamore which was recommended to me by a 12 year old boy. Both were excellent.

  21. I think I’ve mentioned China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun to you before but it might be a good choice for both of you. And I second the Phillip Pullman suggestions. The three His Dark Materials books have enough depth for all ages.

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