How Does YA Lit Inspire You?

5326433638 444be940f4 m How Does YA Lit Inspire You?Being a YA book blogger, I’ve come in contact with a lot of people who are inspired to write YA literature. Some of them are published authors or soon-to-be published authors. Others are aspiring writers who get excited about the teenage experience in more ways than you can even imagine. Whatever stage they (or you) are at in the YA writing game, they are all inspired to get into the heads of all sorts of teens who are experiencing some major life events for the first time.

From my own experience, I can say with certainty that sometimes a particular novel can inspire a reader to do many things. After I finished reading Natalie Standiford‘s Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters for instance, I was inspired to write a confession of my own in the midst of my review. True, my confession wasn’t directed at Almighty (the Sullivan sisters’ grandmother if you believe it), but to my readers. Still the muse (if there really is one) was definitely at work on that review.

While inspired book reviews are nice, an online encounter that I had earlier this week has led me to ponder something a little different than I normally would on this site:

How does YA lit inspire you?

Why would I ask such a question? Well, I “met” Blayne Beacham on Twitter, and at her request agreed to recommend a bunch of YA novels about young teen girls for a creative project that she’s planning on completing over the course of 2011. No – she isn’t writing a novel, so the recommendations aren’t to inspire her writing. Rather, this professional photographer of architecture and interior design was so inspired by Lauren Oliver‘s debut novel Before I Fall that she’s decided to challenge herself to read 52 more YA books this year and take a photograph inspired by each of the novels she selects, including the aforementioned novel by Oliver, for a photo series of 53 images entitled Before I Fall after the book that inspired her photo project.

I, for one, think this is a great way for Beacham to channel the thoughts and feelings that some amazing YA novels brings up into something all together amazing, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for some of the teen novels that I recommended to her in particular. Most importantly for myself and my readers, this photographer’s inspiration has inspired this very post.

If you have a moment, please check out Beacham’s site and offer her some additional YA reading suggestions. I’m sure that she’ll appreciate your help…though it may make selecting only 52 more books a little difficult. Once you’ve done that please take the time to describe how YA literature inspires you in the comment box below – who knows your inspiration may very well get my own muse working again!

Want to tell your YA lit inspiration story? Check out the About YA Book Shelf page to contact me with your proposal!

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  12 comments for “How Does YA Lit Inspire You?

  1. January 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Hi!! Thank you so much for writing this! I am so happy to hear I inspired you for this post! How cool! I think it will be great, and I really hope we can stay connected throughout this project. I finished “Revolution” last night, and next I am going to read Rhythm and Blues… sounds fantastic!!! Thank you so much for your recommendations and this post!

  2. January 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    You’re so very welcome, Blayne. I would love to keep in touch with you throughout the project. The pictures that you posted already on your site are gorgeous, and I’d love to see what you come up with for a book that I’ve read, like Rhythm And Blues!

  3. January 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I can’t wait to start it!! Going to the bookstore after work!

  4. January 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    What a great idea! I went over to her site and suggested some books :)

    Also, thanks for your thoughtful comment on my “Read Outside Your Comfort Zone” Challenge. I must admit I have steered clear of all the “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies” style books, because I am really leery about mixing Austen with paranormal…but kudos to you for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying those! I took Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters out from the library but it had to go back before I could make a good start on it – I’ll have to try again!

  5. January 6, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Yay! Thanks for suggesting some additional books for Blayne. It sounds like a really amazing project, so I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to spread the news about it.

    You’re so welcome for the comment. I know what you mean about the P&P&Z type books because I had felt the same way before and I know that there are a lot of other people who have similarly negative opinions about the monster mashup genre. I can’t say that I’d enjoy them all, but Jane Slayre, for one, was definitely written in a loving way to Charlotte Bronte’s original. Without that it would have been toast in my books.

  6. January 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I agree, I think a loving hand is essential when dealing with re-tellings of classics. Otherwise it can just come off as parodying the original and the author risks alienating readers! Good point with Shakespeare, he did take a lot of his storylines from previous work by other people.

    By the way, have you read Jane by April Lindner? It’s a YA modern-day retelling of Jane Eyre and I’m on the fence about whether or not to read it.

    Thanks for the recommendations! Kiss It is definitely the kind of YA book I would normally pass on at first glance, so it may make a great choice for one of my challenge reads :)

  7. January 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Yeah, you’re right about the fact that otherwise it could be like parodying and alienating readers.

    I haven’t read Jane yet, but I haven’t heard much about it. Still it’s one I’m interested in too because Jane Eyre is my fave novel. Hope you enjoy it and Kiss It if you read them! :)

  8. January 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    YA inspires me in several ways. One of my favorite ways is in the
    accomplishments of the characters. Who doesn’t want to stand up and
    cheer when Harry Potter successfully shouts “Expecto patronum!” and
    wards off the Dementors? YA also inspires me with the relationships
    that grow in the books. YA books feature friends that are amazingly
    loyal and true. Finally, because many of the characters are between
    childhood and adulthood, I’m constantly inspired by the range of their

  9. January 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    These are all interesting points about YA lit that can inspire readers. Thanks so much for your comment, Samantha!

  10. Jenny Torres Sanchez
    January 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    What a cool idea! I love photography so can’t wait to check out Blayne’s project. I’m heading over to her site next to suggest some of my favorite titles.

    So, YA inspires me to write (of course), but now this project has me thinking and wanting to create something else, too. I love to paint (not very good, but still love it) so maybe I’ll paint something inspired by one of my fav. YA titles. Yay, YA inspiration!!!!! Thanks for the cool post.


  11. January 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Glad you think Blayne’s idea is as great as I think it is.

    Please let me know if you do, indeed, go on to paint something with your YA inspiration. Would love to hear more about it! :)

  12. Marthawelch79
    September 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I am really enjoying your blog, it has provided me an immense information I was searching for months.  I am working on my literature review and it seems that with your blog’s help,I will come up wiht a perfect review.Regards

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