January 6th, 2011

Confessions of a Young Adult Librarian

hunger-games bookI confess… I use my job as an excuse to read all the Young Adult fiction I want. Unlike the ladies I’ve noticed at the salon who have taken the cover off of their Stephenie Meyer books and are trying to hide the title from judgmental eyes, I boldly display my teen Paranormal Romances with colorful covers all over my home. When the Twilight Moms made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show and women in their 20s and over could be seen with Team Edward/Jacob tees at the midnight showing of the Twilight Saga films, I realized that Young Adult Lit had gone main-stream. Many parents have been in on the secret for a long time — YA books are lots of fun! Just like adult fiction, they cover many genres from love-struck vampires to historical fiction. Although the main characters are teenagers, adults can still relate to the common themes or enjoy reliving their teen angst.

We can trace the popularity explosion of YA Lit back to the larger-than-life success of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Next, vampires became a popular theme with the Twilight series wooing both teen and adult audiences. While Vampire Lit is still popular, with series such as Blue Bloods and Vampire Academy flying off the shelves, there’s a new genre on the rise – Dystopian Societies. These books are all about imperfect worlds, rebellion, and freedom. If J.K. Rowling started a magical revolution and Stephenie Meyer led vampire tales to the top of the bestseller lists, then the leader of the Dystopian Society Lit wave has got to be Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games Trilogy has been hugely successful and adults and teens alike can’t put them down. Also, this series appeals to both women and men. I gave The Hunger Games to all my female friends for the holidays and none of them have been able to get around to reading them yet. Their fiancés are a different story — two have read it and moved on to the next book in the series.

We’ve been offering Teen Book Discussions for quite a while, but what about all those adults out there who can’t get enough of YA Lit or would simply like to give it a try? Good news! You can sign up for Not Your Mother’s Book Club at the North East Branch, an adult book discussion on YA books.  See more details at our online calendar and sign up by calling 410-996-6269.

If you have read The Hunger Games and are looking for your next dystopian society fix, try The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, or Matched by Ally Condie. And here’s a list of YA reads in many genres that you might want to try out, whether you’re a young adult or a young adult at heart…

Tell us – what’s your favorite YA read?


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