In We love YA!, a fellow YA-lover is featured and is asked to answer the following questions: Why do you love YA? What are some of your favorite YA books? What can you say to encourage other people to read YA? At end of which, readers are requested to recommend books based on the featured person’s answers.
Aaron is the Filipino book blogger behind Guy Gone Geek. He’s an active member of Filipino Book Bloggers so I’ve met him on meet up several times. Actually, I first met him on the Goodreads group for Filipinos, where I used to be active. He loves to read YA books which shouldn’t be surprising since he’s at 19, he’s a young adult himself. Check out why he loves YA through his answers below and feel free to drop by his blog.
Why do you love YA?
May it be fantasy or contemporary, young adult books always include a hero’s quest, a wish-fulfillment, and most often than not, a happy ending. These three elements boils down to one thing: hope. And for me, that’s one of the many beauties in YA fiction. There is always hope. Sadly, this also the same reason why there are people who wanks off over the general notion that YA is escapist in nature. I’m not going to say it’s not. YA is escapist but all fictional works are. Whether it’s YA or literary fiction or even memoirs, whenever you read something about a life that is not yours, it can be considered as escapism. This is not a bad thing. I know I have already used this line as many times as I used my favorite pair of jeans but I believe it speaks the truth: By reading, we learn how to put ourselves on somebody else’s shoes and walk a thousand miles back from where it came from. It enhances our capabilities to understand one another.
It is true that some stories in YA may be somewhat unrealistic but it is the connection the author creates between us and the characters that makes them emotionally believable. These characters are easy to relate to because chances are, we’ve gone through what these character are going through. Being young comes with the feeling that we can do anything, that we can change the world or save the world from eternal damnation. These feelings are believably depicted by characters in YA. So why do I love YA? It makes me see hope, and at the same time, feel invincible and infinite.
What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
I love books with witty dialogues, badass heroines, complex anti-heroes/villains, fair amount of intrigues and controversies, strong but not heavy(if that makes any sense) worldbuilding, violence, and gore. With that in mind, these are my favorites:
Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins
GONE novels – Michael Grant
The Enemy – Charlie Higson
Unwind – Neal Shusterman
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness
The Monstrumologist – Rick Yancey
The Secret Circle – LJ Smith (Don’t judge!)
Fablehaven series – Brandon Mull
Percy Jackson and the Olympians – Rick Riordan
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
The Gatekeepers – Anthony Horowitz
Paper Towns – John Green
Looking for Alaska – John Green
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Flipped – Wendelin Van Draanen
What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
First, if you want to get into reading, it is a safe bet to start with a YA novel. There is something for everybody. It is highly entertaining but you can still learn loads from it.
Second, it makes you awesome. I’m serious, these books really does makes a person awesome — well, in my definition of the word anyway. I’ve never met a YA reader, whether online or in real life, who is not clever, witty and full of jest. They know how to make a joke and how to take a joke. YA readers are really fun to be with. This is not to say that fun is all they got. Just like the YA books they read, they are also insightful and have a lot of nice things to say on profound subjects. Their views about life are beautiful and optimistic. This is one of the reasons why the YA blogosphere is such a very fruitful community.
Thank you for doing this guest post, Aaron! I love what you said about hope being a prevalent theme in YA because it’s true. Probably another reason why I enjoy reading YA books. Now I get to recommend books, yay! I hope you get to follow them because remember that I recommended Ender’s Game and now it’s one of your favorites? I know you’re already interested in the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner so I’m backing up that interest by reminding you to read them soon. 😀 Other fantasy recommendations are series books – the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix and the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – the former involved necromancy (and zombies!) and the latter magic through demons. I also think you’d like Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy, the first two books are already out. Most of these books have awesome male protagonists so I believe they’re right up your alley.
For contemporary YA, I think you’d enjoy reading Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta because you liked Saving Francesca. Other contemporary YA novels that I’d think you’d like are Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley and Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood.
What about you, blog readers, what are books that you’d recommend for Aaron? Post your suggestions in the comments section.
Click here to view previous We Love YA features and feel free to contact me if you want to do this guest post.