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The Young Adult Writer's Journey

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The Young Adult Writer’s Journey is an excellent jumping off point for those who wish to write for a young audience. The book breaks down in very easy chunks how to approach this style of writing. It looks specifically at the expectations of the audience – the rules – and how writing for a young audience gives you a wide range for expression.

Furthermore, trope and features are highlighted in an easy to understand way with practical examples to help you understand them with context – either by citing a well known film or book for you to compare it to. 

Writers Janet Schrader-Post and Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds really do hold your hand all the way through inception of your story idea to trying to get it published. It is a rarity that a book can take you through every phase in a way that is enjoyable to read and still feel practical.

The Young Adult Writers Journey by Janet Schrader-Post and Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds is available now.

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*I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. No compensation has been given and I write this book review willingly. A big thanks to Tell-Tale Publishing Group and NetGalley!*


It’s no secret that I’m writing young adult (a.k.a YA) novels and series. As soon as I saw this book on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it! Hopefully, it would give me advice and guidance on how to think like a teenager and what it is to be one now that I’m an adult. I was looking to supplement my knowledge both of the craft and my audience.

Guess what?

It did just that and more!

Let’s see how together, shall we?


The Positive Sides
The first and foremost attribute of this YA writing guide is really the knowledge of teenagers and how they feel and think. It is enlightening and well brought! Mostly to adults as we’re writing for teenagers, after all (even though a lot of adults read YA books too, but they’re not our main audience.) Then, I was surprised and overjoyed to find out there is a chapter about writing a series, yay! Also, did you know there are varieties of teen love? It’s wicked good to know! Plus, the explanations go into details such as what to consider with the first kiss scene—quite important for teens discovering love, in my opinion.

Now, what about the craft itself? Well, every stage of writing a novel is tackled such as the beginning, the sagging middle, the climax, the ending, and so on. Geography, both natural and manmade, and precise details like the kinds of crops in fields if you are in the country are touched upon as well. Insightful and a good reminder of how to world-build! The authors give information on writing craft in general such as POVs too, which is very useful. Moreover, there are informative steps-by-steps of the hero’s journey, falling in love, and more events and craft-related topics. The authors offer in-depth suggestions and explanations, which is something to love. You are not left wondering! Not everything is always explained in a step-by-step manner, but it is done so directly for what should be done and what should be avoided in writing YA. Super, super useful!

Something I particularly enjoyed about this book is the many examples. Diverse novels are mentioned as well as movies, comics, and video games (recent and well-known ones!) in order to make the concept of the hero’s journey clearer. It’s also filled with relevant and YA popular examples—quite contemporary ones at that too!

Lastly, the advice is direct and no nonsense. When it is not condescending (which happens frequently), it's very good, sound, and thoughtful. The explanations are of a similar nature: crisp, sharp, and straight-to-the-point.


The Negative Sides
All in all, I like the interspersed jokes but not the mean comments or ways of expressing themselves about bullied kids or rejects and so on. It sounds mocking. As someone who’s been badly bullied, this stood out in a very bad way.

Moreover, the drawings at the beginning of each chapter don't bring anything else to the plate. It doesn't add information, emotions, or else. They seem to play no important part except just to distract visually from the text.

In Conclusion
I greatly enjoyed this book! The Young Adult Writer’s Journey is filled with useful advice. Overall, I give it a rating of 4.5/5 stars—I took away .5 because of the condescending voice, mostly on sensitive topics. Otherwise, this book is SO useful and eye-opening. I will always recommend it as an excellent guide for YA writers of all types. You want to write YA? Look no further and pick up this book already!
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Anyone who has ever tries to write a novel of novella faces many question about how to begin? You think you have an excellent idea set in the fantastic imaginary world where you hero and heroine is on a adventurous journey that you are sure to engross the reader.

But writing a successful novel involves much more than just an idea. The authors take you step-by-step journey where you are forced to ask relevant questions and widen you horizon about things you ought to ask.

Whether you are writing for the first time, or are a fairly successful author who wants to jump into a new genre, this YA writing guide will give you the information you want. It is important to analyze and know you audience before you can write something that they like. In the first couple of chapters, the authors give you a glimpse into the readers world and tell us what they like to read and the kind of prose they prefer to read.

For new writers, the authors deal with how to define your story universe and everything you must think of address before you actually begin writing your story.

But writing success is as much about getting you book out there are it is about the idea and the text. In the last part of the book, you will get more information about how to impress the agents and what they are looking for from authors. The book falls short on information about self-publishing or how to go on your own all the way, but then it is about writing YA for YA.

