The Fault in Our Stars

I know I’ve mentioned this book before, but it really deserves its own post.

TFiOS is a young adult novel written by John Green, and while it has characters with cancer in it, I would never classify this as a “cancer book” (cough, Lurlene McDaniels).  This book is clever, FUNNY, moving, and it has incredible characters, most especially ♥ Augustus Waters ♥.

You really ought to read it.

I will say this:

1) This book made me cry both during and after I read it.  During because I was so involved in the story and after because I was so envious of John Green’s writing abilities.  (I am not joking– I’ve told you before I struggle with writer envy!)

2) I was working on an adult novel about a woman who discovers she was adopted when she inherits her birth parents’ estate, but after I readThe Fault in Our Stars, I completely scrapped that story and started over, making my debut writing YA lit.  That was in January, and now, in July, I have a first draft of a YA story!

So TFiOS is very important to me.  In some ways, it feels as if this book birthed my own.  I hope that makes sense to you.  This book and John Green were so much my muses as I wrote my story (working title Her Truest Lamentation) that I set it in the fictional town of Green Lake to throw props to John Green.

Request it from the library or buy your own copy at Barnes and Noble andread this story.  And then let me know what you think of it.

Why I Love YA Lit

Young adult literature is my favorite to read, regardless of how old I am.  While I in no way eschew literature written specifically for adults, YA is at the top of my list for these reasons:

1) So much drama!
I think of myself when I was in high school and college, and it’s true that I was a Drama Queen.  While I am not proud of it, I do think that drama in literature keeps things exciting!  Love triangles, deaths, adventures, secrets, fights … and that’s just at Hogwarts!

2) Incredible characters.
Teenagers are fascinating, opinionated, and passionate.  When we write about them, we end up with characters who are full of energy and who often haven’t found a rhythm or routine to life yet.  Hence, Augustus Waters, Anne Shirley, Stargirl Carraway.

3) So much life ahead of them = so many options!
Not to mention, so many lessons to learn.  I love watching young characters take on the world and grow so much from the beginning to the end of a story.  Anything is possible when you’re seventeen!  Everything is shiny and new and full of wonder, which we see as we watch Liesel Meminger learn to read or Edmund Pevensie discover who he truly is.

4) Accessible.
Don’t get me wrong; I find literary fiction to be gorgeous.  But I side with C.S. Lewis who encouraged writers to always choose the shorter word.  YA lit is like the ESV version of the Bible– dead-on accuracy but also very readable, nothing sacrificed.

And believe me, I don’t think that YA writers need to (or should) sacrifice any of the beauty or imagery or depth.  John Green is a pioneer in this, and I love that he writes for very intelligent teenagers who love to think.  They are out there, he says, and we ought not insult them.  Agreed.

Do you like YA lit?  How come?