Young Adult fiction is a hot topic at the moment, mostly brought on by John Scalzi’s recent post about YA genre classification. He mentions that some adult readers overlook YA sf/f, but some YA books may be equally enjoyed by even the most discerning adult reader. So we asked some folks:
Q: Which young adult sf/f titles, if any, would you recommend to an adult reader who would not otherwise consider reading YA fiction because they think it’s only suitable for kids?
For what it’s worth, the recommendation at the front of my mind (probably because I just read it) would be Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother. And I wasn’t the only one…
Read on to see how our esteemed panel responded. And be sure to offer up your own suggestions!
believes immersing one’s self daily in a vat of hand sanitizer will wash away all of one’s sins. And also, some dirt.
I think it’s no secret I’m a big fan of Scott Westerfeld’s work, but rather than recommend Scott’s wildly successful Uglies series, which really doesn’t need any more help, let me give a shoutout to one of his other books, Peeps. These days there are more “vampire reboot” sort of books than any one planet actually needs, but what makes Peeps worth the time is both the plot, and the every-other-chapter digressions into parasitology that actually manage to dovetail into the story Scott is telling. It’s clever, it’s exciting, and it’s good, and if you were handed the book without knowing where in the bookstore it was shelved, you wouldn’t know or care that it was YA.
Beyond this, my recommendation for titles is for adult readers to go into the YA section and do what they do in every other section of the bookstore: browse, damn it. Look at the covers and the jacket copy and maybe read a little of the book and just see if the book looks interesting to you. Oddly enough, it works as well in the YA section as it does everywhere else. Alternately, go to the library and ask the YA librarian to suggest some title. Oh, go on, you baby. You won’t be the first adult she’s recommended a YA book to in her life.