The world of Young Adult literature can be a dark, mysterious and sometimes very lucrative place. The trouble is the labelling, “Young Adult” – what does that mean? Can you only read these novels if you’re an angst ridden teenager? Are they too ‘easy’ to be considered acceptable reading for adults? I’ve compiled a brief list of three of my favourite books that whilst categorised as Young Adult are perfect reading for young, medium and old adults!
I mean, obviously. John Green’s 2012 novel about the effortlessly wonderful Hazel Grace Lancaster has won, embraced and then brutally broken millions of hearts with its wit, thoughtfulness and utterly compelling lead characters. Green’s writing has an intelligence and also easy quotability to it, meaning his work is scattered across the infinite scroll of tumblr, immortalised in paintings, gifs and more. The romance and humour of The Fault In Our Stars is what keeps the reader so close to Hazel and Gus. Definitely worth reading, make sure you’ve finished it before the film comes out in Summer 2014!
2) Looking for JJ – Anne Cassidy
Cassidy deals with the incredibly brutal yet fascinating subject of a child murderer within this book. Alice Tully, the central character, killed her friend when she was just ten years old, we meet her six years on and out of jail. Alice is living under a new name, confiding only in her social worker and trying desperately to work out how you’re meant to carry on when you have been responsible for the death of another being. Cassidy’s writing is fast paced and focused, and in fact you almost want more in depth descriptions of Alice’s thoughts. It’s an intense read, but well worth it.
3) Blinded By The Light – Sherry Ashworth
I read this first aged 14 and yet again was completely sucked into the mind of Joe. Joe is 18, alone and bored after a bout of glandular fever and ends up being enlisted into a sinister cult. Events unfold and Joe becomes deeply involved in the cult, and as a reader you find yourself incredibly frustrated with him, willing him to realise what’s happening. Once again this novel’s selling point is the exploitation of something so curious and yet so distant from many people.