Overall, whether you are a new writer or someone looking to enter in writing for YA audience, this book has enough information to get you thinking in the right direction and prepare for your first YA book.
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This is a reference book. It is helpful when writing young adult books with expert advice and knowledge from an award-author and editor. They know what is needed to help a writer create. This book will help tell a writer what they need in their writing as well as how to accomplish this and what they should not do. It is well written with all the details needed while explaining what Young Adult writing is including the information needs in these books and what is not included. The authors of this book point out important elements such as knowing the audience, creating characters and designing the plot. They give a variety of useful information. There are good examples included as well that are helpful, such as working with agents or pitching a book and elements after a book is written. This book helps from start to finish in the book creation process, which is helpful.
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Arc of The Young Adult Writer's Journey form NetGalley, DNF at 50% it was just not want I thought it would be.  Giving it 3 stars anyways since it was badly written or anything just wasn't for me.
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I'm mostly just an addicted reader, but I also create many fun plot ideas for books so I thought this would be a fun read. I thought this was okay, though it wasn't anything spectacular. I'm an adult and I usually only read YA because I enjoy the plot lines and it usually avoids the ridiculous language and intense sex scenes of many adult reads. I guess there is a rather wide berth of YA but the author seems to aim it to younger kids than I imagine most of the target audience for YA is. There was definitely a lot of great info throughout though too so an interesting read that is worth reading!
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This is a reference book for novice writers of young adult fiction, who would like an overview of the dynamics within a teenager's lifestyle and reading habits. There were many examples of books, films, and television to identify the premise the author presented in this easy to read book. It is definitely encyclopedic in it's layout. However, I think a lot of the recommendations may be a bit out of touch with certain cultures and what YA readers truly seek out to read. It may behoove a writer to read widely and consult other writing reference books to determine what is the best fit for their writing style.
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I am thinking of writing, but not for this age group, I just sort of wanted to get a feel for it...what's involved. It seems to be a pretty concise how to book that I am sure I am sure will be appreciated by someone wanting to write a YA book.
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***I received this title for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review***

The Young Adult Writer's Journey is a "how-to" for new authors. I think if you are already an experienced writer, a lot of the content in this book is probably second nature and/or you have an editor to help steer you in the right direction. 

For a beginner though, I think this book is a helpful reference piece. Schrader-Post and Fortin-Hinds cover building a novel from beginning to end; touching on genre and structure, how to write characters, the mechanics of writing, and even some on editing/publishing. 

There were some points in the character sections, where I felt their definitions were stereotypical from a certain view-point.. However, the archetypes and hierarchy of teens is a good starting point for making sure you are putting different types of characters in to your novel. I also thought pulling examples from well-known and successful YA books was a good touch. This lets readers see the points made in the book put in to practice - because most people have read Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. 

All-in-all i think this book would be a great help to anyone looking to start their first YA novel.
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After reading just a few pages, I realized that I had no intentions of writing a YA novel and had no need to continue reading. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to view this title.
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Initially I was interested in this book; from early reviews it definitely sounded like a good jumping point for myself (and some friends) looking for a book that gave us a broad overview of the Young adult category. However I find myself agreeing with a couple of other reviewers who feel the book promotes lazy (or at least less in touch) stereotyping when dealing with what the authors coin as "current trends" or "sought after" characters.

This didn't feel like a guidebook that was influenced by the books coming out now (such as books from Adam Silvera, Malinda Lo, Katherine Locke, Sandhya Menon, SK Ali or Tomi Adeyemi) versus books that came out ten or so years ago. In that time a lot of "trends" have become more than just that and readers of all ages are asking for representation that goes beyond those early "tropey" or "trendy" quotas. While the publishing/reviewing world still has something of an issue with constructive criticism of books by Own Voices authors or authors writing outside the "white cishet" experience, there's been a lot of strides to bring that so-called diversity trend into more than just "Hey this is our diverse token!".

That said, there was still bits and pieces that could help writers. Unfortunately at least one of the authors does not take criticism, constructive or otherwise, well and felt a need to argue with at least one blogger's opinions. That automatically makes me want to not recommend something. If I can't hand a book - problematic or otherwise - to someone to read who can not then go online and voice their truthful opinions about the book without fear of being challenged by the author of the title, I can't recommend the book.
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For the most part, this book had some sound advice and good info. I especially loved the sections on the publishing industry and understanding your target audience. My favorite thing about the book was when it talked about WHY we love reading stories. That was super inspiring, impactful, and helpful for my own books. It helped me open my eyes and make sure I'm implementing these things, too. 

butttttttttt there was a lot I didn't like:

1. um it said that a lot of adults read YA yet it focused so much on like 12 year old kids?? Like middle grade is geared more toward 12 year olds. Not that kids that age couldn't read YA, but that's not the target audience.

2. Also it talks about how there's no sex in YA. um HELLO have you read recent YA books? There's plENTY of that going on.
While it is of course important to talk about this topic in a way that's healthy and positive, I do sort of get what the authors are saying. Jumping into a relationship right away and having sex has a lot of consequences. I am religious so I have my own convictions, but I feel like the author's message and intent for this could have been more clear.

