Dark, Milk, or White Chocolate?
Richness in the Complex Flavors of Literature
This seems like a pretty basic question, really. You choose chocolate based on your preference for smooth and creamy, light and sweet, or deep and rich. Three kinds of chocolate—a simple decision. But what if we throw in some extra flavor? Perhaps we add toffee, caramel drizzle, chopped macadamia nuts, coconut sprinkles, coffee beans, or some fantastic combination of these. The choice gets more complicated.
For me, this is the world of YA literature. When I first started reading novels, I kept my genre choices simple to get a feel for storyline and character development—romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy. But then I started to taste test the rich flavors of variety. Speculative historical, Otherworld fantasy time travel, paranormal romance thriller, contemporary dystopian tragedy. And I have to say, I love to hear terms created from these crossovers—histopian, technothriller, postcyberpunk, mythopoeia, mannerpunk, and the list grows.
But then my taste became more complex. As an avid movie lover, I believed that sticking to my favorite film genres would lead me to the perfect books. And while I loved Warm Bodies, a sweet, yet disturbing, movie about zombie romance, I could not get into any zombie-themed novels. While I can’t watch slasher or horror movies—The Shining, Scream, and Dale and Tucker vs Evil are about my limit—I’ve found that some of my most memorable reads have been suspense thrillers.
All this to say, don’t let yourself get stuck in a one-genre world. Open a box of chocolates, close your eyes, and take a big bite of the unknown. Venture into new worlds of literature. Enjoy. You may find yourself with a mouthful of mystery sugar-goo; or, you may also find a book you can’t put down.
Write and tweet about your new flavor discoveries #loveYAflavs @BlinkYABooks.