Much like comic book movies, YA (young adult) books are seemingly ubiquitous in theaters. It seems like every month a new movie based on a hit YA novel is getting the big screen treatment. The subgenre is certainly one of the hottest and most lucrative and sought after areas of modern literature, so much so that Wondercon hosted a panel featuring some of the hottest YA writers working today.
The panel featured Melissa de la Cruz (The Ring and The Crown), Jim DiBartolo (In The Shadows), Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle), Alyson Noel (The Immortals), Margaret Stohl (The Icons series), Michael Johnston (Heart of Dread series) and Kiersten White (In The Shadows).
While much of the conversation revolved around their writing process, collaborating with other writers and some of their upcoming novels, the biggest question was saved for the end – What are some of the most underrated and underappreciated YA series? Each panelist named one title that they thought should be getting more love. Here are their responses:
Chime by Franny Billingsley (Amazon)
Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson (Amazon)
Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler (Amazon)
Poison by Bridget Zinn (Amazon)
DiBartolo recommended a book that wasn’t necessarily YA, but thought it was underappreciated (The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey) while de la Cruz and Johnston said they stuck primarily with mainstream titles and didn’t have any to recommend.
Time will tell if any of those titles will become feature films but they certainly bring a new wrinkle to the somewhat monotonous, dystopian world that so many YA adaptations have been set in.