I love YA. I don't know what it is about books aimed at this demographic but they are both simple yet complext. Easy reads yet powerful, emotional. YA doesn't try to hide. It is what it is - it's not afraid to be itself. Adult books scare me. They try too hard to fit in a niche and if they aren't cheesy reads that verge on cringey they're big literary masterpieces full of big words nobody ever uses in real life and people read just to say 'I've read that, I'm so intelligient'. (Says the girl reading Les Miserables).
There are, however, a few good books out there that aren't YA. There are adult books that get it right. They haven't fogotten their purpose of telling a story and providing entertainment, and those are the books I want to praise today
I mentioned I'm reading Les Miserables. Currently, less than 50 pages in, I already am impressed. I thought this book would be a slog to read but in fact, thought it certainly takes me about double the time to read a page than usual (the font is small, to be fair), I amn't bored by it. I'm interested. I want to read it. It definitely falls into the literary category and is definitely a book I will brag about having read when I finish but purely because it's such a feat and the fact I'm loving it this quickly is a sure sign of greatness.
Now for books I've actually read. First up, I have two kids books I want to mention;
The Fox and the Star
I adore Coralie Bickford-Smith's illustrations. I also love foxes. and stars. Match. made. in heaven. I have both the beautiful hardback and the paperback of this book and I just am in love with it. I could have completely my reading challenge fifty times last year just from looking over this so often.
I wish with all my heart that I could go and give ten year old Emma all of Abi Elphinstone's books. I adore the writing and the details and the worlds in these books and I think everyone needs to read them. These are fun and adventurous but there was a distinct scene that had me in tears. This is a middle grade series but it is absolutely one everyone can love.
When it comes to adult fiction I have a nice little selection of books!
On The Other Side
This book. This magical realism story captured my heart and made me fall in love with Carrie Hope Fletcher even more than I already was. This woman can do anything and she is so stupidly talented please can she pass some of it to others?!
This was probably the first magical realism book I ever read and I still feel like I'm in a trance when I think about it. That's the only way I can describe this book. I was entranced by it. I felt like I was there, on a boat, rocking to the waves. I actually took ages to read this as I got so tired, so quickly because it basically lulled me to sleep. It's a lullaby in book form and absolutely stunning.
This was obviously coming. It's a series I will always talk about and treasure. It's by no means an easy read - this book took me months to get through but as the years go on and I read more I find it easier. Gregory Maguire has an incredible talent for world building and even though her creates words and politics and whatever else that don't exist in our world, nor does he explain them, you just sort of get captivated and go along with it, as though you know exactly what he's talking about. This is absolutely nothing like the musical so please do not give this to kids who love the show!!!
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde/The Bottle Imp
This is a classic I always wanted to read but was scared would be boring or difficult and overrated. I was wrong. I loved this. My edition came with Robert Louis Stevenson's short story The Bottle Imp which was equally enjoyable. I am now so keen to read more classics and after a horrible attempt at reading Arthur Conan-Doyle in the past, I feel more mature and ready to tackle it now!
What non-YA books are your favourite? Let me know!