It’s been a while since I read a YA novel. Not quite as long as it’s been since I was YA myself, but close. (Don’t even think about asking how long that is; I’ll only plead the fifth.) But there’s been some exciting writing going on in the YA world for some time now, and much of it is either science fiction or fantasy. Since my son will soon be moving into that age bracket, I’m going to be familiarizing myself with what’s out there and passing on some of my recommendations to you.
The first of these recommendations is Feyland: The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp. Before I discuss the book’s plot or its themes, I want to say something up front. I have no sisters, my wife has no sisters, we have no teenage daughters, nor have I ever been a teenage girl. Teenage girls are some of the hardest characters in fiction for me to relate to. I can usually relate to children or women, but teenage girls don’t think like I do. At all. I taught high school for a couple of years, so I have spent time around them. They just weren’t on the same planet I was much of the time. (You could argue I’m not on the same planet as most people most of the time, but that’s the subject of another post.)
Why do I bring this up? Ms. Sharp has created two distinct characters, one male and one female, and not only made me care about them but made me see the world through their very different eyes. I had some reservations when I first agreed to review this book because I wasn’t sure I would be able to relate to the teenage female character. I’m very glad to say those reservations turned out to be completely unfounded. Continue reading