written by Jasmine, Wenlock Books' apprentice
With the New Year came some wonderful new changes at Wenlock Books. We have welcomed this new website, lots of gorgeous new cards, some fascinating books on the writing process and a comprehensive Local Authors section. For me though, the addition that I’m most excited by and proud of is our Young Adult section.
There is often an assumption that fiction can only be split 2 ways; Children’s and Adult, but in the last few years there has been an overwhelming rise in the popularity of Young Adult fiction. Whilst YA novels are still written with a target audience of 12 - 17 in mind, a 2012 study found that 55% of Young Adult fiction was bought by (and to be read by) those over 18.
Due to the quality of Young Adult fiction, the prospect of grown-ups reading books aimed at teenagers is no longer embarrassing and YA novels have been welcomed into the arms and bookshelves of many adult readers.
The fact that teenagers are amongst the pickiest readers has forced authors of YA fiction to raise their game, and create captivating and compelling books. It’s no surprise then that the strongest plotlines and characters of any books that I’ve read are buried beneath the pages of Young Adult fiction in books such as The Art of Being Normal, the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games series, Noughts and Crosses, and The Supernaturalist.
As well as fantastic plotlines, there’s another big factor that I believe has contributed to the success of Young Adult fiction and it’s the lack of x-rated content. There are many ‘grown-up fiction’ novels that I have read where strong language and explicit scenes have been used as plot padding, to hide the fact that without it the book would only be 100 pages long, and not very good.
Young Adult fiction provides all of the thrill, all of the excitement and all of the captivation of an adult read without any of the uncomfortableness, and as a result, its popularity is booming.
I am particularly proud of our Young Adult section where all of the stock has been hand-picked by us at Wenlock Books based on our own reading, customer recommendations, and by looking at best-seller charts compiled by The Bookseller and The Young Adult Book Prize. We’ve tried really hard to make sure that our YA section contains books of all genres as well as a mixture of old and new releases so that every reader can find something that they’ll love.
Since the beginning of 2015, I have read some fabulous Young Adult fiction and have loved watching our YA section develop and grow. I encourage all readers from 12 upwards to give a Young Adult book a go - you never know what treasure you might discover!
My recommendation for the moment is The Art Of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, a fantastic novel about a transgender teenager. Click here for my review or click here to order a copy of any of the books mentioned in this piece!