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Utah natives Krysti Meyer and Sarah Cleverley are the founders of the "YA and Wine" book club. They discuss young adult, or YA, literature both online and in their monthly meetings at The King's English Bookshop.
What do you wish more people understood about this genre?
KM: That it’s more than just the blockbuster movies like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games or Divergent. YA’s not really a genre — there are various genres within YA. YA’s just an age. It’s basically a level of appropriateness that publishers apply to books. So if books like a lot of Charles Dickens’ works, or Jane Austen’s, or “The Catcher in the Rye” or “To Kill a Mockingbird” had been written today, they’d be labeled as YA, and I think a lot of people would skip over that experience of reading them just because they’d have that YA label on them. People kind of discredit those kinds of books, when really they have so much value to them.
SC: I think people see it as high school or kid reading. They think it’s for a younger audience, when really the majority of our group members are probably in their 20s or higher. I think people misunderstand the age range to which it actually applies.
What are you reading right now?
KM: Right now we’re reading “The Hundredth Queen,” which we’re really excited about. It’s by a local debut author; her name is Emily R. King. That book actually (came) out on June 1. Emily’s going to come to our meeting, do a Q&A with the whole book club, sign books and just hang out with us. She’s actually the first local author we’re having come in with us. We’re really excited and we hope we have more in the future.
What book would you recommend to people who are new to this genre?
KM: I think a great introduction to YA literature, if you haven’t read any of it and you want to step away from the big blockbuster movies, is the Throne of Glass series, by Sarah J. Maas. It’s really, really engaging and addictive. And there’s also this book by local author Tricia Levenseller. It’s called “Daughter of the Pirate King,” and it’s just so much fun. It’s like if Captain Jack Sparrow was a girl.
SC: The Infernal Devices series. I always recommend that one when people ask me. I think it’s a really cool world. The characters are awesome, and they have a lot of really important themes.
"YA and Wine" book club founders Krysti Meyer and Sarah Cleverley recommend:
"The Hundredth Queen,” by Emily R. King, Skyscape, $9.99, 300 pages (f)
Throne of Glass series, by Sarah J. Maas, Bloomsbury (f)
“Daughter of the Pirate King,” by Tricia Levenseller, Feiwel & Friends, $17.99, 320 pages (f)
“Dark Breaks the Dawn,” by Sara B. Larson, Scholastic Press, $17.99, 320 pages (f)
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $12.99, 368 pages (f)
“Denton Little’s Deathdate,” by Lance Rubin, Ember, $9.99, 368 pages (f)
“Caraval,” by Stephanie Garber, Flatiron Books, $18.99, 416 pages (f)
“Strange the Dreamer,” by Laini Taylor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 544 pages (f)