Sunday, June 20, 2010

FNC True Life: My Mom Reads YA

My bookshelves are brimming with awesome YA novels, and there are a good number that I still haven't read... but my mom has. She's over 50, and I've converted her to young adult books. Currently, she's addicted to the Pretty Little Liars series, and we've started watching the TV show together. And then we come on this blog and read Frankie's recaps. I love it.

But here's the thing: my mom's a picky reader. She's a hardcore realist, so there goes all the incredible paranormal and dystopian novels. At my urging, she tried three chapters of The Hunger Games and couldn't get into it because she "knew it wasn't possible." (I considered disowning her, but decided against it.) And she doesn't like literary novels, which isn't a problem with YA because even literary YA is much less self-important than the literary adult books.

Recent favorites of hers?
Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer.
Gayle Forman's If I Stay.
Lara Zeises' The Sweet Life of Stella Madison.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
She LOVES everything by Laurie Halse Anderson, enjoys Sarah Dessen and John Green, and got a good laugh out of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Good taste, right?

I love that I can ask her advice on what book's most worthy of reading next, and that she's worried she'll run out of new books of mine to read before I buy more.

Of course, she reads her contemporary "adult" books -- Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, the basics -- but she's having fun with YA, and she keeps coming back for more. I'm supremely proud of this, that she understands the value of the genre and supports my dreams of being a published YA author. Because there are plenty of people who acting condescendingly toward YA writers/books.

And to answer the question that some of you may have:
Yes, my mom has read my novel. Even the hot 'n heavy bits. I handed it to her like, "Mom, just remember this is FICTION. I didn't necessarily do ANY of this in high school." Awkward... My older sister read it, which was funny because she totally picked out the snippets that were based on truth. My super sweet dad even offered to read it, in support of my dream, and I was like, "No... that's ok... it's the thought that counts. You can read it if it's published."

Ahem, yeah. Sometimes it makes me wish I wrote middle grade instead of upper YA.

But enough of the digression! Do any of your moms or other family or friend "adults" read YA too? What are their favorites? Leave it in the comments!


  1. Oh ha ha, Donna. My mom is 82 years old! She actually re-read Little Women recently and keeps urging me to re-read it too. My TBR stack is threatening to take over the den, but I added it anyway.

    I'm probably older than YOUR mom, and children's and YA books are my life. Of course, not everyone my age is a children's bookseller.

    I actually have a great many um, older customers who are buying Twilight and other paranormal books for themselves. They're a tad embarrassed, but they're buying it anyway. I think the line between YA and adult books is becoming blurrier all the time.

    I understand your mom not wanting to read paranormal or dystopian. My husband feels the same way: if it's not possible, he doesn't like it (and he refused to watch Star Wars too).

    Has your mom read Carl Deuker? The Runner is great. Chris Crutcher? Deadline is very moving. Siobhan Dowd? Solace of the Road is lovely. And all of these are realistic fiction. How about the Dairy Queen trilogy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock? That has the added advantage of being laugh-out-loud funny.

    Tell her she needs to read some historical fiction too; there's plenty of that. Ann Rinaldi, Carolyn Meyer, etc. Check out the review on my blog of WE HEAR THE DEAD. It's NOT what you think!

  2. My mom reads YA, and even recommends books to me sometimes. My sister and I finally got her to read the Twilight series recently. :)

  3. Since I'm a teen that writes YA, my mom understands my reasoning behind wanting her to like the genre. But so far all I've gotten her to read is Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe, because she loves Medium and Ghost Whisperer. I think the trick is matching her up with books that parallel her shows. The Hunger Games is basically Survivor if the point was to kill everyone to win, right? LOL

  4. Yay I got a shout-out! Not bad for someone who wasn't even referenced in the book... ~Janet

  5. Can anyone recommend some YA paranormal books that are very suspenseful and comedic? I'm a little new to this genre.

  6. I've gotten two of my coworkers reading YA novels now. In fact, when they ask for book recommendations they preface it by saying it has to be YA. Their favorites are Hunger Games, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Evernight, and Shiver.

  7. Joanne - Well, I love that your older customers -- embarrassed or not! -- are heading to the YA section! She hasn't read any of those you recommended, but I know she'll love the Dairy Queen books... and I will too, once I finally read them! (Shame, shame, I know.)

    Angel - Nice! My mom's not big on paranormal, but I know plenty of moms who've read Twilight.

    LilyMeade - That's a great approach! I had to ease my mom into YA also.

    Janet - Yes, sister love!

    Ms. First Line - We answered your question in a post of your very own!

    Beverly - Nice! They're starting with some great ones.


Thanks so much for reading our blog, and we really appreciate you taking the time to comment! We read every one, and we try to respond to all of them via email/comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...