YA (young adult) - It's a category that is on the rise, made increasingly popular by Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and so many other amazing titles in the genre. It's the genre I feel most drawn to right now both in what I read and in my writing. I was asked recently why I chose YA over writing for adults. My answer: YA literature is authentic, emotional, cutting-edge, and all done in the most concise writing possible.
Not to say adult literature doesn't have all of these things, but YA literature requires it. And if you think that YA is all fluff and no substance, then you haven't read books like, "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman, "The Adoration of Jenna Fox" by Mary E. Pearson, or "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Not only do these titles deal with death (If I Stay) and identity (The Adoration of Jenna Fox), but also tackle hefty topics like the impact of government (The Hunger Games). The are engaging books that leave you thinking about them long after the books are back on the shelf.
So what is YA anyway? Well, I did a blog post last year that answers that very question. Here's the link: What is YA
The May/June issue of Writers Digest had a great article (pages 26-31) titled, "YA today" by Jessica Strawser. It was a round table with agents and editors discussing "what's hot, what's not, and what you need to know to break in." Good for anyone interested in writing for the YA category.
And another good resource is: YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association).
So pick up a good YA book, and you may just be hooked.