A golden age for young adults


By Marianne Murray Guess



I was reading an article recently about the 100 Best Books of All Time and in it there was mentioned that we’re living in a golden age of young adult literature, when books that are written for teens are equally read by readers of every generation. This phenomena has coined yet another genre called New Adult Fiction reaching the 18 to 30 age bracket. Like the fiction categories of young adult and adult, new adult fiction can combine with all genres and subgenres like science fiction, horror, paranormal and mysteries. This month I thought I would delve into some young adult and new adult books written by authors whose books fit these genres

Julie Kagawa:She is a New York Times and International bestselling author of “The Iron Fey,” “Blood of Eden” and “The Talon Saga” series. Her books are in the teen and young adult category and are a combination of fantasy and contemporary elements with modern day concerns. This is what makes Julie’s dragon mythology so relevant and accessible to a wide audience. Her stories feature a classical forbidden triangle, universal themes of prejudice, what is easy, what is right and the power of conviction are all combined in each of her epic series. Her latest, “The Talon Series” which includes, “Talon,” “Rogue” and her new release in the series, “Soldier.” Customer reviews are off the charts and one said, “It’s gripping — Kagawa just doesn’t let up the pressure!” Julie lives near Louisville with her husband and a whole bunch of pets.

Kate L. Mary: Kate is an award-winning author of new adult and young adult fiction ranging from post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to tales of contemporary romance. Her “Broken World” series is a post-apocalyptic zombie novel about a deadly virus sweeping the country. In California most of the population has been wiped out but then the dead start coming back. One reviewer stated, “Ms. Mary did a bang up job of creating a world that was horrifying and real. The plot swept me along, keeping me on the edge of my seat and tugging at my heartstrings.” Kate is a stay-at-home mom with four kids and a husband who’s an Air Force pilot — both from the Dayton area.

Brian E. Forschner: His book, “Cold Serial,” paints a picture of five girls who were assaulted and strangled in the Dayton area between 1900 and 1909. While his book has an edge to it, it definitely fits the categories of new adult and adult true crime. I bring him to your attention again because Brian has written a book of historical significance covering working conditions, lack of rights for women, police protection and sexism in an age that portrayed these girls as victims, not only of crime, but also the time in which they lived. During that era, police did not recognize the lurking shadow of a predator but through Brian’s diligent research it is now revealed. Brian is an author with many hats, having been a teacher, counselor, consultant and writer. His gift for research and criminology led him to write a stunning novel.

Crystal Hobblit: Hers is a book of historical fiction for 8 to 14 year olds, but adults have enjoyed it as well. “Catching Raindrops” is the story of the 1913 Dayton flood, and follows 12-year-old Maggie as she and her family try to survive. Maggie endures heart-wrenching tragedy and harrowing danger as she tries to escape the devastation. Crystal enjoys gardening, cooking, going barefoot and frolicking with her black lab.

John Rhinehelder: “Why We Are Still Standing” is a condensed biography of real American patriots written in poetry to show why America is still standing at the top when it comes to liberty and freedom. It tells why freedom isn’t free! John spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, served during Desert Storm, retired from Wright-Patterson AFB and considers himself a proud patriot.

Liz Ball: Last but not least, Liz is the author/illustrator of the popular “Hidden Treasures” hidden picture puzzle book series. Over 5000 of her hidden pictures have been published in more than 150 newspapers, magazines and other publications throughout the U.S and internationally. Her puzzles appeal to all ages, not just kids, and are recommended by doctors, teachers and parents to help improve eye coordination, spatial skills, memory retention and concentration. She’s an Ohio gal and her studio is a vine-covered cottage where a big dog and one fluffy cat keep her company while she hides those hidden objects.

New adult literature touches upon many themes and issues to reach readership that falls between the categories of young adult and adult fiction. What I’ve tried to do here is give you some writers whose books embrace all three of these genres. Happy reading, everyone!

Marianne Murray Guess is the owner of New and Olde Pages Book Shoppe in Englewood. She lives in Laura, Ohio.

By Marianne Murray Guess