A gift from a god can be good. But what if it is damaged?
The YA Novel.
I confess that I wrote Justi without any notion that it was a Young Adult novel. When my publisher put it in that category, I saw the features that would so classify it.
The protagonists Justi and Mercerio are teenagers, and they are potentially in love. The stage is set from the start at Justi’s arrival when we hear from Mercerio’s POV how she reacts:
Mercerio entered the common room to find her mother hugging a middle-aged man. Also present were a pretty woman with black hair that had a blue tint to it, an older man, and someone of approximately her own age, a handsome boy with a seriousness about him and the blondest hair she’d ever seen on a male. Especially intriguing was his height: he was taller than she.
Justi’s reaction in his POV (separate scene, of course) is equally suggestive of things to come:
…Justi glanced at Mercerio, observing a face framed by long hair the color of pitch. Pretty, he thought. Maybe even beautiful.
Their relationship encounters the difficulties of all teenager affairs. First they like each other. Then they don’t. Each misunderstands and misinterprets the other. Even before the first encounter is over, there is strife when Mercerio asks how Justi feels about killing. He answers, “There was hardly time to think about it.” She responds, “You seem so callous about it….” Justi feels chastised and blurts, “…you were not there, and yours is a typical female attitude. I did what a man has to do.” The argument escalates. Mercerio says, “You are like a dangerous, wild beast of great strength, but little intelligence.” Justi responds, “Now I’m a wild beast. And a stupid one.” He leaves in a huff.
The attraction between the two is summed up my Mercerio’s friend Aylinor, who says, “So, this handsome Justi is wild and angry and different and that bothers you. Clearly you like him and want him to like you.” Mercerio, in denial, responds, “How do you get such notions, Aylinor? Like him? I can barely stand to be in his presence.” Mercerio leaves in a huff.
The YA novel seems to include young characters who interact, a tale told in the young adult point of view (POV), often in a first-person POV, perhaps convincing use of YA language, and main issues of interest to the YA reader (relationships between young people; career choice, coping with personal difficulties, purpose). By these criteria, Justi the Gifted qualifies in this fiction category. I think of the novel as for young adults or adults who are young at heart.
Remember what Steven Colbert said: “As far as I can tell, a young-adult novel is a regular novel that people actually read.”
Justi the Gifted, an epic fantasy tale by R.R. Brooks, has just been published by LeoPublishing L.L.C. See Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstore.