Thursday, November 4, 2010

YA College Based Novels

I saw this article, which made me happy - but frustrated at the same time. It's an opinion that I've held for a few years. I even based my first NaNoWriMo book on it.

Alas, I've been told that college fictional books are hard to come by as they typically don't sell. I find this hard to believe as younger readers (kids thru teens read UP - as in they tend to read books about older characters). There are awesome YA books - don't get me wrong, but what about life after high school? There's a HUGE jump from teen fiction to adult fiction with few titles in between. Here's a list of college or life after high school fiction (It's not completely up to date)

Besides the few books dealing with college aged characters - the books jump to twenty-somethings dealing with jobs, boyfriends, and their vast social life.

Is there a need for more books with college aged characters? I think so -and not just because I wrote a book about Emily's first year at college or because I love reading books about college life. I admit, I was hooked on Freshmen Dorm when I was in middle school. Do you like reading books about characters in college?

Just for fun, here's the start of my novel - it's in verse.

I’ve been waiting

my whole life

for this moment:

waiting for the escape

waiting for the independence

waiting to find myself.

And now that it’s here,

I’m waiting to figure out

what to do first.


Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I definitely feel the need for more college age books considering I'm just past that age myself. I love YA and I can see myself reading it for a LONG time, especially if I get a job as a teen librarian, but even now I'd like to see books about people my age, or college age. I guess most people do read adult books once they're in high school, or just out of high school, but if there were more books geared toward "emerging adults" then maybe this would change.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely think there's a need for more college-aged protags. What makes them any less interesting than anyone else? Is it because they assume college-aged readers are all too busy to read about themselves?

Um, no. More please!

Jessica said...

I wholeheartedly agree that this is a skipped over section in YA/Adult fiction. I actually submitted a WIP to an agent with a college aged (albeit older...not in the first one or two years) protagonist and was told it would firmly be in the adult fiction section not YA, but then adult publishers are looking for books with late 20's and 30's aged characters... It just seems to skip right over the early to mid 20's. Very frustrating, and I for one agree that I would read those books and know others that would, as well!

Anna said...

Absolutely agree--it is such a life-changing moment in a person's life to head off to college. And there are so many struggles unique to that experience. I wish more books would explore that! Great point about teens reading UP!

nymfaux said...

Agree! Agree! Agree!!!!!

ditto Freshman Dorm, and add me some SVU.

Also, not that college kids need to run around drinking and having sex all the time, but there are some story-lines, that could definitely use the freedom of college.

A lot of times when I'm reading YA, I'm wondering "where are the parents?!?!?!" And I think a lot of YA books have gotten better at adding better, more concerned parents into the mix--but lets face it, good parenting often leads to boring stories--and every kid can't be an orphan or have absent, or absent-minded parents, so I think college is a much better solution!!!

Rachel Harris said...

Totally agree. There is a difference in college, but I think it should be included in YA. You're right they do read up (btw I LOVED Freshman Dorm when I was in middle school, too) and in particular that first year of college is one that is full of writing possibilities. That is when characters find themselves and "come of age" more than any other time, in my opinion.