Guest Post – Celebrating YA by Cynthia Murphy
Today I am honoured to bring to you a brilliant guest post from awesome blogger, writer, friend and basically all round awesome human being who I hugely admire, the lovely Cynthia Murphy.
Cynthia has been doing a fantastic job blogging recently about mental health in UKYA and following an article that was released this week (that shall not be named) asked if I would feature a guest post here on Tales.
I jumped at the chance and can confirm that and can confirm that this blog post is glitter free…..
Another week, another article shaming young adult literature. Is it just me, or is it getting boring now?
Yes. Yes, it is.
I’m proud to say that I, unlike some newspapers which shall remain nameless, have been busy setting up a blog series that actually celebrates YA, instead of constantly tearing it down. I have actually read these books and loved them, just like many of you.
My first post was on Halloween reads – all a far cry from cute and glittery, without a manic pixie dream boy in sight. There’s some cracking teen horror around at the moment (I’m 32 and had to read FROZEN CHARLOTTE with the lights on) that has come a long way since the Point Horrors I read as a teen. You can see the rest of my creepy reading recs here.
Yesterday, I posted something very close to my heart – Mental Health in UKYA. The books I covered were all excellent examples of how young adult literature is making a difference for readers. In five book recommendations (which you can see here
I had covered PTSD, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD and attempted suicide. Two of those books just happened to be titles from Zoella’s book club, the very one that was unnecessarily criticised this week. Yet I think these books are important, not only because they allow readers to explore content they may not be familiar with, but because they are good. They are well written, adventurous and often hilarious. They allow you to see yourself in the character. They make you laugh, cry and gain empathy and understanding of serious topics in a compelling way. What’s so cute and glittery about that?
As I’ve been concentrating on UKYA, I’m delighted to be guest blogging for Chelley, as this way I’m able to recommend some more wonderful, important books from around the world. As far as I’m concerned they’re all excellent depictions of a wide range of issues and genres, as well as being fabulously well written. I hope you agree and that you find your next great read amongst the list!
The Micah Grey Trilogy by L.R. Lam
One of the most beautifully written fantasy worlds I’ve ever come across. This series has just been re-released and features an intersex main character who craves freedom and runs away to the circus. I dare you not to fall in love with Micah.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book made me laugh, ugly cry and feel all the feelings. It touches on the issues of growing up as a mixed race teen, poverty and abuse, all while making you yearn for first kisses and hand holding on the bus. Plus, I really want to borrow Park’s X-Men comics.
The Spinster Club Series by Holly Bourne
Holly has captured exactly what it’s like to be going through sixth form and does it with real feeling and some pee-inducing laughs. Though the books link together, each can be picked up as a stand-alone and they cover mental health, drinking, dodgy dates, split families and feminism. Oh, and how could I forget the cheesy snacks?
Crush by Eve Ainsworth
A story told from two points of view, Crush examines an abusive relationship as it plays out, from start to finish. It’s beautifully done and not only looks at why the relationship is wrong, but what leads both parties to act the way they do. Important and empathetic.
You can check out a Tales Of Yesterday review of Crush here
Or a Q&A with Eve Ainsworth here
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Parker Grant is one of my favourite characters. Yes, she’s blind, but she’s bolshy, bright and full of resolve, too. She has taught herself to navigate around her home town, but finding her way through family problems and relationships proves a lot more difficult…
Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield
Heart. Wrenching. Paper Butterflies examines the physical and mental abuse of June, a character you will want to wrap up in a blanket and hold until it’s all over. The ending was a million miles away from what I expected and absolutely broke me. An important lesson on why you should always speak out and characters you won’t forget in a hurry.
Well, there you have it. I could go on and on and on but I think I’ve made my point. YA is exploring important topics in amazing ways and if you don’t believe me, give one of the books above a try and let me know how it goes.
You can find a Tales Of Yesterday review of Paper Butterflies here
You can find my Celebrating #UKYA series over at The Scribblers (https://thescribblersonline.com/) where I will be covering a different topic every two weeks. The next one will be live on Friday 25th November and is on those books that are breaking taboos in UKYA, including the fabulous ASKING FOR IT by Louise O’Neill and THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson, to name just two.
You can find a Tales Of Yesterday review of The Art Of Being Normal here
Or a character Q&A with Lisa Williamson here
I hope to hear from some of you with your thoughts and recommendations and if a certain newspaper is reading, I’d be happy to write you some honest reviews of books I have actually read…
About Cynthia Murphy
Cynthia is a primary school teacher from Manchester who loves to read, write, bake and eat. She will read anything and everything and favourites include The Historian, The Secret Garden, Harry Potter and Eleanor & Park, to name a few. She’s inspired by her travels and believes that magic is real…
Cynthia also blogs over at https://cynthiamurphywrites.wordpress.com where she has documented how meeting her literary agent led to a breast cancer diagnosis.
She is currently editing her debut novel, a contemporary middle grade mystery and is repped by Nicola Barr at Greene and Heaton.
You can follow Cynthia on twitter – @Cyn_Murphy
The home of The Scribblers – a group of writers on a whirlwind adventure from slush pile to publication – from slush to lush! The Scribblers are a group of writers who first met on the CBC Online Writing for Children Course with Catherine Johnson in Autumn 2015.
A huge thank you to Cynthia for such a fab guest post!
Have you read any of these brilliant books? What books would you recommend? I would love to here from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !