Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adult Fiction for Teens

While I primarily read YA fiction these days I do enjoy some adult fiction every once in a while. This feature looks at some of the adult fiction I am reading and examine its appeal for those who prefer Young Adult literature.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia peach farm, spends hours imagining a blissful infancy when she was loved and nurtured by her mother, Deborah, whom she barely remembers. These consoling fantasies are her heart’s answer to the family story that as a child, in unclear circumstances, Lily accidentally shot and killed her mother. All Lily has left of Deborah is a strange image of a Black Madonna, with the words “Tiburon, South Carolina” scrawled on the back. When Lily’s beloved nanny, Rosaleen, manages to insult a group of angry white men on her way to register to vote and has to skip town, Lily takes the opportunity to go with her, fleeing to the only place she can think of–Tiburon, South Carolina–determined to find out more about her dead mother

This is a good fit for those who like to read YA realistic fiction that has a focus on character and storytelling. The Secret Life of Bees has a very rich and sometimes lyrical narrative, making this a good fit for people who prefer books by Deb Caletti. The main characters are fun and dynamic, and a lot of the novel is spent on Lily’s reflection of herself and the other characters. There are also elements of historical fiction and a romance that might appeal to young readers. Overall, those who want to be taking away by a descriptive setting and read about a feisty 14 year old girl will enjoy this novel.

YA Connection: Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti


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