3. It mentions SO MANY MOVIES and not a lot of books??? It always talked about the Hunger Games/Harry Potter/etc. movies but rarely mentioned the books.

4. Also it said that President Snow smells like death and Darth Vader can shape shift (or something)? umm NOT TRUE AT ALL. There were also a ton of typos that bugged. It's PANEM not Panam! *shakes fist*

5. There was just a lot of vague-ness. I've read some of the reviews on here criticizing some of the things said and while I agree, it's also hard to make judgments. The authors say something but they might not elaborate a whole lot while also over-explaining other places.

Tbh I skimmed most of the book. either the information was already familiar or I wasn't interested. I do have some sections saved/bookmarked for the future. This book definitely opened my eyes to being more aware of the YA genre and the fundamentals of what makes a good story, which I appreciate. I enjoyed some of the bits I read but there were these (mostly minor) things that annoyed me. That + me skimming most of it = a 2.5 star rating.
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I have read a lot of books about writing for a YA audience, so I'm trying to review this one, keeping in mind that for many people, this will be the first book of this type they have read.    The Young Adult Writer's Journey gives some really good advice on getting to know your audience, crafting a complex plot, creating memorable characters, using archetypes, and what to do after writing your book.  I personally will probably choose to not use the plot structure suggested in this book because I have another one that I like better, but for someone starting out, it's a great structure that will work quite well.  I would recommend this book to anyone who'd like to start writing for young adults.
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I've read a ton of books on writing craft and even though, I write romance and not young adult, I still think the advice in this book was useful to me and will help me improve my craft. The section of the Hero's Journey is particularly useful even though some of that information was rehashed in archetype.

Definitely recommend for writers looking to learn more about structure in general and writing for a YA-audience in particular.

ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own.
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Thank you first to the publisher for approving my request!
3/5 Stars
The Young Adult’s Writers Journey is a short manual on how to write a YA novel. 
It’s a good way to start dipping your toes on how to start on that book. In my opinion, I feel the strongest parts of this book were the chapters describing how to do basic structuring for a novel (hero’s journey, style, point of view). But when it came to character development, or anything having to do with digging into the brain of a real teenager it lacked in those aspects. Not every teen is rebellious, teens shouldn’t be put in specific boxes, (popular, nerds, etc). You could be “popular” or a “nerd” and still deal with deep inner conflict. Other than that, it was a different take on how to write YA, but there should definitely be no rules to writing your own book.
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Thank you to Janet Schrader-Post & Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book. I loved it. I think that it provided a lot of great advice for writers.
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Really helpful. Love this title. Many many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for granting access to this eARC.
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The Young Adult Writer's Journey: An Encyclopedia for YA Writers was an interesting read for me. I think it had some good information within its pages. As a reader, it made admire and appreciate writers even more knowing how much work they have to do to craft a story. 
I give The Young Adult Writer’s Journey: An Encyclopedia for YA Writers three and a half stars. I believe many writers who are looking into writing young adult genre books would find this one as helpful. 
I received this book from the publisher. This review 100% my own honest opinion.
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The Young Adult Writer's Journey is a handy resource for anyone looking to write for the young adult audience. There is a great section on the hero's journey that is especially worth looking into.  The authors use examples of current bestselling novels and movies to help you identify why they were such a hit and how to incorporate those themes into your own stories.

Lots of advice and nuggets throughout the book that will help you to understand how to format and plot your YA novel.  There is also a chapter that gives insight as to what agents and editors are looking for when selecting novels to represent. There is even a chapter on how to market your book before and after publication.  It includes advice on how to create a brand, media kit, book pitch, virtual book tours, and more!   Definitely a useful handbook for aspiring writers or current authors who want to revamp their stories.
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The authors lead us through the main features of young adult books. Topics covered include: structure, characters, world-building, setting, language, point of view, pacing, the ending, writing a series, what agents are looking for, writing with a partner, and marketing. The irony is that the authors themselves don’t have much of a social media presence.

Throughout the book, the authors use Harry Potter as a case study, although the majority of examples are from movies - not books - with major spoilers for movies/books the authors assume we’ve all seen/read. While the scope of the information is impressive, the execution is flawed. The content is repetitive, there are numerous editing and formatting errors, and the structure is disorganized. It’s difficult to see how the different areas discussed relate to one another, as there is no flow. In addition, the content would be greatly enhanced by the use of lists and tables. While it’s commendable that the authors wanted to illustrate their own book, the illustrations by Janet, with one by Elizabeth (Chapter 15), are less than impressive, and they would have been better served by employing a professional illustrator.

Major takeaway: “In order to write for young adults, you must know your audience.”
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