A Book a Day, I Don’t Care What you Say – Contest Day 3

When I was growing up there wasn’t really a genre called “Young Adult literature.” We teenaged bibliophiles all just read inappropriate adult books. Sometimes we had to sneak, which made them even more delicious. (For me that was in the 1970s and 80s, so think Erica Jong, Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut… those were the days!)

Today’s young adults though have authors writing books just for them, and we “adults” sometimes have to sneak reading those, to avoid public humiliation by our teenagers! (OK, maybe that’s just me and my teenagers.)  I used to fight with my daughter over who got to read the book first throughout the publication of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy, one time buying two hardcovers, just to preserve the filial relationship. Ditto Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy.

Today’s give-away is the new Sarah Dessen book, What Happened to Goodbye. I’m glad I don’t have to hide  any more when I read YA because it’s acceptable now for us grownups to cross into the YA part of the bookstore. I’ve also had the pleasure of reading my fair share of YA manuscript submissions. I do though kind of miss the feeling that the sneaking around gave me.

What do you like to read that you aren’t supposed to? Who are you hiding it from?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “A Book a Day, I Don’t Care What you Say – Contest Day 3

  1. Rhonda

    Related-ish:
    My mom made sure I had access to books but never really tried to pick them for me, except once. She brought home a copy of GO ASK ALICE when I was 12 or 13. I snickered through the whole thing (well, when my mouth wasn’t hanging open–it was a lot of new information) because I knew she had no idea what she’d given me. On the inside cover she wrote, “Rhonda, Some more good reading for you. Love, Mom, 1998.”

    In my early twenties we talked about the book and she admitted she had no idea what it was–hadn’t even thumbed through it. She overheard a teacher friend of hers say it was written for young adults so she jotted down the title. I guess you have to know my extremely Catholic mother to appreciate the hilarity of her giving me that book, especially with the personal note. I still have it. Just dug it out and I’m looking at it now. I love it!

    • My mom bought me Our Bodies, Our Selves in the ’70s and it was quite eye-opening, but she did it with full awareness of what she was giving me (I’ve got a very cool mom). But I did my fair share of snickering when I read it, too!

  2. Kitty

    When I decided to try my hand at writing children’s and YA books I spent a lot of time reading the YA. Then I started getting them out of the library just because I like them, not just to familiarize myself with the genre. What a delight it has been.

  3. Laura Lemmey Fox

    We both loved books! I remember you reading “The Lord of the Rings”. I read stuff around the house like “I’m Okay, You’re Not So Hot” and “Be Glad Your Neurotic” Hey remember we both read “Shelia Levine is Dead and Living in NY!” Probably not appropriate. I read “The Harrad Experiement”. That messed me up! Thank God for our “Bodies Ourselves” or I’d have a 33 year old LOL! My oldest hated to read and it worried me. Now he too is an avid reader. Whew! Laura

    • Oh the Harrad Experiment… Thank you for reminding me about that one! That was extremely inappropriate. And so sexy. And so 70’s. I had to hide that I was reading it; I stole it from my sister.

  4. Rhona

    How true! We had steampunk, dystopian fantasy and the rest of it back then, but we didn’t have names on it. It was all ‘fiction.’ I read a whole range of things, from Stephen King to Enid Blyton, and some of my father’s non-fiction too. (I didn’t always understand it, and some of it I found boring, but I wanted to impress him!)

  5. Lee Epstein

    I’m at a point in my life where I read anything and everything I want. By modern day standards Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn would be considered YA. I find that reading brings me joy and knowledge. I learn new things every time I finish a book. I don’t understand why these artificial barriers were created.
    I am currently into memoirs. I am reading “Just Kids”, Patti Smith’s biographical story of her life and her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. So far… very interesting.

  6. karen

    YA books are not only enjoyable to read, but they are conversation starters with my children around the dinner table.