Thursday, June 11, 2009

Young adult doesn't mean stupid.

I was a really looking forward to reading Kim Harrison's first YA (young adult) novel Once Dead, Twice Shy as she is one of my favorite authors of all times. She writes the Hollows series and it is fabulous. But I think that sometimes authors have this idea that YA books are somehow easier than adult books. They aren't. Of course, the review on Booklist did warn me. It did say that the world's architecture is confusing even after several explanations, but that the story is engrossing. It is an exciting story. The characters are interesting. But it really irritates me that she doesn't do them justice. I've read what she can do. I know how she can take a minor character like the guardian angel Grace and turn her into someone you cry over over. I know that her villians in this book are not only paper cutouts, but of paper so fine you can almost see through them. Madison barely even has dialogue with them. How can the reader create an emotional connection and fear for Madison's safety when she doesn't understand the villian? Doesn't understand what drives the villian?
Teens are scary smart. They will smell out the little nods to Twilight on this book (the divorced parents, girl shipped off to dad, girl trying to fit in at school). They will see that the world's construction doesn't make sense, but that with thought and time it could have. That it could have been amazing!
There are some great characters here. Don't get me wrong. I still read it in a day. I still plan on reading the next in the series in hopes that Kim wises up and gets smart and writes for her YAs like she does for everyone else: fully and completely.

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