OPINION: Wine and YA coming your way | Opinion

A hunter murders a faerie. A tribal member battles a new threat. An email slips into the wrong hands. A deadly lie told four different ways. These are but a few of the compelling stories you’ll discover in the world of Young Adult fiction.

Young Adult (YA) is a staple of our patrons’ literary consumption. Though YA fiction is marketed for readers age 12 to 18, the category has experienced crossovers into adult fiction with its poignant and timely stories on social issues, mental health, and personal identity. Not to mention with the insurgence of both dystopian and high fantasy into mainstream popularity, Young Adult has released best-selling genre fiction from authors like Sarah J. Maas, Marie Lu, and Leigh Bardugo.

“I read YA because I like something different,” says Maycie Carman, Assistant Public Support Services Coordinator. “I feel like adult fiction tends to follow the same algorithm, but with YA, there’s always something new.”

This passion for YA literature sparked Carman’s interest in hosting a new book club at the Derby Public Library. Wine and YA is an adults-only, 21+ book discussion covering exclusively YA novels. Paired with each meeting will be a serving of wine and other alcoholic beverages. Wine and YA will be an after-hours event and require photo ID from participants.

Carman says, “I know other adults that read YA, and I wanted to give them an opportunity to discuss these stories in a way that only an adult can.”

When asked about the age difference between the central characters of Young Adult novels and herself or her readers, she remarks that, “These stories are really about figuring out who you are, and I think that’s something that we all deal with, no matter the age.”

Young Adult novels have been known to tackle adult themes, regardless of their reader demographic. With books like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas or Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, topics like racial injustice, assault, and death are all on the table. Yet other novels like Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir or Dread Nation by Justina Ireland cover the same topics through the lens of the fantastical.

“By diving into a discussion with adults, we can explore the bigger, darker picture, but we can also have fun.”

The first meeting of the Wine and YA Book Club is May 20 at 6 pm Carman encourages interested patrons to take the month of April to read the first selection, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

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