Denise Jaden's writing has appeared in Mississippi Crow Magazine (Spring, 2008), The Greensilk Journal (Fall 2007 - where her story, LOCKED AWAY, won an Editor's Choice Award),and The Tidepool Fiction Ezine. Her novels have received various awards through Romance Writers of America. Her first novel for teens, LOSING FAITH, is forthcoming from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster in September 2010. She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son.
LOSING FAITH is in stores now!
The young adult fiction market has been growing and stretching and making room for some amazing new authors in the last few years. No longer does a YA book have a large set of parameters it must meet. Genres are widening and crossing with one another, an ever-growing literary flavor is being welcomed, and overdone ideas about character relationships and plot outcomes are a thing of the past. Because of this, not only has YA exploded in growth in the last few years, we’re also seeing more and more adult readers who are being drawn to YA.
YA fiction has an immediacy that isn’t always there in other genres. You’d be hard-pressed to find a recent YA that doesn’t kick in and hook a reader within the first chapter. You’re always in the moment with the teen hero, and even those readers much older than their teen years can truly feel like they are part of the story.
A great example of this immediacy is THE DUFF, a contemporary YA, releasing this September. The main character, Bianca, finds herself quickly kissing the one guy who makes her blood boil. How could you not read on?
I mentioned an ever-growing acceptance of literary language in YA. A great example of this is THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, written by established poet and literary agent, Jandy Nelson. It’s one of those books you want to soak into for a good long while. You’ll want to read it again and again.
As for fresh ideas on character relationships, check out NOTHING LIKE YOU by Lauren Strasnick. The main character, Holly, sleeps with a boy not for love or acceptance, but rather to deaden the other pain in her life. But that’s just one unusual relationship in this book. Holly’s relationship with her best friend Nils takes plenty of unexpected twists and turns too.
These are only three examples in a very large sea of amazing recent YA fiction. What are some of your favorites? And what do you think are some of the best things about YA fiction today?