It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air! Then again, when it comes to YA books, love is always in the air around here.
Inspired by the Blind Date with a Book displays that are popping up in libraries this week, we are sharing some YA book singles ads with you. Read the blurb and try to guess which which book is looking for a reader. Answers will appear after the break.
Feel free to share your own blurbs in the comments!
1. “Historical fiction seeks reader for a look at the effect of WWII on a Lithuanian family. This is a date for fans of beautifully written stories of hope during the toughest of times.”
2. “Contemporary YA novel seeks reader as date for school trip to England. Shakespeare, mobile phones, and love await you.”
3. “Modern update on classic story seeks reader to flashback to New York’s rock scene in the eighties. Must be willing to jump between timelines to solve a mystery.”
4. “Totally rockin’ graphic novel seeks reader to, you know, just, like, hang out. An interest in music and old school video games would be a total plus. May be required to travel through Subspace.”
5. “Sweet and funny romance seeks reader who loves film and Parisian travel.”
6. “Modern fantasy seeks reader to explore the magical possibilities of origami, sentient textbooks, and folding reality.”
7. “Collection of short stories seeks reader with a wide range of esoteric interests ranging from raising the dead to ethnography of magicians to television shows about libraries and boys who inherit phone booths to handbags with entire fairy realms inside.”
8. “Suspenseful dystopian novel seeks reader to resist the alien invasion while reminiscing about the past and keeping alive the vow to rescue a sibling.”
9. “Heartbreakingly realistic boarding school novel seeks reader who can handle rugby, violence, sexual fantasies, and growing pains. Enjoying comics is a plus.”
10. “Award winning book linking seven stories across time and space seeks speculative fiction loving reader who wants to puzzle out the mysteries of love, family, and sacrifice.”
11. “Like fairy tales? Like ghost stories? How about mysteries? Acclaimed YA novel combining all these elements seeks reader who is open to the idea of spirits from the past guiding us in the present. Must have courage and ability to resist pastries.”
12. “Modern retelling of Shakespearian play seeks reader who is open to seeing what the minor characters can do. Love of fencing, thievery, an unrequited love a huge plus.”
13. “The family next door has always been off limits, but that was before girl met boy. Now they secretly date.”
14. “Girl has a gift and a curse. Someone wants to use her for a weapon, but she’s about to fight back.”
15. “Girl gets sucked into dreams – one boy in particular has nightmares that could come true.”
16. “Girl’s BFF moves away. She’s devestated until an interesting boy crosses her path.”
Classics — whether they are novels, plays, or epics — offer us great characters, interesting plots, and lots of things for discussion … but sometimes they can be a little tough to tackle. Sometimes we adore them, but sometimes we can’t get past page 3, let alone the requisite 50. That doesn’t mean that we should give up what they have to offer, though, does it? Many of today’s authors try to use these classic works as a starting-off point to write a more modern version. If done well, these contemporary versions can have a huge impact and impart the same wisdom that made the earlier story gain its classic status. Jessica Miller and I decided to find and examine some great pairs of classics and their contemporary rewrites to see if they are successful … or maybe not.
I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
Whether in the voice of Laurence Olivier, Tom Hardy, or someone in-between, you’ve likely heard this soundbyte before. It is an exclamation made part way into Wuthering Heights by the passionate Heathcliff. Taken into the Earnshaw family at a very young age, Heathcliff, misunderstood and angry at the world, can’t help loving his adopted sister Catherine. But if there’s one thing Wuthering Heights tells us, it’s that love doesn’t make everything okay. There’s no fun in this huge, dysfunctional family affair. Much like one of those reality TV shows, Wuthering Heights is impossible to turn away from, just so you can find out what any of these hateful, miserable people across two generations might do to make their lives and the lives of those around them even worse. But it doesn’t all end in tragedy, which is perhaps what doesn’t leave you completely despairing of the potential for humankind.
I’m not sure if that’s what Emily Bronte wanted me to get out of it, what with Catherine and Heathcliff’s passionate, immortal love; but I couldn’t find any redemption in this novel without reading it with Heathcliff as less anti-hero and more villain.
YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.
We’re all pretty familiar with retellings of classic stories; Pride and Prejudice took up a great deal of the second half of the 2000s, from Enthusiasm to Prom & Prejudice. Then fairy tales became huge, with authors like Alex Flinn producing awesome tales like Beastly, A Kiss in Time, and Cloaked. And that’s not to mention the resurgence and reprinting of stories by Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine. But the past couple of years have shown us the start of a new Big Thing: the retelling of Gothic novels.