In another thread, the subject contemporary young-adult fiction came up. It was suggested that I am probably not that familiar with the genre. This is correct. I looked at the entry on Wikipedia. I am familiar with most of the titles published up through the 1960’s, but my memory of most of them is really hazy.
When it comes to the titles published in the last 20 years, I basically know nothing. The other day I had the chance to read Sleeping Freshman Never Lie. (You can read parts of it on the Amazon “Search Inside” link below). For those familiar with the contemporary YA genre, would you say this book is representative of the genre as a whole? Is this considered good or bad contemporary YA fiction?
I thought the book as awful. The writing was clunky and overdone. It was full of stupid puns and Tom Swifties, and it was generally unfocused. It read like the writings of an adult trying to create the unedited ramblings of a 14 year-old. The picture the book creates of a young man is completely false. This especially apparent in the narrator’s oh-so-sweet attraction to a girl in his class. The book denies the dark, twisted nature of a 14 year-old boy’s sexual psyche. I think we all remember works of fiction or television that pander to teenagers. This book is about as true a picture of being a teenager as you will find on 7th Heaven.
Now, maybe this book is just bad. Maybe a lot of the contemporary YA fiction is great. For those familiar with the genre, can you recommend some of the best titles?