Contemporary Conversations

ContempConvos: Why is the YA Thriller/Spy genre underrated and underdeveloped?

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Disclaimer: So this past weekend was my birthday and I may have taken a day or two off. Sorry guys! But here is a discussion post that will make up for my silence this weekend! And yes, I am now 25. SAY WHAT?!

It is time I talk about a very important topic… and that important topic is Why is the YA Thriller/Spy genre underrated and underdeveloped? In other words, Why is it not as BIG as other YA sub-genres?

Think about this. You walk into a bookstore and beeline directly to the YA section. You see YA fantasy, YA paranormal, YA contemporary, YA dystopian, etc., but you don’t see a special section dedicated to the YA thriller/spy novels. Why is that?

First, we all know that there aren’t many YA spy/thriller novels out there to begin with. If we think long and hard about YA authors writing books for this specific sub-genre, there aren’t many. We have Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Ally Carter, Abby McDonald, and Lauren Oliver. But if you try to think even harder, you may come up empty-handed like I do.

I’m a big fan of the spy/thriller genre. I love me a good spy/con-man story that has you constantly at the edge of your seat. And the thing is those novels are not badly written, they are good, but why are they not as big as others from other sub-genres?

It just makes me sad that not many authors explore this sub-genre as much and that might be part of the problem. There are only a few household names when we think of the Thriller/Spy sub-genre.

I personally think it is because not many people want to take the risk of writing a thriller/spy/con man novel without the paranormal or fantasy element. It is much easier to go down the route many have gone than one that many have not passed through.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there more YA thriller/spy novels out there that I haven’t discovered yet?

Talk to me! I want to know what you guys think!

Contemporary Conversations

The Beginning of Contemporary Convos Round 2 – Week 1 – Thrillers (& Spies)

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EEEEEEKKKKKK! IT HAS BEGUN! *hits gong*

First of all, add your name and a link to your blog to our linky at the bottom of this post. We would also be forever grateful if you made a post that announced your intention to participate, and spread the word! The more the merrier!

Second, plan your books! Liz and I will be previewing the books we will be reviewing at the beginning of each new week if you would like to read and discuss them with us!

Third, have fun! We’ll be reviewing and writing discussions, but anything and everything goes.

Last, but not least, use #contempconvos on Twitter. It will help everyone find your posts from the month!

*drum roll*

This week’s theme is thrillers/spies

I feel like this subgenre of YA Contemporary is overlooked most of the time, so we must bring light to it!

Posts to come this week:

  • Review of We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean
  • Review of This Is Where IT Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
  • Review of Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Review of Holding Court by K.C. Held
  • Discussing why the thriller/spy/con-man genre is not BIG in the YA contemporary world?

Don’t forget to link your initial participating post down below and let the fun begin!

 

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Book Events, Interviews

Magic and Mayhem Tour with Leigh Bardugo

Written by Liz Brooks

I sit in the front row of a small section of the Ellicott City Barnes and Noble waiting. On the edge of my seat, delighted, nervous, vivacious. This is an event I have been waiting for since I first read Shadow and Bone. The Magic and Mayhem tour with Leigh Bardugo for her newly released book, Six of Crows. She is animated, hilarious, and beautiful. She is gracious and genuine. She meets and exceeds all my expectations.

Leigh Bardugo read two excerpts. One from a book she started when she was 12 years about siblings Blood and Jared. It was amusing to see where Bardugo started and how far she has come. She followed that up with a scene from Six of Crows. One where Nina first meets Matthias- my two favorite characters from.

After the readings, there was a wonderful Q&A.

  1. The easiest character for Bardugo to write was Matthias- he is dogmatic and a drama queen. Whoever she was writing at the time was her favorite or least favorite depending on how you looked at it.
  2. She loved writing her contemporary stories. She liked uncovering secrets where we live.
  3. She has a lot of favorite YA authors- Laini Taylor and Maggie Stiefvater.
  4. Her idea for the Grisha world was Imperial Russia. Russia occupied the role of the great suppressor. Kertch is crafted after the Dutch Republic with a little Las Vegas thrown in.
  5. It took her less than a year to write Shadow and Bone. And she didn’t publish her first novel until she was 35.
  6. She always knew she wanted to come back to the Grishaverse and write a story about a Witch Hunter (Fjerdan) and a Witch (Ravkan). She had ideas about Kaz Brekker but didn’t know where he fit into the story until she came up with the idea for the heist.
  7. She cried when she received Six of Crows in the mail.
  8. The Darkling has a sweet tooth.
  9. She might write a novella about Nikolai one day.
  10. She uses music to help her write. Sinister Kid by the Black Keys is Kaz Brekker’s anthem.
  11. She is currently reading Angela Carter short stories, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, and a book about art heists (I wonder why that is).

After the Q&A, she signed books and took photos.

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Quote from Mal in the Grisha series.
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“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.”
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Cup and Crow tattoo.

Overall it was a fantastic event. My review for Six of Crows can be found here. I can’t wait till Fall 2016 for the follow-up Crooked Kingdom. Check out the book reveal video hereLeigh Bardugo can be found on tumblr, twitter, and facebook.

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