YA Fiction and Style

Too many YA novels, more so, I suspect, in the very commercial realm of paranormal romance, are let down by their style–even among the most interesting and complex ones. Too often, these fictions are narrated in the first person and in the present tense, under the assumption, I think, that this gives them an exciting, cinematic immediacy that other ways of voicing would not achieve. However, a few writers in the genre write very well indeed and that is one reason why I have defended the study of them against potential attacks of triviality or aesthetic relativism.

Kayla Whaley on the excellent Barnes & Noble teen fiction blog has picked out five YA novels (all which appear to be in that fantastic mode) which she value for their literary style. I only know Margo Lanagan’s The Brides of Rollrock Island, which is a marvellous selkie story, tangentially paranormal romance, and which is indeed beautifully written (I hope to review it soon for this blog). Whaley’s other choices do look very interesting, though, and I’ve added them to my books-to-explore list!

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