Fifteen-year-old Jimmy Lagrange likes cheeseburgers, video games, and girls. He makes better than average grades in school, and he stays in shape with weightlifting, tennis, and Taekwondo.

And, one night a month when the moon is full, between midnight and dawn, his blood boils and his joints ache and every cell in his body howls with an insatiable hunger for flesh. His teeth become fangs. His hands become claws. His eyes glow red and a coarse coat of brown and black fur covers his body.

Tonight’s the night.

Jimmy only knows of one way to stop the transformation--a prescription sedative he buys for ten dollars a tablet from a dealer at school. He scores the pill, and spends most of sixth period and an hour of detention afterward trying to convince his girlfriend Loren that he doesn’t need counseling for drug abuse. Loren’s not buying it, though, and when they get to her house she manages to flush Jimmy’s “dope” down the toilet.

Now, with no way to stop himself from morphing into a snarling, bloodthirsty beast at midnight, Jimmy heads home. Maybe he can sneak deep into the woods, where there’s no chance of harming another person. Maybe he can borrow ten dollars from Mom and find another dose of medication on the street.

Unfortunately, when he turns the key and opens the front door, Jimmy Lagrange’s problems multiply exponentially.

RED MOON. They say there’s nothing more frightening than a werewolf...

They’re wrong.

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16 and 17 year olds don't read YA novels, right? They didn't when I was that age, just 7 years ago. At that age in school, you're already reading The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, Frankenstein, The Awakening, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Wuthering Heights, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Death of a Salesman, Oedipus Rex, Heart of Darkness. Those are the books I read at that age (I'm talking required reading in school).

I can't imagine anyone above middle school age being caught dead with a YA book. Of course, I say that judging by my own experience alone, but I don't recall reading any younger material past middle school (stuff like The Giver, The Green Book, A Day No Pigs Would Die, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc). A 16 or 17 year old would certainly be beyond YA level (aside from the rare popular book, like Harry Potter, which is read at all age levels).

You'd better grasp the mind of a teenage if you treat him as an adult (in level of thinking at least, not necessarily in level of responsibility, though I believe if the child has been raised properly, this isn't much of an issue) rather than a creating a dividing line arbitrarily and seeing him as a "young adult". Teenagers think of themselves as adults, and I know at that age I was already thinking on a deeper level than many of the adults I knew. At 17, you are starting to learn calculus, so there has to be some advancement in thinking in teenagers.

Urban Dictionary, by the way, is used by adults too, probably more so. You're not going to capture the mind of a teenager by artificially dumbing them down and reducing their mental state to a collection of obscure slang terms. They're not so different from adults.
yeah, YA is a whole different world now. Not the YA of 10 years ago, that's for sure. Lots of great stuff being written that geezers can even enjoy.
I guess, then, what I don't get is why there needs to be a "YA" market. The Stephanie Meyers books would fall under what I said about Harry Potter, books that are read at all age levels. So why do those books need to be marketed under "young adult"? The books I mentioned, such as The Giver, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc, is what I think about in terms of YA. I didn't realize there was another step in between those kinds of books and adult books.

So why is there one? How do YA books differ in content from adult books? Because high schoolers know about sex and drugs and complex political issues; so why hold any of that back? When I think YA, I think there has been some level of, not necessarily censorship, but filtering of reality to reflect the minds of kids who may not be ready for such things. Which is why I can't reconcile this idea of YA and high school students, because high school students have the intelligence level (if not the wisdoms of responsibility) of adults, so why filter anything out?

Certainly, teenagers want to break out of the reading lists. I just gave those lists to show that high school students study adult works, so it's not like they aren't "ready" for them.
I think the age of the protagonist is the biggest factor in labeling something YA these days. That and being in tune with the unique problems and issues teens face on a daily basis. Some of the YA out there is just as edgy as adult fiction. There's really not much filtering going on. Not for the kids' sake. Of course, you have to take parents and librarians into consideration for marketing purposes.

How 'bout it Margot? Are there certain titles banned in your area because of content?
Thanks for the link, Margot. Because the jargon is constantly changing, though, it's probably wise to use slang sparingly. Don't want to call something "groovy" and then have readers rolling their eyes two years later when the book comes out.

If my character uses "dope," or some other antiquated terminology, it's with a sense of sarcasm. You know, delivered from the side of her mouth. :)
And you can use dope--just know that it means something other than pills or maijuana...

I know. It means cooli-ronie. ;)
LOL! I'll take all that into consideration, Jon.


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