More than half of today’s YA Readers are over the age of 18. Why? For LOTS of reasons. Here are just a few:
1) The INTENSITY of First-Time Emotion
It’s completely different … and reminds Readers of a time in their lives more focused on Self-Discovery. They want to encounter Feelings that they recognize. These Emotions often lead to Attraction and Romance.
2) Real-Life STRUGGLES
YA Characters cope with Real-Life conflicts and obstacles. They wrestle with important concepts — like Friendship and Personal Identity (who they are and who they should be).
3) Limitless IMAGINATION
YA Fiction is all about Adventure, Exploring the Great Unknown and “Saving the World” from Forces of Evil. YA Characters tend to be Resourceful and Courageous.
4) Personal EMPOWERMENT
YA Characters often discover Hidden Abilities within themselves. This helps them find an identity and strength, becoming EMPOWERED against great odds. Many stories are Female-Driven (like Divergent or The Hunger Games).
5) HOPE for the Future
YA Fiction is generally Hopeful, with an underlying Optimism — even through the Darkness. Readers need to know that they’re not alone (dealing with Feelings like Anxiety or Depression) … and things will get better.
In addition to those above, there’s another Reason, mentioned less often but no less important: Embracing DIVERSITY. The Heroes are often more Diverse. Readers of all ages find themselves drawn to characters they can identify with.
Diversity in YA Fiction offers an opportunity for personal Growth. People-of-color struggle to overcome Obstacles wherever they occur. Increasingly, one can find more Gay, Lesbian and Transgender characters. Its far-reaching scope even contemplates Life elsewhere in the universe.
Embodiment in THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY
In Book 1, A GLEAM OF LIGHT, half-Hopi and still struggling to fit into a White Man’s World, UNA WATERS wrestles with her own definition of self. After leaving her childhood home as an Orphan — vowing to never look back, she returns to Hopiland as an adult, needing to reaquaint herself with her roots — and so the reader comes to learn about Hopi culture and mythology through her eyes.
“I loved the story of the prodigal child returning home after many years, not knowing if she will be accepted or shunned … — JennlyT
“From the moment I opened and read the first pages of this enchanting tale, I was hooked. I found it to be a mystical, otherworldly and totally riveting story … And as you read this wonderful book, you’ll begin to think that all things come together for a purpose and the very fact that you’re holding this great book in your hands was meant to be …” — DTChantel
“Armed with her knowledge, group of friends, and her own strength; Una Waters is in the surprise of her life as she navigates through beings and situations that don’t even seem possible to exist.”— Hannah Kercheval
“Her journey is one of discovery, not only into the events occurring on the peaks and the past, but into herself and the connection she had almost forgotten with the land and life.” — K.J. Simmill, Award-Winning UK Author and Blogger
” I enjoyed how the story was both the sci-fi mystery I was anticipating, but also a journey of the heart for Una.” — Sophia Rose on Audible
In Book 2, THE DRAGON’S GLARE, Una discovers connections between Hopi and Asian Culture (specifically Tibet) that she never anticipated, thanks to sparked memories of Hopi prophecy. Her hidden abilities (revealed by contact with an ancient Hopi artifact in Book 1) enable her to seek help from a Higher power — to resolve a very real crisis that threatens to start World War III.
“I find something in this for everyone. UFO buffs and conspiracy theory aficionados … a bit of romance … and mystery … More importantly I found a message of unity and hope. — Teresa A. Garcia, Star Dragon Publishing
“This book has a little bit for everyone, especially if you believe in aliens and love mythology. There is also a lot of action that is going to keep you on the edge of your seat.” — Jessica Bronder
“Una has been sent on a special assignment mission in Chinatown NYC … As the danger grows and humanity is in grave danger, Una knows that she needs to figure out the seemingly unearthly mystery before it’s too late.” — Hannah Kercheval
“Book 2 introduces a new character, Rufus, who is the computer geek. He adds a little more interest to the story and risks his life to save Una during a pretty spectacular UFO incident … The resolution of the conflict is the twist that wraps up the story, adds to the mysterious and keeps the series going.” — Riley Moreland
In Book 3, BEYOND THE WORLD, Una’s Extraterrestrial connection empowers her to fight back against an ALIEN Conspiracy that threatens the Survival of Humanity. New and old friends join Una in this larger-than-life battle to save the world, which just-so-happens to coincide with a romantic Honeymoon Adventure! It also points to renewed Hope for the Future.
“For Science Fiction fans who are particularly interested in extraterrestrial life, if you haven’t read this series, what are you waiting for? Beyond the World was my favorite of the three novels because the action was fairly quick to start and moved rapidly after that … Even if you are not a big fan of “alien fiction”, I would suggest giving this series a read. Even if you start out a skeptic, you may end up a believer in the end.” — JennlyT
“Upon turning the last page, all I could think of was Richard Dreyfuss in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” – WE ARE NOT ALONE. I get shivers just thinking about it, and of all the wondrous and mystical and mysterious things that come to light in this marvelous book. All I wanted to do was immediately grab the first book in this series and just start all over again.” — DTChantel
“Once again the pace is spot on, the twists a thrilling ride, and the characters and scenarios believable … It takes the narrative of good aliens and bad aliens and then makes it accessible … I think that this whole series ought to be available in high school and middle school libraries.” — Teresa H. Garcia, Star Dragon Publishing
One Reader appropriately describes THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY as “an emotional journey of the heart” for UNA. She makes sensible emotional decisions. As she overcomes each obstacle, Readers can identify with her struggle.
The Trilogy’s Cultural and Racial DIVERSITY explores Alien Mythology around the world, giving it universal appeal — Book 1 Native American, Book 2 Asian American, Book 3 African American.
Like the best books for YA Readers, it can inspire Conversation about Important topics.
Adult Readers will appreciate pop culture references to Star Trek, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET the Extraterrestrial, and more — that will spawn fond memories of why they came to love Science Fiction in the first place.
Your Next YA Read? Try THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY. You may find it to be, in the words of one Reviewer:
“An Experience … like No Other.”