Rita, let me assure you I was not offended in the LEAST by your observation … in fact, I thought it was funny. And completely accurate! I was actually thrilled to realize how much I enjoy young adult, as it opens up a whole new world for me at the library. I’m sure I’ll be sinking my teeth (Ha-ha, get it?! Another Twilight joke!) into many more YA books in the coming months and like you, am just glad to be reading.
Kathleen in GA, the rule in our house (normally, unless I’m being lazier than usual) is you have to read the book *before* you can see the movie. Without a doubt, knowing that Twilight was coming out in movie form was incentive for Brayden to stick with such a long book. It was actually the Harry Potter series that made me create that rule for my kids …. No WAY can they fit everything from a 500 page book into a two hour movie, and this rule makes me happy and hopeful that my kids won’t miss as much as they might if they were to go straight to the movie (probably because I’m a meanie-face-bossy-pants, but oh well.)
Tammy in OH, there are lots of things about this series that I admire. ::warning – spoiler alert – spoiler alert:: I read online (although I have no idea if this is true) that the author is Mormon, and I do see some of that spilling over into the book. None of the teen characters drink or smoke, except for one brief scene where the grown men are having a beer while watching a football game, I believe. The language is not exceptionally bad (or maybe it is, and because I’m a potty mouth myself I just didn’t notice …. But I really don’t think so.) It is very, very clear that the characters in this book (parents, siblings, and friends, not just the two central love figures) care deeply about one another and want to protect each other. Loyalty is key. Bella is very concerned throughout about not hurting her parents with her actions, which I also admire. (Not to say she doesn’t wind up doing it anyway, but at least it gives her pause most of the time.) Selflessness and sacrifice are central themes. The two main characters *do* wait until they’re married before they have sex, and in addition, Bella, the heroine, was still a virgin when she met Edward at the age of 17, something I was glad to read the author make note of. I think the first two books portray a very accurate perception of obsessive teen behavior, or “love”, if you will. I think the author spot-on nailed the longing and the wanting and the fanatical infatuation that can happen. (Ahhhhh, happy memories of my high-school sweetheart …..) But, I also think those feelings and emotions won’t make much sense to my eleven year old. Dear Lord, at least I hope they don’t! I also think the “longing” and “wanting” is much more detailed in book three, which is why I will make Brayden wait awhile before moving on past book two. And like others have said, the sci-fi element of book four was not as enjoyable to me, and definitely beyond the concept of what my eleven year old can grasp, understand, and enjoy. So for now, Twilight and New Moon will be as far as she can go.
Cate, I had every intention of making Brayden send you a thank you e-mail, and I’m embarrassed it hasn’t happened yet. She loves her t-shirt more than you can know … thank you!
Thanks also to those of you who’ve put your favorite YA books in the comment section. Ya’ll should know I’m a total book hound who is always looking for a suggestion. Or two or eight or ninety. Since a few of you asked about my recent reads, I thought I would share the list. For some odd reason, many of them are sci-fi, even though that’s not the genre I usually choose. I think because it’s what my kids have been reading for school, it’s where I gravitated as well. And, in a don’t-knock-it-until-you-try-it mode, I’ve discovered books I enjoyed thoroughly, that I probably wouldn’t have taken notice of, otherwise.
YA books I’ve read lately and enjoyed:
The Shadow Children Series by Margaret Haddix. Read the first one on Kellen’s recommendation, he and I both read them all, but not together. I am REALLY looking forward to starting her next series, Found.
Uglies, Pretties, and Specials by Scott Westerfeld. Read the first one because Brayden was reading it, went on to finish the trilogy on my own. However, I only recently discovered there is another book, the Extras, so I guess I need to track it down as well.
The White Mountains by John Christopher. Read it because it was required reading for Kellen’s book club. Didn’t enjoy it *quite* as much as the others, but still a good read.
Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen. Found it a little unbelievable that a 12-year old girl could fend for herself so successfully for so long, but it was a good read.
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, and Notes from the Midnight Driver, both by Jordan Sonnenblick. Extremely enjoyable, and want another of his books, Zen and the Art of Faking It, next.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. I know, it looks silly, and it sort of is. But it’s funny! I also enjoyed DWK 2, Roderick Rules, but I think the Do-It-Yourself Wimpy Kid book 3 is nothing more than a pathetic marketing attempt to sell something to kids and make a profit. Don’t sell my kid what is essentially a bunch of blank notebook pages for the price of a hardback book. Oh, wait. You already did.
YA books I have read lately and didn’t enjoy:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Is it against the law for me to admit that? I know it’s considered a children’s classic, but, well, Kellen and I both were bored to tears. It was for a book report and in fact, about three quarters of the way through we bagged it and he read a Hank the Cowdog book instead. Yep, Hank the Cowdog. Now *there’s* a classic!
The Secret Prince by D. Anne Love. This is the abandoned book that led Brayden and I to read Twilight …. Totally uninteresting to both of us. In fact, this is exactly why I’ve never bothered with Lord of the Rings, because I assume it will be just like this. Prophecy. Quests. Magic swords. Yawn.
And there you have it. Everything young-adult I can think of off the top of my head that I’ve read the past two or three months.
I also recently read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. Shockingly, simply reading the book did not, in fact, give me financial peace. Do you think that’s because I charged it at Barnes and Noble?