Tuesday, March 10, 2015

novel dress: teen fiction

the fault in our stars by john green // ariel colorblocked dress

One of the funniest things about teen fiction is that the majority of readers I know that are indulging in that genre are definitely not teens. Because really, young adult (YA) literature is actually just a catch-all for a bizarre in-between category of story. It doesn't seem to strictly adhere to its age assignment. Everyone from teendom and beyond can relate to coming-of-age tales, because we've all been there. They're still applicable and relatable to a much wider audience than ages 12-18. It's a tricky category, really. These books are not 1,000 page epic fantasies, but they're not really children's books either. There's probably a better name for this genre somewhere, but I'm not sure what it would be.

In my last book club in Virginia, we would often lament that the "YA" label can take a lot away from the expectations of reading. It turns some people off from reading these books altogether. Sometimes it even seems like a downgrade - a truly extraordinary book that gets put in the "YA" category seems to be getting the short end of the stick. It seems like this genre is simply too large to contain all of the vastly different books that are included in it. What characterizes a book to be young adult? Is it the content, the age of the characters, the quality of writing? The answer is that young adult books are so named because they focus on the problems and experiences of youth. Even so, books like The Book Thief are jumbled into this nebulous category, but I would never describe that book as juvenile. Reading it at age 25 pretty much changed my life. To be honest, I'm not sure I could have handled it or truly treasured it 10 years ago.

Regardless, young adult/juvenile/teen fiction is prevalent and well-loved in the world, which I am happy about. I am an advocate for reading at all ages. This post is mostly for us old folk lovelies that continue to read these YA books despite their ageist tendencies, and continue to love them for their virtues, their lessons and their flaws.

(Click here to see all novel dress posts!). 

harry potter and the goblet of fire by j.k. rowling // full of light metallic dress
sisterhood of the traveling pants by ann brashares // daylight blossom dress
the giver by lois lowry // on the riviera dress
the princess diaries by meg cabot // star hollow dress
the hunger games by suzanne collins // twinkling stars metallic dress
tuck everlasting by natalie babbitt // polly heart print dress
twilight by stephenie meyer // city striped dress
the chronicles of chrestomanci by diana wynne jones // sunset dance dress
divergent by veronica roth // manhattan skyway dress

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