Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Old to Young

Today’s RTW question from YA Highway is: What non-YA character would you love to see star in a YA book as themselves?

This is a fun question because Young Adult is the best! When I’m not reading teen novels I tend towards older classics—Austen, Brontës, Hardy. Yet many of those books, Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre for example, are basically YA: a girl in her late teens or early twenties falls in love and ends up with the man of her dreams. The main difference being that the ‘happily ever after’ of a 17th or 18th-century novel is marriage while today in contemporary novels we (normally!) stick to dating. So although Emma Woodhouse or Bathsheba Everdene would make fascinating YA heroines, they more or less already are. But there are plenty of adult or side characters from classic novels that could make for interesting teen protagonists—Rochester’s younger exploits, even before the (non PG-13 rated) adventures he tells to Jane. Or the story of the teenaged Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers. It could be a very creepy psychological thriller!

Are there any other adult characters from classic literature that you’d like to in a staring role in a teen book?


  1. I'm with you on Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers...good idea.

  2. I rescued a copy of REBECCA from a closing Borders, so I'm finally going to read that one soon.
    Have you read WIDE SARGASSO SEA? It's on my TBR; not exactly a YA retelling but the madwoman from JANE EYRE telling her story.

  3. @Rebecca: So glad you're going to read REBECCA...I've been after my best friend to read it for years!

    I have complicated thoughts on WIDE SARGASSO SEA. I read it for class twice, once in high school and once in college. In high school I hated how the author manipulated the story I love. But in college I could appreciate it for its beautiful language. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts!