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Tag: Stephenie Meyer

Twilight’s Legacy

Sniff…the memories!

Today is a bittersweet one for many people — with yesterday’s release of Breaking Dawn, Part 2, night has officially fallen on the Twilight Saga. Love Twilight or hate it, we can’t deny the influence it had on the world of YA fiction. From paving the way for more teen/adult crossover blockbusters to propelling the paranormal romance genre to unheard of levels of popularity, Twilight left a huge mark on YA culture. Let’s explore some of Twilight‘s lasting legacy in YA literature, shall we?

Love Triangles

I’m sure that pre-Twilight books included love triangles, but Twilight elevated love triangles to a team sport, one that every teen book wanted to play. Without Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, would we have Team Gale vs. Team Peeta? Team Will vs. Team Jem? Team Damon vs. Team Stefan? Team Cam vs. Team Daniel? Maybe not. Of course, that might not be a bad thing…

Old Series, New Readers

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We’ve Already Covered This: New Trends In YA Cover Design

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.

Whether you’re looking forward or back, this is a great time for young adult literature. Not only is there a quantity of quality literature out there to pick from, there is also an interesting study in book design. Some young adult book covers become instantly iconic, while other stories that stand the test of time go through many cover trends and represent a survey of publishing style. Here are a few things I’ve noticed lately when stepping back and looking at the shelves:

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The Next Big Thing in Horror

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.

October is the perfect time of year for creepy, stay-up-late, you-really-shouldn’t-read-this-before-bedtime kind of books. That’s right: horror!

I’m about to date myself, but here goes: horror was BIG in YA fiction when I was a teen in the 1990s. Despite the fact that I couldn’t stomach scary movies, I remember being absolutely hooked on Lois Duncan and Christopher Pike books as a 13-year-old. I couldn’t get enough of being scared! Lessons learned: astral projection is dangerous because your evil twin could steal your body while you’re away from it. Also, don’t even think about participating in chain letters. Just … don’t.

Alas, for a time from the 1990s to early 2000s, horror seemed to take a backseat to other genres in YA. Whither the serial killers? Sure, there were vampires … but they were sparkly and alluring instead of terrifying. Cirque du Freak author Darren Shan did his part to keep YA horror afloat with his Demonata series (published between 2005 and 2009), but there simply wasn’t a very wide selection of titles for the teen horror fan.

But have no fear — or rather, have plenty of fear: YA horror seems to be on the rise these days. Perhaps it’s a natural progression after the rise in paranormal romance in the mid-2000s and the current trend of often-disturbing dystopian settings. Clearly today’s YA readers enjoy a little darkness in their literature — why not take it a step further into full-fledged horror?


“Small Demons,” Big Rewards for Inquisitive Readers

Have you ever read a book and found that you needed to keep your computer close at hand because you just had to keep looking up all of the people, places, and things that were referenced in it? But not like looking up words in a dictionary, just trying to understand an item in context–no, I’m talking about enjoying a book so much that you want to learn even more about all of the things your favorite characters love and hate, use and destroy, sell and covet. You want to literally walk in their shoes as they trot around the globe and learn about all of the places they frequent or vacation to. You want to learn more about that 18th century philosopher that inspired their own passions, or the 21st century rock musician that gets them dancing in the kitchen while they’re cooking pasta for a hot date.

Lucky for us, the folks behind the awesome website Small Demons are just as obsessed with the same literary details that we are. And even better than that, they revel in the connections between all of the bits of information introduced in our favorite books and probably dig even deeper than we ever do. Small Demons is a Los Angeles-based company that “believes powerful and interesting things can happen when you connect all the details of books.” The site does require free registration, but once you’re registered, be warned: you could lose yourself for hours playing around on this site.


YA on the Big Screen

Even before Twilight and The Hunger Games hit the big screen, we all had that one book we wished would be made into a movie. Thanks to the success of those two films, as well as the Harry Potter franchise, it’s become more common to hear about YA books being made into films. It’s not hard to see why Hollywood is after these books; aside from having compelling plots, dynamic characters, and intriguing hooks, there’s a big readership with a solid interest in seeing these stories on screen. There’s also no denying the movie industry is hoping to find that next Hunger Games to bring in cash.

The process of taking a book from print to film isn’t cut and dry. Many books are optioned for film rights, which means that either a studio, a producer, or a director pay to have “first dibs” on it. They have a set period of time to do something with the option, either moving forward with the project or not. When the period of time expires, they can either option it again or let it go, which means either another interested party can have at it or nothing will happen at all. So while you might hear about a book being optioned for film, it doesn’t always mean the actual film will happen.

