Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Putting the A in YA

For airplane days, sick days, or days when one is just feeling a little depleted and could use some comfort reading, my usual genre fiction genre of choice tends to be murder mysteries (favorite authors include Donna Leon, Laurie R. King, Kate Atkinson, and of course Agatha Christie); occasionally I'll dip into fantasy; rarely science fiction; never romance, westerns, or--my husband's favorite--seafaring novels (with the notable and profound exception of course of Patrick O'Brian--whom, if you haven't read, you must rush out and do so at once. at once!). But lately I've been enjoying a new little liaison with YA novels. This is a tad embarrassing. A bit like admitting you still wear strawberry lip smackers lip gloss or still have posters of boy bands up in your room. Except, of course, that they didn't really have YA novels when I was a teenager. If there had been books like Rainbow Rowell's--funny, romantic, sexy, smart, realistically foul-mouthed--when I was fifteen or so I'd have been thrilled. Instead I had to keep reading the Baby Sitters Club until I was old enough to make the leap to Salinger. Not to knock the Baby Sitters Club (about which more on my life long love affair with here), but something in between does seem useful. But while I may have missed their window of utility by twenty-plus years, I can still enjoy scarfing down such well-written volumes  as Elinore and Park and Fangirl from time to time as a fully grown woman. So there.

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