07 Oct

YA Cafe: New-and-Improved Book Club

Posted in Reading, Teen Lit, YA Cafe

Welcome Back to YA Cafe, where book lovers can gather and chat about teen literature. I’m your barista, along with Ghenet from All About Them Words.

Each Friday we pick from a menu of topics and share our thoughts on our respective blogs. We’ve also got plans brewing for interviews, events and even some exciting giveaways, so stay tuned! Join the discussion by responding in the comments, on your own blogs or on twitter using the hash tag #YAcafe.

Today’s Special: New-And-Improved Book Club and October Topic!

Ghenet and I spent lots of time this summer brainstorming new ideas for YA Cafe and one of them is a different twist on the Book Club idea.  We love the idea of having regular discussion about actual YA books (that is the point of YA Cafe after all) but the logistics of getting everyone to read the same book was challenging and sort of felt like school (which is SO not the point of YA Cafe).  So we came up with an alternative.  Instead of “assigning” a specific book each month, we’ll have a monthly theme and you get to choose the book to read that fits that theme.

We’ll announce the theme on the first Friday each month, then you’ll have three whole weeks to choose a book and read it.  On the last Friday of the month we’ll post about the books we read and you can join the discussion either by commenting here or by posting on your own blogs and linking in the comments.

So, without further ado, here’s the theme for October.  Drum roll, please…

October Theme: FEAR!

That’s right, in honor of Halloween and all things creepy, we want you to pick a SCARY book to read for YA Cafe.  But we’re not just talking about things that go bump in the night… there are lots of different ways that fear comes into play in YA.  Here are a few topics come to mind:

• When You’re Dealing with Creepy Creatures:  OK, this one’s pretty obvious, but horror and some paranormal books can definitely fit the theme.  Zombies, vampires, or a good old-fashioned ghost can definitely send chills down the spine.  These books can inspire fear simply because the creatures in them are so… other-worldly.

• When There’s Suspense:  This happens to be my favorite type of scary book.  I love books that keep me perched on the edge of my chair, barely breathing.  Whether these books have a fantasy element or if they are based in a realistic setting, the suspense factor is what keeps me hooked.

• When the World Falls Apart:  This type of book is more subtle because the scary force in the story isn’t a specific character or group of characters.  Rather, in this type of book it’s the world that is scary and the thing that keeps my heart racing is that I want to know if the protagonist will find a way to survive.  A lot of dystopian novels tend to fall in this category.

• When the Character’s Life is Shattered:  Problem novels fit the bill nicely here.  After all, you don’t need the whole world to be on the brink of destruction for a book to be terrifying.  Sometimes it’s enough just for the main character’s world to be shattered.  For me, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak is million times more scary than ahorror story because the situation in that book feels so real.

If you know which book(s) you plan to read or need recommendations, let us know in the comments!

The topic is pretty flexible, so go ahead and choose a book, then think about how the book you picked is scary to you.  Then on October 28, we’ll have our book club.  Get excited!  For more on why FEAR is important in YA, check out Ghenet’s post!


Comments on this post

  1. Cacy says:

    Oooo. I haven’t participated in YA cafe before, but I think I’d like to start. Is just book books, or can comics/graphic novels count to?

    1. gabi says:

      @Cacy–Graphic novels definitely count! In fact, I’d love to hear more about them since that’s a genre within YA that I’m less familiar with. Can’t wait to see what you what you choose for the book club!

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