Thursday, October 20, 2011

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 examines its appeal for those who prefer Young Adult literature.

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Handle with Care is a great fit for teens who read issue fiction or enjoyed the movie adaptation of Picoult’s other novel My Sister’s Keeper. Told in alternate narratives, this story is quick and easy to read. It tackles difficult and interesting topics such as family relationships, fitting in, bulimia and cutting. It also has the element of Willow’s illness, which might be appealing to teens wanting to branch out from typical issue fiction. Teens interested in adult legal fiction will also find this book compelling.

YA Connection: Willow by Julia Hoban

Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation website


We Heart YA said...

Love this feature!

Jodi Picoult does a great job with her books of combining big issues with human drama. The Pact is another good example, although it's much heavier/darker than My Sister's Keeper. House Rules is a newer one, and on the lighter side. (There's still a death, but the narration and the issues aren't so grim.)

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