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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few ideas in YA I might want to explore in the future, so I'm looking for examples in the genre - what's good? Preferably a series with first one free. Recommend your own, or anybody else.

I've read Hunger Games, Harry Potter etc.

In return I'll pass whatever you recommend to my daughter, and she's a voracious reader (typically 20+ books a month).  ;D
 

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Which sub-genres do you like?

Here are some YA series I adore: Beth Revis's Across the Universe series, Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, Maggie Steifvater's The Raven Boys series, Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, Holly Black's Curse Workers series. I'll also read anything written by David Levithan or John Green.

Those are all traditionally published books. For indie titles, check out Sever Bronny's Arcane and Emily Wibberly's Sacrificed. Other titles are on my Kindle, but I haven't gotten to them yet. I also *ahem* write YA myself. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the suggestions. Of the dozen or so series ideas I have floating around in my head (after the ones I'm currently writing), I want to see if any fit into or overlap the YA genre.

CadyVance said:
Which sub-genres do you like?
Any sub-genre. I haven't read much YA, so wanted to get an idea of the range, and the kinds of stories people like. I love your Bone Dry cover btw, can you say who made it?

G.L. Snodgrass said:
When Robert Heinlein was asked how he wrote such good books for young people he replied. "I write books for adults and take out the cursing and sex."
Lol. Yes - I have ideas for a couple of urban fantasy & dystopian stories which *may* fit YA, minus the odd scene.
 

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FYI, plenty of YA has cursing and sex (as long as it fits the story, anything goes). There is plenty of really gritty YA out there.

YA is such an umbrella term that you can really find anything - from super-clean with no language or sex to very explicit in both language and content. If you want amazing stories that get reviewer attention but aren't commercially huge, go with anything by A.S. King, Andrew Smith. For really commercial non-paranormal, see above: John Green, Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell, for paranormal Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Lisa McMann.

I write YA Rom Coms that are pretty clean. No S or F bombs and all sexual content is neck-up, though there is a bit of sexual innuendo. 
 

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JohnMarch said:
Any sub-genre. I haven't read much YA, so wanted to get an idea of the range, and the kinds of stories people like. I love your Bone Dry cover btw, can you say who made it?
Oh, thank you! The cover is by Paramita at www.creativeparamita.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
KatrinaAbbott said:
FYI, plenty of YA has cursing and sex (as long as it fits the story, anything goes). There is plenty of really gritty YA out there.
Ok, that's interesting. So my next question is: what makes a book YA? Or rather, what makes a book not YA?
 

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Well, my Flirting Games series sells pretty well. Better than anything else I write. There are four books in the series (see signature) with first one perma-free and I have a fan base who clamour for the next one. It's clean Teen Romantic Comedy.

I guess a good question would be why are you interested? Because you have an idea in mind? or are you looking for a niche that makes money? or do you just like the genre? or something else?
 

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JohnMarch said:
Ok, that's interesting. So my next question is: what makes a book YA? Or rather, what makes a book not YA?
That depends on each person's definition of YA. I think it means teenagers, 15 - 18, anything 18+ falls into New Adult. But I've had the occasional confused review from someone who seems to think that Young Adults are people in their early twenties and so slam the books for being too juvenile. My main characters are usually around 16 years old, and it would seem that the majority of my readers are around 14.

So in answer to your question, for me a Young Adult book means the main protagonists are in their late teens.
 

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JohnMarch said:
Ok, that's interesting. So my next question is: what makes a book YA? Or rather, what makes a book not YA?
Much of it is the age of the protagonists (teen +) but also how they interact with their world. Generally, YA is about teens experiencing the world and first times and often the end of innocence (not just sex, but first encounters out in the world, dealing with people who are not family and/or friends). Coming of age, fitting in, finding independence, first love, violence - the things that parents can't protect you from anymore as you make your way out in the world.
 

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The thing people often overlook when trying to 'understand' YA is that its not a genre.  Its a market category.  Thus, the ONLY thing that really defines it is the audience you're writing it for.  Obviously, there are market expectations, such as the protagonist being a teenager themselves (15-18 usually), which means you're not likely to get much traction with a book written towards a YA audience but with an adult protagonist.  Its simply not what YA readers are looking for.  But say you have a book with a teenage protagonist and a lot of violence or swearing or even sex and you're trying to decide if your book is Young Adult or adult fiction with a younger viewpoint character.  Really just ask yourself, who do you see reading your story?  Is it mostly a teen audience that you think would best relate to the themes, characters and situations?  Or other adults?

And yes, a GREAT many YA readers are adults rather than teens themselves.  But the fact that adults can enjoy YA books still doesn't make them the initial intended audience for YA books.  Write your book for teens first and foremost, and you'll have a YA book.  Don't assume that writing your book for teens means dumbing down your language, themes, or content, and you'll have a YA book with strong crossover potential for both teen and adult audiences.
 

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JohnMarch said:
Ok, that's interesting. So my next question is: what makes a book YA? Or rather, what makes a book not YA?
The protagonists are teenagers, usually 15-18, and while the issues can be teen issues, that's certainly not all YA. I wouldn't consider what Katniss faces in The Hunger Games to be a typical teen experience. Some YA is very dark, some is very light, and there's plenty in between. Contemporary, dystopian, sci-fi, horror, epic fantasy, paranormal, thriller, mystery, historical.
 

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For a start I'd recommend pretty much anything by Brandon Mull. He's one of my favorite YA authors.
I also absolutely love The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.
I also really enjoyed a book I read a long time ago that I've been meaning to pick up again called Hidden Talents by David Lubar.
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud was enjoyable and I would recommend a read through.

Those are a few off the top of my head. I've always enjoyed YA and consider it worth reading at any age, and there are some stellar writers in the genre.
 

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Not a series, but anything by Meg Rosoff. I think she is by far the best YA author I've ever read. Her prose is just lovely. How I Live Now is probably my favourite.

I'm going to buck the trend and say I'm not a big John Green fan. He has lovely prose, but I find his books a bit... worthy *dodges banana skins and rotten tomatoes*. I've not read The Fault in our Stars though because I don't like reading books about sick children, maybe I'm missing out there.

Laurie Halse Anderson as well. Speak is one of my favourite YA books ever.

Fantasy - Tamora Pierce, Rae Carson, Sarah J Maas, Libba Bray
Sci-fi - Scott Westerfeld, James Dashner, Patrick Ness, Veronica Roth, Megan McAfferty

I can't think of anyone else but I'm sure there are loads.


 
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