A large percentage of us who read fantasy and science fiction started to do so in our formative years, when we were in grade school or middle school. For me, it was Lloyd Alexander that got me reading. The Book of Three. The Black Cauldron. Etc. The Prydain Chronicles are wonderful young adult reads and they are responsible for a great many adults still reading fantasy. I know the influenced me as a reader and as a writer.
There are others who are important. For instance, being the webmaster for Terry Brooks, I know his work influenced many a twelve or thirteen year old who are readers decades later, fans who have kept reading fantasy well into their adulthood. Terry feels his work fits nicely into young adult as well as adult.
That is not surprising. I know for a fact that Terry loves the young adult genre. He stays up to date with the newest releases, reading Publishers Weekly and the like to discover new work, and he actively seeks it out once it publishes to bookstores.
The young adult section of the bookstore has grown considerably in the last decade. Harry Potter is responsible in part for this but it would not have been sustained if publishers were not finding quality stories to keep the phenomenon going.
This fall, Random House is publishing three new young adult stories by three great writers. The Eye of Minds by James Dashner. Teardrop by Lauren Kate. And Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. All three promise to be fantastic releases!
Here is a bit more, for instance, of The Eye of Minds by James Dashner:
From James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, comes an all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure. The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.
Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?
But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.
The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.
It got me thinking. How many adults read young adult? I know a great many do due to book sales generated, but how many of you read it?
Would love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite young adult novels? What got you into reading and when? Will you be reading these upcoming releases!? If not, why? Vote below and let’s talk YA!