Tuesday, June 21, 2016

YA Guy Participates in... The Summer Reading $250 Cash Giveaway!

YA Guy's tickled pink to participate in the Summer Dreaming $250 Cash Giveaway, organized by I Am a Reader and sponsored by a great group of authors and bloggers! You have until July 15th to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, so get on your swimsuit and go!

Summer Dreaming Cash

Summer Dreaming

$250 Cash Giveaway

June 21st to July 15th

Prize: $250 Amazon.com Gift Code
or $250 in Paypal Cash
to one lucky winner!

Sponsors:

I Am A Reader
Suzi Love
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Glistering Bs Blog
Lori's Reading Corner
Bonnie Blythe Faith Based Romance
Bella Street Time Travel Romance
Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and More
KellysLuckyYou Deb Atwood Author
Kindle and Me
Melanie McFarlane, YA Author
Heather Gray, Author
Everly Frost, YA Author
Author Pauline Creeden
Subtitled Books
The Page Unbound LeahSay's Views
Joshua David Bellin
Crystal Marcos
The Candid Cover
LOVE. WITHOUT YOU
Here We Go Again...Ready?
Helen Smith
Jennifer Faye ~ Romance Author
B. Kristin McMichael
Cool Cat Mysteries
The Lovely Books
Author Elisa Dane
Simple Wyrdings
D.E. Haggerty, author
Why Not? Because I Said So! (Sheila Staley)
Diana's Book Reviews
Stones of Gilgal Novels
AuggieTalk
Author Dorothy Dreyer

Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card. Ends 7/15/16.  Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

YA Guy Remembers... Why YA Matters!

As I've mentioned before on this blog, YA Guy recently signed up for NetGalley, so I've been reading the occasional ARC. Some of what I've read is YA; most isn't. I look for titles that sound interesting, regardless of genre or audience, and I hope for the best.

But I've gotta tell you, the results haven't been satisfying. Most of the galleys I've read haven't clicked for me. And I think one of the main reasons is that, having read mostly YA the past several years, I've come to expect certain things from literature that I'm not getting from non-YA books.

Like strong characters. And interesting plots. And thought-provoking conflicts.

You know, things that matter.

YA has all of these things. Lots of other books ostensibly written for grownups don't.

Take the most recent galley I read, Ezekiel Boone's THE HATCHING. The story of monster spiders that eat their way through various human populations around the world, the book was creepy enough in an Aliens or Roland Emmerich Godzilla kind of way (spiders bursting from people's bodies, egg sacs laid in popular sports venues, etc.). But when you got past the shock effects, there wasn't much to the book.

The characters in particular left me cold. Almost everyone was pure caricature: the tough-as-nails cop, the flighty scientist, the ballsy but beautiful woman president, etc., etc. The occasional side character, like the Scottish guy who writes potboilers, was mildly amusing, but such characters had little to do with the plot. For the most part, characters were defined by who they were sleeping with. And who they were sleeping with just wasn't very interesting.

You couldn't get away with this in YA. I'm not saying that all YA has brilliantly drawn characters--but at least in YA, you have to try to make the characters more than caricatures. In a book like THE HATCHING, the characters are merely there to give the monster spiders something to eat. There's no drama in that, no human interest, no occasion for reflection. There's only gross-out gore and sex scenes. And who cares about that?

Throughout my life, I've read and enjoyed many types of literature. I'm certainly no YA snob. But I do wish that all literature aspired to do what YA aspires to do: to transport and transform readers, not just to terrify or titillate them.

YA doesn't always matter, but it always tries to matter. And that, I think, is why it matters to me.