Rebecca Weinstein Guest Post and Give@way

The YA Genre Boom

On one of my last visits to the local bookstore, I realized with pleasure that the Young Adult genre had experienced so much growth that it required not only its own section in the store, but within that section, rows and rows of books in their own individual subsections. Gone are the days of children's, history, cooking, language, and travel sections. Here are the days of Young Adult Horror, Young Adult Non-Fiction, and Young Adult Paranormal Romance—subgenres wholly separate from the children's section.

In the 1800's and early 1900's, there was no Young Adult genre. There were some children's books, and there were some books that were written with a young protagonist but were aimed at an adult audience. Novels such as Oliver Twist, Huckleberry Finn, and Kidnapped appealed to younger readers, but were intended for adults. Indeed, most novels read by young readers in that time period were those written for, about, and by adults. There were very few novels geared toward the young adult reader. It wasn't until the 1920's that more novelists geared their novels toward younger readers, but the genre specifically known as YA had yet to emerge.

J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (1951) is claimed by many critics to be the first true Young Adult novel, however, it too, was written for an adult audience. It wasn't until the 1950's to 1960's that a true Young Adult genre emerged in the classification system. By then, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were making their way onto young adult shelves everywhere. But it wasn't until the late 1970's and into the 1980's that the Young Adult genre really took off. Youths wanted to read more content that pertained to their lives, not perfect teens who solved mysteries in their spare time. The writing got edgier, more realistic, and more dramatic with themes such as drug use, sexuality, and teenage pregnancy. True, there still were book series like Sweet Valley High or Goosebumps, but there were also books like The Pigman, Annie on My Mind, Junk, and Speak.

At the end of the 20th century and into the 21st, the Young Adult genre came into its own. With well-received series such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, the genre experienced a major boom, hence those rows and rows of YA subgenre shelves I now see in my local bookstore. When the YA genre first took off who could imagine that there would one day be so many books published under the Young Adult Paranormal Romance subgenre that it would warrant its own section of the bookstore? And yet, there it is. From Switched to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the YA section keeps growing with the addition of more and more talented authors and a wider variety of novels, and may one day outpace adult fiction. For my sake as a reader as well as a YA author, I certainly hope it does.

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Rebecca is the author of Nashoga and Blood Moon (The Redstone Series 1 & 2), Seraphim, Amazon, and Dexter By A Nose. She has a profound love for reading and art, being not only an author but also the cover artist for her novels. She is currently working on The Redstone Series #3, due out late spring 2012, and Amazon's sequel, Antiquity.

When not writing, she can be found at one of the lovely New Jersey beaches, enjoying all things Japanese with her teenage daughter, cooking or blogging about said cooking, or getting beaten up by her two pesky rabbits.


Nashoga (Redstone Series #1) on Amazon

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Rebecca Weinstein has generously offered to giveaway 5 ecopies (any format) of her novel, Nashoga (The Redstone Series #1) to my readers.

Nashoga, the alpha of the Redstone Pack, has been run off. While in exile, Nashoga meets Buck, an elk with an attitude, and the two are thrust into a dire situation. Will the two be at each others' throats or will they learn to work together to defeat this new threat? Will Nashoga reunite with his pack and his love? Only time will tell in this story of power struggles, love and friendship.

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  1. I agree with you whole heartedly that cathcer in the rye was wriiten as much for adults as it was young adults. I will admit I had never heard of you or your books rebecca, but I think I will give them a look. I am always looking to discover a new story. Thanks so much for the guest post


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