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Young adult literature intriguing, comforting and encouraging

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Karen Healey.

A few months ago, I received a rather enigmatic message on Twitter, asking me whether I'd be interested in helping with the Young Writers' Festival.

As a fourth-year English student, my initial reaction to learning I'd be interviewing an author of young adult (YA) fiction was one of mild apprehension.

I was well-versed in Chaucer and Dickens, and I could recite Keats' poetry until I was blue in the face. But it had been quite some time since I'd delved into the glorious, chaotic genre of YA fiction.

What exactly is YA? Essentially, YA literature involves a teenage protagonist. Regardless of whether they deal with action-adventure, dystopian science fiction or romance, YA novels usually revolve around some irreversible change in the lives of young people.

Given it is a genre focused on young people, however, YA is often belittled and misunderstood by older generations, copping more than its fair share of criticism, especially regarding its perceived lack of depth, simplistic writing style and unrealistic........

© Otago Daily Times