Tuesday, July 5, 2011

YA vs Everything Else: Help!

When I started writing my WIP I assumed it was going to be young adult. I had even gotten about 10,000 words into it before I realized it was not. I suppose it wouldn't have been a big deal to change my characters into teenagers and try to go that route but it just wasn't them. That's when I began the quest for other books to read in my new genre: contemporary fantasy (non-YA).

Wow, this search proved to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I mostly only find out about YA books and the adult books I hear about are all high fantasy, set in some time period or other world with knights and elves and what-not.

I have another problem with some adult books - they can be boring. The books that I managed to find (by just buying them at the store without ever hearing about them first) took forever to get into. I slogged through the first third of the books just getting through the info dumping and back-story.

Please help. I would love reading suggestions.


  1. This is only my personal feelings but if you look at the Narnia Cronicals they say YA, but unless you are in your teens, they are a hard ready for the younger kids. The Lord of the rings is the same way. Erogon as well. I hope that helps.

  2. I can't think of any off hand, but I'll let ya know if I do. It's funny because I just had the same problem with my WIP. I thought I was writing an adult book, then the more I wrote realized it was turning out to be YA. :)

  3. The two that came to mind for me were Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Alden and Practical Magic. I think if you search these on Amazon it will give you reccomendations of similar books. Good luck. I'm actually working on a book that I think would fit exactly in this category.

  4. Cynthia: Those are some great classics and truthfully I can't believe I haven't read any of those yet.

    Katie: Isn't it weird? You'd think the character's age would have clued me in earlier.

    Angie: I haven't heard of Garden Spells but I've heard Practical Magic is good (loved the movie). I should try those out next.

    A friend responded to the question on facebook today - [i]Who knows a good book that's contemporary fantasy (not young adult)?[/i] I thought I'd share his comment in case anyone else has the same question:

    [i]The go-to authors Fantasy for most people are Piers Anthony and Terry Brooks; Incarnations of Immortality by Anthony and Word and Void series by Brooks fall in the Contemporary category. I really like The Dresden series by Jim Butcher. It’s a about a Wizard P.I. in modern Chicago, it doesn’t really have much sex, or violence but is a bit dark, but also cheeky with a very film noir quality. American Gods series by Neil Gaiman is pretty good. The real problem I see with “Contemporary Fantasy” for adults is it usually starts awesome an exciting than 2 books in it’s usually full of heavy sex and violence. The Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris which they based True Blood on is prime example. There is a lighter side though, Amanda suggested all of Sarah Addison Allen books, her web site describes her works using these words “a captivating blend of fairy tale magic, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.” So take what you will from that, but you’re right, it’s a pretty small genre of books.[/i]

    If anyone ever comes up with another reading suggestion please let me know!