Friday 18 August 2017

A Transition: YA to Adult Fiction

Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

As you can probably tell by now, I'm an avid YA reader. I turned twenty this year, so technically I'm "too old" for Young Adult fiction - I personally think you can never be too old, and you should read whatever you want & whatever you most enjoy. However, I do also read some New Adult and Adult fiction. I'm not sure I've quite found a groove with New Adult (I would love your favourite recommendations) but there are some really great Adult books out there that I think are just as enjoyable as YA. Some are also quite good transitional books, in my opinion. I'll be comparing them to prominent YA reads, to help you figure out what sort of thing you'd enjoy the most. 

Obviously, be aware, depending on your age/temperament, Adult books are classified as such because of their content; essentially, be warned for more bad language, more serious themes (although YA does such an incredible job of handling these themselves these days, to be honest) and, mostly, just a lot more sex. I'll let you know in the examples below if there are any of these in abundance, again just so you can tailor your reading experience to what you enjoy in the genre you currently go for.

So let's get started!!

Liane moriarty’s big little lies

Liane Moriarty is my favourite author of Adult fiction by far. She writes hilarious books; there are few authors whose sense of humour I appreciate quite like her's. Her books are also incredibly realistic; full of real women, real relationships and real-life issues. Most of her books have some sort of "thriller" component to them, also; whether this be of the murder mystery variety (such as in Big Little Lies, pictured above) or something more subtle. I find most of her books are structured in a similar way; beginning in present day, with a dramatic/mysterious/dangerous/shocking event taking place, then going back in time and working up to the revelation of said event, and seeing all of the reasons why it's happened, and then a few of the repercussions afterwards. This is a really simple yet clever way of structuring books, so that even those without a sinister plot have that aforementioned "thriller" feel to them.

Big Little Lies was the first of Liane Moriarty's books that I read and it's probably my favourite to date, closely rivalled by The Husband's Secret. It's the story of three mothers, a schoolyard rumour that gets out of control, ultimately ending in somebody being murdered. There are also excerpts from police interviews within it, which is a touch I love in any novel. I would say if you enjoyed YA books such as Sarah Pinborough 13 Minutes or Abigail Haas's Dangerous Girls, this has the same sort of mystery-feel, whilst being incredibly funny, vivid and full of beautiful detail.

Jojo moyes’s me before you

I committed the ultimate bookworm sin with this story; I watched the film before I read the book! I know, I know, but in this case, it seems justified; Sam Claflin is in the closed. It's actually a case where I'd say the movie is a completely compelling, accurate, brilliant adaption that does the book so much justice. I imagine Jojo Moyes must have been completely thrilled with it!! This book is so emotional, I was sobbing like a child throughout the last 100 pages, it felt like. It's the story of Lou Clark, a funny, self-deprecating waitress who finds herself unemployed and hired as a carer for a paralysed young man, Will Traynor. Romance ensues, but the story is so much more than that. I thought it was completely beautiful, and so, so funny, which you might not expect. The twist at the end will slaughter you, and once you've read the book, I'd highly recommend watching the movie, too - I think it's on Netflix at the moment. Emilia Clark portrays Lou, and she is PERFECT for the part.

Obviously, this book isn't really for the faint-hearted, because it is incredibly emotional. If you're not really into that sort of thing, or you're easily affected and don't enjoy that cathartic crying-whilst-reading thing like me, then I'd steer clear. If you enjoyed books like John Green's iconic The Fault in Our Stars and Jennifer Niven's All The Bright Places, I'd say you would love this; it has the same all-pervading overtone of suffering and medicine and unfairness, yet the romance and good humour, too. 

Georgia clark’s the regulars

I came across this book purely by chance and I'm really glad I picked it up. The Regulars, by Georgia Clark, is the story of three normal girls in New York who discover a potion called Pretty, which essentially transforms them into stunningly beautiful, outrageously confident supermodels who achieve and receive whatever they go after. The inclusion of the "Pretty" is what makes me think it's a great transition read, because it takes that suspension of disbelief and the glittery, magical feel. The exploits the girls get up to whilst "Pretty" are reminiscent of Gossip Girl or 90210, yet the issues they all have within themselves are far more serious and real.

Fair warning, there's a lot of pretty explicit sex in this book, so if you're not into that, or you're too young for that, go for one of the others on this list! I guess this book reminds me of other New York City stories about beautiful people, so as I said, Gossip Girl or Sara Shepherd's The Heiresses, but then that magical part hints at things like Sarah Mylnowski's Don't Even Think About It, where crazy coincidence and medical marvels combine to cause pretty dramatic consequences.

