Since I started writing YA books back in 2010, the space in my life for non-children’s books continues to shrink. I want to stay on top of my industry, to support the great literature being turned out by my contemporaries, and to learn and grow as a children’s book writer.
So for a few years, I didn’t touch a book written for audiences over 21. I kept my head inside YA, and then MG (when I started branching out as a writer), and NA.
Until recently. My book club picked up Margaret Atwood’s dystopian MaddAddam series (containing Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam), and boy, was it a learning experience. I think there’s a lot missing from the YA dystopian body of work, despite how saturated it is; very few of our YA dystopians even come close to highlighting in the same stark, frank detail the problems our society will inevitably face in the future as Atwood does. Even now that we’re on the tail end of the dystopian fad in YA, I still fail to see a single YA novel that addresses corporate gluttony and food scarcity (the inevitable future of our over-populated, capitalist society) with the same honesty as the MaddAddam series. (more…)