I spent a bit of time over the weekend at the middle-grade fiction and YA section of the bookstore, where I was mistaken for a 12 year old.
Other than that mildly embarrassing incident, it was really interesting to see what was, y'know, popular. In demand.
So today here's a bit of rambling about teen (YA) books.
I often think about (and promptly forget) how there isn't a real big 'teen fiction' market in Japan. Don't get me wrong, teens still read stuff in Japan. Just that a separate prose fiction market hasn't really developed, in my opinion.
I guess the abundance of manga for all ages (ie. older end of shonen/shojo manga are most applicable for teens) is a factor.
Another is the cheapness of paperbacks. Well, they have dust jackets and are called 'bunkobon'. They can range from the niche to paperback editions of popular hardcovers, classical lit to mass entertainment, and the cheapest one is about 5 dollars.
Then there's the 'light novels', which are character-driven, really really entertainment-focused novels that are almost like manga in prose. Those are really fun, but not necessarily for teens - it's probably "for teen and up".
So when I looked at the YA section the other day, it was really interesting to have in front of you all the 'teen stuff' laid out. It's nice to have a section dedicated to the teen market.
I gotta say, sometimes a good vampire, zombie, fallen angel, dead boyfriends, and all that jazz, aren't exactly a bad thing even if you're over the age of 17. Plus, the over-abundance of romance (and often vampires) doesn't negate the fact that a lot of the stories deal with so many things (identity, family relationships, social acceptance...) that are relevant to teens.
As much as I'd love to start reading my multiple YA novels (and one middle-grade book), I feel like I don't have the time... Plus, I'm on my 6th round of Liou (forever my favorite book), so I gotta prioritize that.
I've been in a Japanese kind of mood lately.