So today I have an awesome guest post from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts. I was amazed when Faye sent me the post because she's perfectly captured thoughts I think a lot of us bloggers share! I hope you enjoy Faye's post as much as I did.
When I first heard that Cait and Liz would be devoting a whole month to Contemporary YA, I was really intrigued. The reason for this is simple; I don’t read enough of the genre. I also feel that it is a genre that is somewhat frowned upon, as though it isn’t as great or powerful as some of the other genres within YA lit, or even within Adult lit. While this may not be true, if it is, it is truly disheartening. There is absolutely nothing wrong with contemporary literature, YA or otherwise, and I feel that it is something that just needs a little more exposure.
Perhaps it is just the circle that I walk around in, or just because it is – at the moment – more popular but I have seen a lot of hype surrounding dystopian YA or fantasy YA but very little surrounding contemporary YA. But why? Why do bloggers side-step this genre and not feel as crazy about it? Or why do publishing houses feel it necessary to put less effort into publicizing their contemporary novels than their novels of more “popular” genres?
I believe that the reason for this is because love of dystopian and fantasy is new(er), it is current, it is what is being talked about right now. For this generation, it is completely and utterly about the worlds that are out of our reach, the ones full of creativity and imagination that go beyond our wildest dreams that we want to read. Because surely an author who can think up a world that is falling apart at the seams deserves more hype than an author who writes about the world as it is today. I definitely have to disagree with this. I feel that both genres deserve the hype and I feel that contemporary literature really needs some help to get back into the spotlight.
Because it hasn’t always been in the shadows, has it?
Growing up I was surrounded by it with authors like Jacqueline Wilson and Malorie Blackman running the show. Of course there was still Phillip Pullman and J. K. Rowling to bring about the fantasy hype but they didn’t overpower contemporary literature. Nowadays, I know that I barely glance at contemporary literature because I just don’t see the hype for it. Why would I choose to buy a book I’ve barely heard about over a book that so many of my blogger friends have raved over? It is this, especially on my part, that needs to stop. Contemporary YA needs a chance to survive alongside all the other YA genres.
The real problem I have is that I really enjoy Contemporary YA when I read it. I often put it off, preferring to dive into a world that is completely detached from this one but I couldn’t exactly tell you why. I know that when I jump the gun and read a book that is a contemporary I usually find it to be an easy and fascinating read. This stories are always heavily focused on the characters and the drama of real life troubles and therefore they can really pack a punch. One author notorious for this is John Green but it was only recently that I even read one of his books because even with his hype, it still never occurred to me to actually read his books.
So what is the point of this guest post today?
The point is to urge you (and me) to start reading more contemporary literature. Use this month to explore all there is for contemporary YA to offer us and then go out there, purchase some great books and get stuck in. I, for one, will certainly be trying to read at least one contemporary YA book a month, if not more, just to balance out my genres a bit more. You never know how much you may love the genre, or how much it may teach you about the very world in which you exist. And isn’t that, after all, what we should really be looking for in the books we read?
Lastly, I want to thank Cait and Liz for hosting me today and for their month of contemp YA!
Be sure to stop by Liz's blog today because she's reviewing the 5th Gallagher Girls book by Ally Carter, one of our favourite Contemp authors!!
And don't forget to enter our giveaways, you can win a copy of Shooting Stars (UK only) here, and a complete set of Ally Carter books or a Contemp book of your choice here