Young Adult Books Are the Best
By Sarah Coates | Friday, February 14, 2020
By Sarah Coates
Friday, February 14, 2020
Young Adult books are the best. The. Best. So I just want to talk about some delightful/powerful/horrifyingly awesome Young Adult reads from the past couple of years.
- The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. Gorgeous writing. Winding plot. Wild magic. Queer love. Powerful women. Soft hearted boys.
- Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman. Fiction that could be real. Fiction that really, really could be real. Climate Change. Survival. Powerful women. Heartache for the characters and their dogs. Thirst.
- Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori Mccarthy. King Arthur but in space. In the future. King Arthur in space but she’s 17 and merlin’s cute. King Arthur in space but she’s a woman and planets are owned by corporations and the gender binary is so 2000s. Queer, genderqueer powerhouses. King Arthur fights capitalism in space.
- Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. Quarantined Vampires. Rebellious teens. Powerful women. The chills.
- The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black. Fair folk. Humans raised by fair folk. Love and trickery. Subterfuge. Stolen thrones and gallant thieves. Dangerous heroines.
- Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. The multiverse. Art umbrellas. Powerful women. Dog friends. A mansion. Futures all as real and horrible as the last. The ocean and a lost aunt.
So the next time someone tells you that YA lit isn’t real lit, you just tell them how wrong they are and build them a reading list and make them read until they’re crying tears of joy and begging you for forgiveness. I can’t tell you whether or not you can forgive them for such a heinous crime. Only you can do that. But if you need to look for advice about forgiveness, pick up a good YA book! If you’re wanting a read that continuously grapples with moral dilemmas, think about picking up the Folk of the Air series. If you’re curious about the many outcomes of your choices, try your hand at Jane Unlimited. She’ll show you all the ways life can go right. Or really, really wrong. Basically, no matter what, you and everyone you know should run to the library or your local independent bookstore and read YA until your eyes are so full with words and your heads are so full of good stories that you burst and write your own YA book so I can read it. Because I’m always looking for another good book.
Sarah Coates is a Creative Writing Instructor for the 2020 Juniper Institute for Young Writers.