Saturday, June 19, 2010

Young Adult Books

Long before I started writing paranormal, I was reading paranormal books. Ray Bradbury was an early favorite, especially Something Wicked This Way Comes. As early as junior high I was reading Stephen King and Anne Rice. There was far less to choose from in the Young Adult section back then than there is now. I think it’s terrific that there is so much more for teenagers to read now and am completely shameless about enjoying some of these great YA reads even as a thirtysomething adult. Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series is a favorite of mine. Recently I read the first two books of the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. I’ve read the Twilight series, though in all honesty I wanted to hurl the fourth book across the room. Lili St. Crow’s Strange Angels series is great. You might wonder what got a grown woman into reading Young Adult-genre books. It’s a simple two word answer: Harry Potter.

It was several years into the Harry Potter phenomenon before I read the first book. I liked the first one well enough to read the second, but it was Prisoner Of Azkaban that really got me hooked. JK Rowling created such an amazing and thoroughly realized world, the more of it I read the more I wanted to step inside and wander around Diagon Alley. Take a ride on the Knight Bus. Order a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks. Spend part of the summer at the Burrow with my friends the Weasleys. Every time I see a reference to the ongoing World Cup, I think of Quidditch. Reading about the new theme park in Florida, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, has made me want to borrow someone’s kid just so I have an excuse to go.

The generation of kids that grew up with Harry Potter are showing signs of holding on to the love of books they learned by following the adventures of The Boy Who Lived. I wonder if they’ll always love books with a fantasy bent, full of wondrous magic and terrifying monsters. Will it be something they come back to from time to time, and maybe even teach their own kids? Can you remember what books you read as kid that helped to shape your reading habits for life?


AmandaRose said...

I grew up with harry in books and movies. Literally, we're both 22 now. Checked out the Wizarding World Friday with no kids in tow, it was amazing! You should make the trek! See photos:

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