Friday, July 18, 2008

Apocalyptic fiction

I find this trend (mini-trend?) toward apocalyptic YA novels a bit odd but any time Newsweek decides to write about children's books it should be encouraged. Coincidentally, I decided it was finally time for me to read Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life as We Knew It, and began reading last night. I have read many, but not all of her books, and among my favorites are Starring Peter and Leigh, The Year Without Michael, and Most Precious Blood (which I got to read in manuscript form when I was at Bantam, I believe). Those may be more my style but several friends whose taste is similar to mine really liked Life as We Knew It. Moreover, I admire authors like SBP who don't simply write the same book again and again. On the other hand, she has written some real potboilers such as her books about the March girls.

1) Note that apocalyptic is not easy to spell!

2) I remember now that I didn't care for the acclaimed How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, which also falls into this genre, but that was partly because the heroine's relationship with her cousin seemed kind of creepy and incestuous. The author's deliberate lack of punctuation was annoying but I think I just found the book boring once the heroine left New York.


LaurieA-B said...

In May and June I read so many YA books about horrible futures (Little Brother, The Sky Inside, The Dead and the Gone, The Compound, Exodus, probably more) that it all became rather depressing (and I DO like apocalyptic fiction! Now I know not to read it all at once, though). I found Pfeffer's both quite compelling, but the second one is much more grim and sad than the first.

CLM said...

Well, it was your enthusiasm that made me decide it was Time. The book is good but does have the feel of being a sequel (for instance, references to the deceased friend and her parents' recent divorce).