I mentioned in my last post here at WWK that many of the members of my new critique group have read TONS more Young Adult (YA) books than I have, and how this makes me feel somewhat inadequate. What I didn't mention is that I probably won’t do much to bridge the chasm between the amounts of books I've read in comparison to the rest of the group.
Since many writers espouse the benefits of reading as many books as possible within your writing genre, this decision may put me at a disadvantage as a writer. By not following the tried and true path, I won't be learning what works or doesn't by reading others in my field.
So why am I unwilling to read more and more of the books in the YA category?
One of the reasons is—as I also mentioned in my last blog—I don’t read with a critical eye because it takes me out of the enjoyment experience that reading a book provides me. It would be a useful skill, but I can’t seem to do it.
But to be honest, the main reason is due to the sub-genres that are popular with teenagers (and adults) lately. The bulk of what's out there now is dystopian , steam punk, or fraught with vampires, werewolves, or zombies. None of those topics appeal to me in any way, so I doubt I'd be able to learn much from them, even if I were to read them, because I'd be too busy being grossed out or weirded out to focus on the tools that the author used.
The Sisters Grimm series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator—and have enjoyed them, but again, those are written for pre-teens. My protagonist is sixteen, and she will be dealing with things high-school students face—including sex and dating—while solving murders and other such mysteries. She’s also got a bit of an edge and swears; not things people look for in MG books.
So, while I can see reading books in the same genre as my WIP would be very beneficial, I'm not sure that I could do it, even if I wanted to. However, I'm open to giving it a shot. So if any of you know of any YA mysteries that don't involve a post-apocalyptic world, the undead, or things of that nature, I'd appreciate some suggestions.
I was given so many good suggestions after my last blog, but I'm open to more, if you have them.