A New Twist to Old Classics

teen books display

One of my favorite things about working in the library, is perusing the newest trends in the YA literary genre. Why would someone my age be so interested in this particular genre? Because of all the amazing, well-written, and overall quirky level of it. When I was a teen, YA literature didn't really exist quite yet. My generation went from reading Judy Blume books, straight into  Anne Rice and  Danielle Steel. When I began working for San Jose Public Library, I was amazed at the amount of books in the Teen Room and how the writing was engaging and covered multiple styles of writing. There's something for everyone, whether it's fantasy, steampunk, classics, dystopian scifi, or all the the above.

Recently, I noticed a trend within the YA books where a character from a classic novel is reworked into a new story. Sometimes, the classic story is used as the "bare bones" and a new character is introduced to give another perspective on the classic tale.

book 1 of seriesbook 2 Book 3

One of the best examples of this is Megan Shepherd's series, The Madman's Daughter trilogy. These books create a character alongside the classic story The Island of Dr. Moreau. Megan Shepherd takes the "bare bones" of the classic story while creating a new character of Dr. Moreau's daughter. The trilogy expands into another classic story with a character created from the story of Frankenstein.

Book 1 OppelKenneth Oppel takes the classic character of Victor Frankenstein, giving him a back story full of family drama and an obsession with alchemy.




Dr Jekyll reworkedThis book begins as a prequel to the events of the classic story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with a novel set in the 1790s Paris, complete with witchcraft, science, and shapeshifting.




ironskin bookTina Connolly's Ironskin bears quite a resemblance to the classic Jane Eyre. This book is listed as adult fiction but may appeal to teen readers familiar with the novel Jane Eyre.




Do you have a favorite YA genre or book? Let us know in the comments below!



I have recently been exploring YA as well and I love the variety available! Currently I am reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer and I was hooked at the first page!

I started getting into YA over the past year and while I haven't read that many books yet, I'm looking forward to discovering more! I loved _Dumplin'_ by Julie Murphy, such a great read. I enjoyed _The Grasshopper Jungle_ by Andrew Smith - weird, awkward, interesting, gross and creative! Currently reading _My Lady Jane_ by Cynthia Hand.

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