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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

YA Bloggers Want...Real Issues, Fun Factor: The Undercover Book Lover

I'm very happy to put the spotlight on Reggie of The Undercover Book Lover today, a passionate blogger who has some definite ideas of what she wants to see on her YA shelf.

I met Reggie through the blogosphere and the blog tour. Not only did she have really nice things to say about TMAS, she auctioned off a signed copy to help raise $800(!) for The Pakistan Flood Relief Fund. What a selfless and impressive girl.

Welcome to the blog, Reggie!


YA fiction is about more than just vampires.

With all the buzz about Twilight, vampires, and paranormal in general, many have put YA in the generic box of shallow nothingness...well, that's what I've been hearing. Every time I mention that I read and blog about YA fiction, I've seen more degrading stares than I care to admit. Lots of people that I've met have told me "You should read more meaningful books" or "Don't waste your time on useless crap" or "You should read about the real world". And no matter how hard I try, they just seem dead set on diminishing the possibility that YA just might be a great genre; full of real issues as well as having a fun-factor to it.

The reason why I love YA fiction in general, is because YA novels are written in such a way that you can't help but relate to them. Some paranormal books, like Paranormalcy, Firelight, or Nightshade aren't just books about the paranormal, they touch on real-life issues today such as making decisions, familial values, etc. And books like Tell Me A Secret, Crank, and Burned touch on controversial topics like teen-pregnancy and drugs. Some people look down and think of YA as shallow and useless, but I think that YA isn't generic and that it shouldn't be branded so easily. Don't knock it until you try it.


Thank you, Reggie!

Readers, do you ever catch any flack about reading YA? Do you think YA isn't taken as seriously as other genres, or do you think it's gaining momentum and respect? What about contemporary versus paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi/genre fiction? Do you think one is respected any more than the other? Comment for a chance to win this week's book prizes, plus a chance to win the big prize! (US addresses only, sorry!)


  1. Is there a prize for best YDYABW post? If so, I award thee, Reggie!

    Hmm... I think the YA market is being shown, but as for people's opinion on the books, well, yeah, I can catch flack sometimes.

  2. Great post, Reggie!

    I do get crap for reading YA sometimes, but it's mostly because the covers are occasionally mortifying (this is why I'm liking the more recent releases--the covers are less embarrassing!). The people I've heard from don't even care that it's YA, they just see the cover or title and automatically think it's trash.

    I think the contemporary genre is gaining the most respect out of all the YA genres. Like Reggie mentioned, it deals with "real" issues, so people hold them in higher esteem (similar to most Oscar nominees being depressing and/or dark movies).
    I really do like fantasy, but for some reason people look down on it. *shrug* Their loss.

  3. On the hopeful side, I've been noticing that YA fantasy/genre books have been receiving much more praise--for instance Laini Taylor's Lips Touch Three Times was a National Book Award Finalist, and they are gaining momentum. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (postapocalyptic) is an NBA finalist this year. Hooray for genre respect!

  4. I really think YA is a great genre and more adults are reading it. It gets to the point plot wise so much more quicker, especially in fantasy. I do agree with Reggie, it may be looked down on because of the flooding of popular books, like all the vampire books.

    Glad you see hopeful signs Holly because I love to read and write fantasy.

  5. I do catch a little flack from fellow English teachers about reading YA, but I'm choosing to think that some of them are just jealous. I know that sounds like a talk show cop-out, but it's true. I think that they wish that their students were coming to them for book recommendations, that they were "hip" to watch teens are interested in, and that they had an idea of where to start.

    A lot of teachers tell me that they have no time to read. I think that this is crazy! They are the same people who are assigning boatloads of reading for their students every night. How are students going to love to read if we don't model that love for them? My students know that I read. I do it right in front of them! I read every second of SSR and tell them about hours spent in bed or outside just reading and reading.

    I'll stop now, but I could go on and on. There is no shame in being a reader--no matter what your genre of choice!

  6. I love YA. I dont think its taken as seriously as other genres. For some book website, they have almost every genre EXCEPT for YA.

    For the contemporary versus paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi/genre fiction, I think that the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi/genre is more popular because there are very few good adult sci-fi and fanstasy, so many adult tend to read YA for that. Contemporary isn't really as popular because it's not as "exciting" as fantasy. However I love all types of YA.

  7. Great post! I always get a warm reception when I talk about YA books. I have an attitude that says, "Yeah, I'm reading this! So what?" If people don't like it, they can suck it (hehe). I think the YA genre is always going to get a bad reception. People think smarts are in more "adult" genres, I know it's not true, but they do not. Just like with teens, they will never be thought of as an equal to an adult.

  8. I love YA but I haven't gotten a lot of crap about it!Contemporary books are getting more praise and it's nice to see that! Mrs. DeRaps, I think it's cool that you read in front of your class and tell them about what you read. Most times, my teachers don't talk about reading, so most kids are less inclined to pick up a book.

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  10. I think YA is starting to get more credit. With books like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, YA will get more popular. Especially with all of the YA books getting turned into movies, it will get lots more hype.

  11. I have to say I agree completely. I think YA books are relateable because most of them involve real issues even if it is a paranormal. I wish people would lay off of the adults who choose to read YA.

    Thanks for this post.