Last night I dreamed of blog posts. This isn’t unusual. I dream of book marketing strategies, plotlines, entire paragraphs of prose… in high school once I even dream-finished my Algebra homework—for real! I finished a pesky equation in my head and woke up to write it down.
The Forbidden Trilogy started as a dream.
Apparently I get a lot done in my dreams. I should start billing for sleep-time! Lol Anyways, my point is that I dream-wrote a post about my favorite books. I know, too exciting for words. But this morning I see that NPR has posted a list of the Best 100 Young Adult Novels, EVER.
This is a bizarre list, in my opinion. I never would have classified some of these books as YA. I recently wrote a guest post for the Krazy Book Lady blog called “The Mass Appeal of YA Fiction—It’s Not Just For Teens.” You should check it out. In this post, I argue that YA isn’t a genre, it’s a category for age classification. (I also argue that the love of YA isn’t about simplistic prose or that people are too lazy to read ‘adult’ books… as some have stated.) So, I’m wondering what criteria they used to determine the YA nature of the books on this list.
Maybe it’s just me, but I would classify a lot of these as literary fiction, and while that can also be YA, I just never though them to be. Was Fahrenheit 451 YA? What about The Lord of the Rings? To Kill A Mockingbird? Really? And then we have three books by John Green. I have no idea who this guy is, but I’ll have to check out his books.
I guess required reading in high school counts as YA? Though I had to read The Scarlet Letter and Gone With the Wind, and neither of those made it.
I’m starting to think YA is becoming a meaningless tag. Is it a book that has a teen in it? That deals with coming of age themes? That takes place in high school or college? Fifty Shades of Grey is coming of age with a young adult protagonist who is in college. Many teens are reading this book, but it is most definitely NOT YA.
Perhaps we should start putting books into their genres, instead of age categories? I guess children’s literature is important to note, but some of these books… including The Last Unicorn, is more children’s lit than for teens. It was made into a cartoon!
Flowers for Algernon is also on this list. It’s funny, because I made reference to this book in my last post about the new Bourne Legacy movie. (Not worth the price of the ticket, btw, check out my review for the why.) I read it in high school and somehow remembered it as a short story, but it’s not short! I’ve always been a fast reader. Lol Thing is, I don’t see this as YA.
Ah well. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Check out the list. What do you think? Which books are missing you think should be there? Which books don’t strike you as Young Adult?
And just so I can satisfy my dream self. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books in no particular order (they are not all YA.)
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
This book made me fall in love with reading, writing and fantasy. It will always be one of my favorites.
Family Magic by Patti Larsen
Love this author (who’s also one of my closest friends) and all of her books. This series is one of my all time favorites. Witches, demons, vampires and more!
Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond
One of the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Get into the mind of a serial killer.
Angelfall by Susan Ee
An indie sensation that was so overhyped I thought I’d hate it and I loved it. Beautifully written post-apocalyptic book.
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
I highly recommend anything by this author. I discovered her through a friend’s recommendation years and years ago, and I adore her strong female protagonist and exciting fantasy worlds. In Wild Magic, one of my favorite characters, Daine, discovers her magic to heal and communicate with animals. I was very pleased to see a few of her books on the best list. They got something right. J
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
What can I say? I think he’s an amazing author. All the things people have critiqued in his books, I love. It’s fantasy the way I like it, very character driven.
The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Again, some of the best fantasy I’ve read.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Also on the top 100 list. I loved this series and the movie.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I know there’s a lot of hate going on for Bella, but I’m a fan and I’ll be writing a blog post about it very soon. Probably this week! Also on the list, FYI.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Who doesn’t love this series? Sure, she grew as a writer during the novel and there were prose problems, but what an imagination and what a world she created. I will love these books forever!
His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
I still cry when I think of the last book. Such a wonderful trilogy!
Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
A multi-cultural paranormal YA series that has a lot of depth and emotion.
Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer
Love this Valkyrie series, with beautiful writing and wonderful myths that come to live.
Bad Doctor by John Locke
I’m a total fan girl. Locke’s books are fun and engaging and this new series is just so awesome. I love how he takes seriously messed up, flawed characters and makes them protagonists. It’s brilliant. If you’ve never read any of his books, check them out. I also interviewed this author awhile back. You can read it here.
The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin
Dark fantasy with badass vampires. Loved it. This is an author to watch out for.
I’m sure there are so many more I’m forgetting, but this is a short list of books I really love, from thriller to epic fantasy, to paranormal.
So tell me, what are some of your favorite books. Feel free to leave links so we can all enjoy!