Adults reading YA Lit has become common place these days, for better or worse. For better, adults no longer have to be embarrassed admitting they read it. For worse, the publishing industry has gotten wind of this and, unsurprisingly, destroyed much of what used to be so good about YA Lit. What I mean is the gratuitous sex and violence that is being dumped into YA simply for marketing reasons. I want to laugh at publishers for this because avoiding those very things is why so many of us turned to YA Lit to begin with. The second negative has been the oversaturation of the YA supernatural and dystopian genres. It seems like 99% of YA lit these days is yet another retread of Twilight or Hunger Games.
If you’ve been bemoaning these same things I have, then here’s a recommendation for you: Ally Carter. There are two series that I love by her, and the first one is the Heist Society series. Think Oceans 8 with teenagers. Is it escapist? Yes. Is it just plan fun? Yes. I for one prefer that to yet another supernatural angst filled orgy or a depressing drama about the world ending. (Don’t get me wrong, I liked The Hunger Games and Divergent, it’s just there’s only so much of that I can read before I get depressed. Not to mention the way I threw Mockingjay against the wall. Twice.)
In addition to escapist fun, these books have amazing characters that you want to root for. (Even though they’re - you know - criminals.) Just like Oceans 11 and 8, this is a heist crew with a code. I was also surprised how much I adored Hale. The poor little rich boy routine usually has me rolling my eyes, but Hale was different. It’s a testament to Carter’s superb tongue-in-cheek writing. She also does plot twists the right way. i.e. emotionally satisfying ones that fit the narrative rather than plot twists that yank the rug out from under you. (Did I mention how I threw Mockingjay against the wall?) Let’s just say the reader gets conned sometimes right along with the mark.
In addition to the above titles, there is also a Christmas novella called The Grift of the Magi that I just finished that I adored. It takes place after the third novel. There’s also a novella called Double Crossed which is like a fanfic mash up with my other favorite series by her, Gallagher Girls.
Gallagher Girls, oh how I love those … but that’s for next time.
I am a former English teacher turned homeschool mom of three who writes Christian romance novels on the side. You know, in my huge amount of spare time.