Keeping that in mind, a number of YA books have been getting a lot of buzz lately, either as full-blown projects that are being pursued or as options for film.

K. L. Going’s Fat Kid Rules the World (a 2004 Printz honor book) is out now in theaters, after making its debut at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas. Directed by Matthew Lillard–his first time as director–the film follows Troy, whose weight makes him want to commit suicide, as he is “saved” by punk rocker Marcus. The contemporary drama garnered audience praise at SxSW, and while it’s a limited release, it’s one worth keeping an eye out for.


All I Need to Know I Learned from YA Books: relationship advice from your favorite books

Ah Valentine’s day … I keenly remember the sweet pain of anticipation that every Valentine’s day brought. Waiting in home room at my high school for the coveted cans of soda to be delivered to their intended recipient bearing the note, “______ has a “Crush” on you!” And the agony of trying to decipher the intentions of the sender. Was the “crush” meant romantically or just in a friendly way? These questions would be discussed in the halls, at lunch, and in notes passed in class. Although my love life was a comedy of errors, I found solace in the romantic endeavors of my favorite characters. And so to celebrate relationships from fairy-tale to failure, we offer up our favorite dating advice we have garnered from YA books.

image courtesy of Calamity Photography on flickrRead These Books –> Learn These Lessons

If the hottest guy in school acts like he hates you, but can’t stop staring at you … its probably because he’s not quite human and your fates are intertwined. – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (and any number of paranormal romances)

Never hypnotize a guy into being the friend you think you want at nine, because then he’ll never develop into the guy you can date at seventeen! –  Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley

If you write your deepest emotions down in a “story” and you share it, eventually people are going to figure out what and WHO you are talking about…. – Love Story by Jennifer Echols

You know that beautiful, witty, excentric girl that you have a crush on? Someday she will realize how amazing you are and take you on the adventure of a lifetime, just be patient. – Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns by John Green


Poetry Inspires YA Novelists

Matched by Ally CondieReaders of Ally Condie’s bestsellers Matched (a 2011 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, among the 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults titles, a 2011 Readers’ Choice Nomination, and among the 2011 Teens’ Top Ten) and Crossed will know that poetry plays a key role in these dystopian tales. The Society in which heroine Cassia Reyes lives controls choice with an iron hand, to the extent that there are only 100 acceptable poems. Knowing or possessing a copy of an off-list poem is a crime. Cassia’s dying grandfather shares with her Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” a forbidden poem that inspires her to start asking questions–the most dangerous act in a totalitarian state.

Crossed by Ally CondieIn the sequel, Crossed, another banned poem, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar,” is the rallying cry of the Rebellion. Tennyson writes of the Pilot, whom he hopes to “see face to face” as God, and the bar to be crossed as that between life and death. In Crossed, rebels speak of “the Pilot” as the leader who will direct their Rising, and the bar to be crossed is that between the repressive present and the idealized past.

The Outsiders by S.E. HintonCondie’s use of poetry made me think about other novels in which authors use poems as integral parts of the story. The first book that came to mind was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (the 1988 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner; the book made the 2006 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list) and the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost. Ponyboy shares it with his friend Johnny when they are hiding out after Johnny accidentally kills another boy. It perfectly expresses the boys’ tenuous circumstances and the fleeting nature of youth and innocence, the “dawn that goes down to day.”


What Teens are Saying About What They Are Reading

To help teen readers find good books even when I am not around to give them ideas, the Middletown Public Library uses a form called Teen Choice Best Books. After teens complete the form, it is posted on the bulletin board with a copy of the book cover. Ideally in just a few words or phrases, they can capture what makes these books great and sell them to other teen readers looking for something new. I like the “don’t take my word for it” aspect of the display because I’m an adult, so I could be wrong, but peers should should have more insight. Here are some of the books our teens are reading along with their personal spin on why you should read them too.

Serena, 17: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin


Book to Film: Out Today and Coming Soon

Book-to-film adaptation are not a new thing. Most of the earliest feature-length films–even before sound–were based on classic or pulp novels and serials. Sometimes today, it’s hard to tell what movies are based on books. (Although if you need help, the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Based on the Book tool should help!) John Green and his Nerdfighters even have a viral pact to “Read the Book First.” Well, I hate to say it, but if you haven’t read the book for today’s big feature, you’re not going to get anything else done.

Out Today

Breaking Dawn


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