This year on the Hub we are celebrating the Twelve Days of YA with a series of posts loosely based on the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas gifts. We have converted each gift into a related theme common to YA and paired it with a list of relevant titles. You may use the Twelve Days of YA tag to read all of the posts in the series.
Special thanks goes to Carli Spina, Faythe Arredondo, Sharon Rawlins, Geri Diorio, Becky O’Neil, Carla Land, Katie Yu, Laura Perenic, Jennifer Rummel, Libby Gorman, Carly Pansulla, and Allison Tran for their help creating the booklists and organizing this series.
On the fourth day of YA, my true love gave to me four calling birds.
Music is a fantastic partner for books. Many YA authors are very open about the influence that music has on their stories. Whether it’s providing a playlist that was on repeat while writing, song lyrics at the beginning of each chapter, or having the plot of the story based on the characters’ love of music, you cannot ignore musical YA. We hope you enjoy the rockin’ titles we picked and encourage you to share your favorites in the comments!
As this recurring feature on The Hub clearly indicates, I love fantasy fiction. But even a fan like myself must acknowledge that the genre has limitations, especially in terms of diversity. Speculative fiction has remained a fairly white, cis-gendered, & straight world for a long time. The fact that there seem to be more dragons and robots than LGBTQ+ characters in fantasy & sci-fi novels is shameful and disheartening, especially to the genres’ LGBTQ+ fans. So in celebration of LGBT Pride Month, I set out to overview the current status of LGBTQ+ representation in young adult fantasy and science fiction.
In Anthem’s world, music is a dangerous, addictive drug, produced by an ominous Corporation. The sound is coded to create a craving in the listener, a craving so strong that it can a person can literally overdose and die. But Anthem develops a more personal relationship with music when he begins playing guitar with a band. Unsurprisingly, the powerful Corporation has no use for Anthem and his band. And that’s precisely why it’s important for Anthem to keep playing.
Emma Travayne was asked in an interview what sort of music Anthem and his band would be playing. Her reply, “Electro-industrial, the unofficial sponsor of cyberpunks everywhere.” I chose a familiar band, Nine Inch Nails, to represent the genre. Here they are, playing Head Like a Hole:
-Diane Colson, currently reading Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige