Thursday, April 26, 2012
YA literature is juicy, hot, delicious, and filling -- but is that enough?


Whether you’re a young-at-heart adult like us, or a real live bona fide teenager, we could all use some variety in our literary diet. It’s like the food pyramid, but with books: consuming different genres, styles, and subjects will help you grow strong and healthy bones -- er, brains. So if you’re trying to figure out how to add veggies and fiber to your reading feast, we’ve got a few tasty ideas.

(Note: This will be a recurring feature. Probably. Unless you hate it. In which case, we weren’t here and this never happened.)

The Language Of Flowers: A NovelTHE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Recently we stumbled onto this absolute GEM of a book. Seriously, go get it now and be prepared to transform.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

You will laugh and groan at Victoria’s social ineptitude. You will scream at her when she is SO FREAKING CLOSE to happiness but still can’t figure out how let herself have it. Your heart will break and mend, break and mend.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. It’s too lovely not to.

Bridget Jones's DiaryBRIDGET JONES’S DIARY by Helen Fielding

Maybe you’ve heard of this one? (Or watched it. Mmm, Colin Firth…) Well, even if you’ve seen the movie, the book is worth a read. But be warned: you might find yourself snorting with laughter, so don’t drink anything unless you’re cool with it coming out your nose.

Bridget Jones’s Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement -- a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult -- and learn to program the VCR. Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds… but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic.

In a world full of vampires, werewolves, and fallen angels, not to mention evil governments and brutal battles to the death, we could use an awkward, optimistic heroine. Bella may be wish fulfillment, and Katniss may be a role model, but Bridget Jones is real. Bridget Jones is the everywoman. Bridget Jones is funny, ridiculous, British. What more do you need?



Well, those are our ideas for today. What about you guys? Read any good non-YA lately?

7 comments:

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

LOL--your pyramid totally cracked me up.I completely agree. Even though YA makes up much of my pyramid base, I'd have to add in urban fantasies. They're like candy to me and I can't "eat" just one!

sarahwedgbrow said...

Kristan...that pyramid is hysterical! Love it! Love it!
And I completely love The Language of Flowers. I can't look at flowers without thinking of their meaning now! Might have to send some messages (irises) to my favorite peeps.

Kristan Hoffman said...

So glad you guys liked my pyramid, hehe. Maybe I should make an app so everyone can design their own... (OR I could just keep focusing on my writing. :P)

@Mary-
You know, I haven't read much urban fantasy. And now you've got me afraid to start. I do have quite a sweet tooth... ;)

@Sarah-
I don't remember what irises mean, but I'd love to get a flower message from you!

The Teen Book Guru said...

OMG Amazing pyramid! LOL! I love your blog!! Great review. I'm a new follower and just wanted to drop by and say hi :)

Feel free to check out my blog & follow too!!

-Riya (The Teen Book Guru)

Searching for the Story said...

I absolutely adore YA, but, fortunately, enjoy other genres enough that I don't feel like I'm having to force myself to read them.

Incidentally, awesome blog! Four women coming together and writing YA stories--how have I not found this before?

If any of you would like to submit to me, I'm searching for a May 2012 Author of the Month to showcase and I'd love to read some of your stuff! There are instructions in my latest blog post.

I've only gotten literary fiction so far this month and am hungering for some good YA!

Jamie said...

I am ALL about a varied literary diet. I read YA, adult fiction, non-fiction...anything that interests me! LOVE the pyramid! I think since I started blogging in June 2010 my diet has consisted of a lot more YA than it had before. BUT I think, before that, YA was severely lacking in my life. Had to catch up haha! LOVE this post.

We Heart YA said...

@Riya-
Thanks for stopping by! Your blog looks great.

@Searching for the Story-
Thanks so much! We are a little late for May -- whoops -- but we appreciate the offer. :)

@Jamie-
Our literary diet has changed since we learned about the YA world too. ;)

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.


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on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Transparent
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
Bitterblue
The Fault in Our Stars
Pretties


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