Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Young Adult heroines

Although it’s currently very hot, I have to admit that I’ve not read much Young Adult fiction and what I have read has been predominantly by crossover authors such as Mark Haddon, J.K. Rowling and Meg Rosoff. I’ve equally never had a desire to write Young Adult fiction myself simply because, despite having teenagers in the house, I don’t think I would be very good at capturing the ever-changing teen voice. So I’ve been fascinated to read two new Young Adult books by my online writer friends Tamsyn Murray and Keris Stainton, to see how they go about it.

Lucy Brown, the heroine of Tamsyn Murray’s My So-Called Afterlife is a ghost. But apart from that she is a typical streetwise London teenager, full of bravado and outer-confidence which masks any insecurities. I see and hear girls like Lucy every time I leave the house and was immediately able to relate to her, despite the supernatural elements of the lively narrative. The story of Lucy’s Emo ghost friend Hep (aka Rosemary) also had particular resonance for me and a difficult subject was skilfully and emotionally handled (it made me cry).

Della, the heroine of Keris Stainton’s Della says:OMG!, is witty like Lucy, yet at the same time she has unwarranted low self esteem. Della is a sweet, innocent character who sometimes seems younger than her years, particularly in comparison with confident best friend Maddy and gorgeous new boyfriend Dan (who I thought seemed very mature for his age). The unfolding of Della’s first romance and sexual relationship is depicted with absolute honesty at the centre of this story, so Della will be a reassuring character for less socially confident older teens.

Two very different characters, but I enjoyed both books very much and suspect it won’t be long before I’m looking for more Young Adult fiction in the library...

Tomorrow Keris Stainton will be visiting here, as part of her blog tour, to tell us more about writing Della says:OMG!
So be sure to call back...


Jenny Beattie said...

I've got Tam's book and I'm going to order Keris'. I think YA is great at the moment. I love having that in common with my son. I quite often think I won't like his choices, but I nearly always do. My daughter, who hasn't been a big reader until several months ago, is now reading one of Kate Harrison's books. Our writing friends can keep us supplied with plenty of books!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these reviews, Cathy. I haven't read any myself, even though young adult paranormal fiction does interest me.

CJ xx