Jane green’s saving grace

I read this book quite a while ago and really enjoyed it. I've looked into many of Jane Green's previous and subsequent books, and none of them have sounded anywhere near as interesting or unique. This is Grace's story; she's married to a bestselling author who hires a new assistant, who just so happens to want every single bit of Grace's life for herself. It's also a pretty robust, tragic look into bipolar disorder. Again, similar to Liane Moriarty's work, it's a thriller without being 100% dark or full of detectives and dodgy deals and dark alleyways. So, if you've already read some Liane Moriarty, I think you'd enjoy this book for sure! I felt as paranoid and sad and angry as Grace throughout. 

In terms of YA, this book makes me think of things like Em Bailey's Shift (the ending of which I thought was RIDICULOUS and it made me dislike the whole thing, even though the beginning was pretty creepy and effective, so that part is what this reminds me of!) and, again, Abigail Haas's Dangerous Girls. There's the common themes of femininity, competition, and what people are willing to do to win the game of life.

Cecelia ahern’s where rainbows end

Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End looks like really chunky and maybe a bit daunting if you've never read any YA this long before, but it is such a breeze to read. It follows two perspectives, mainly in the likes of letters and emails, of two childhood best friends, who fall in love but grow old having never quite made it; they keep on missing each other. If you've seen the movie (renamed as Love, Rosie) then you'll know that Sam Claflin has a starring role here too...purely a coincidence, of course, as does Lily Collins (my favourite actress of all time), and again, I'd highly recommend watching that, too. You will find yourself constantly on the edge of your seat, wondering if this reunion will be the final one, where they get together at last. It's a gorgeous book.

I'm not sure there's another specific book I'd compare this too, but if you enjoy the structure of letters and correspondence instead of "live action" (for want of a better phrase?!), then you should check out  Brigid Kemmerer's Letters to the Lost or Annabel Pitcher's Ketchup Clouds.

Alice sebold’s the lovely bones

Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones is truly beautiful. It is the story of Susie Salmon, who is raped and murdered by a pedophile on her walk home from school. The story continues in Susie's perspective as she watches her family from heaven, hoping they will find her killer (a member of the local community who is not under suspicion) whilst simultaneously watching them fall apart as a consequence of their grief. It is an incredibly sad, yet oddly hopeful (towards the end) story, and I'd really recommend it to everybody.

One of the main reasons I think of this as a transition book (it may even be classified as YA, I'm not sure) is because of the age of the protagonist/narrator, but, again, be warned because whilst the description of Susie's suffering at the ends of her murderer is quite brief, it is explicit and harrowing. If you'll find that too upsetting or triggering, please don't read this, or at least, skip over that part if you're desperate to read the rest. I don't think another book following this sort of storyline has competed with this personally, but if you want to read more on this same sort of plot, or you're looking for comparison with a YA book you've read, Alex Gutteridge's Last Chance Angel is pretty similar, although a LOT more light-hearted. Another amazing YA book that has the sort of angel watching earth dynamic is Claire Hennessey's Nothing Tastes As Good (trigger warning for eating disorders).

Emma donoghue’s room

ROOM is such a classic novel by now, I think - I'm sure plenty of you have read it already, but I knew it just had to go in this post, so it reaches those you haven't yet. It is the story of Jack and his Ma, who live together in a "room", at the bottom of their captor's garden. Jack knows nothing of the real world, having been conceived and born in this room. Reading about his mother's obvious suffering through this unknowing, child's perspective is completely heartbreaking. The pace of the plot picks up quickly, and Jack's narrative voice will stay with you forever.

The book this makes me think of instantly is Emily Murdoch's If You Find Me, which tells the story of two more children abused and neglected, and the joy, and surprising pain, they discover when they are welcomed into the real world. It's also reminiscent of Jennifer L. Armentrout's The Problem with Forever in some ways, because that too looks at the abuse and isolation of children (in an abusive home with foster parents, in that case). If you read and appreciated either of those, you'd find ROOM to be a beautiful, compelling story, I'm sure.

So that's it for my introduction to Adult fiction for YA readers! I really hope you enjoyed reading regardless of your reading preferences, and maybe found some good potential TBR additions either way!! What are your favourite Adult recommendations? Have you read any of the above and if so, what did you think of them? Please do let me know! I'd really appreciate if you could click the follow button, too, either via Google+, Blogger or Bloglovin'! I really appreciate it.

Till next week


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