Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Blog Tour: Whisper of Memory - Guest Post + Giveaway

19 Apr 2012

Hellooo everyone :) Welcome to my stop on the Whisper of Memory blog tour, hosted by the lovely Misa @ The Magic Attic. Today, Brinda will sharing a guest post on family relationships in YA! I really hope you enjoy it!<3 There will also be a giveaway at the end of the post, so make sure you stick around :)

Weapons training and winter formals...a deadly combination.

All Mia ever wanted was to fit in at Whispering Woods High. But being a portal-finder who dates a guy from another dimension sort of makes it hard. Mia's brother disappeared over a year ago, and agents from the IIA began policing people's movements through dimensions. She'd trusted Dr. Bleeker from the local university when he'd told her the IIA were the bad guys. But even a girl with an extraordinary ability to sense things can make mistakes.

Now two people are dead, and as a portal gatekeeper for the IIA, Mia needs to find Dr. Bleeker before he hurts anyone else. And her boyfriend Regulus, an Agent for the IIA, carries secrets of his own. Between learning about weaponry, finding the perfect dress for the winter formal, and catching bad guys, who has time to fit in?

Family Relationships in YA

One of the most interesting things about YA today  is the variety of family relationships that you will see. I think that today's popular young adult (YA) fiction is very reflective of real, honest family dynamics.  One very popular topic among writers and readers is the portrayal of parents in YA.

There are many single parent homes in the US today. I see this in YA. The 2010 Census tells us that 23% of children live with only their mothers. If real life says this is the case for one child in three, it should follow suit that a portion of fiction represents this family dynamic.

In my Whispering Woods series, Mia lives with her father.  This is not the traditional single-parent home in the US as only 3% of children live with only their fathers.  In the first book, The Waiting Booth, you see Mia at home alone quite often due to her father's work travel.  This situation gives Mia a lot of independence and responsibility. In real life, I know lots of teens who spend their time unsupervised.

The number of parents a character has (or doesn't have) isn't the only noticeable factor lending conflict to YA novels.  I've read  lots of discussion about a prevalence of bad parents in YA. I actually don't see this. I've read several YA novels this year with parents who exhibit love and affection for their child. There are also book parents who are shallow, unaware, unloving, addicted, manipulative, etc.  I do think authors need to give parents some character depth when they write them.  Although the story is ultimately about the teen main character, readers want more than stereotyped cardboard cutouts of bad or good parents.

YA family relationships have changed to reflect what goes on in our society today.  My novels show a young woman who has a strong relationship with a busy working father and no relationship with her mother. Other YA novels may show teens with guardians instead of parents. I think there's a variety out there, and it's reflective of real world families. What do you think?

You can find the rest of the tour HERE         

Anddd now...for the giveaway! The giveaway is for a Kindle Touch and 20 Romance Trading Cards. Just enter using the rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Shirley, First thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such wonderful comments, much appreciated and I am so happy to return the favor.
    I have not heard of this series but the title is winderful. I am headed over to GR to check it out. This was a thinking post. Yes there are many YA books out there with traditional homes but also plenty that are different. I just finished one with a single dad. Reading one know with two godmothers as the parents. I have also read books with gay parents as well. There is definitely variety out there just like in the real world.

  2. What a great guest post, I always take note of the family situation in YA, it's always interesting to see what sort of relationships will be in each story. Also, I haven't heard of Whisper of Memory but it sounds like a good read - thank for the giveaway!

  3. Hi, Shirley!

    Nice to find your blog and to meet you! I am now one of your followers.

    I agree with the word in your post. I am a former school teacher and I've had the experience of driving a school bus; thus I've experienced first hand circumstances that children and teens have to live under. There are some heart rending stories out there.

    I recall when the latch key stories first hit the news; that's been some time ago and I was in shock! There are so many variables for why children and teens are exposed to the circumstances that they are. Society and all it's ill's is partly the culprit.

    You might enjoy reading my most recent blog; it's relative to some of the issues that teens face in society today.

    Hope you will become one of my new followers!

    I also have a poetry blog at -

  4. Very interesting post. Family relationships in books make for a more intriguing read.

  5. lalaine@ficbookreviews7 September 2012 at 18:49

    Great post Shirley. I have to add this on my reading pile. <3


  6. I'm always looking for fresh reads with fresh ideas.

  7. I swear, Shirley, you are SO unhealthy for my TBR pile! x) Where do you find these amazing books?? Somehow you always manage to tour all these epic ones that I've never heard of before! <3

    This was such a brilliant guest post, Brinda! I've actually been finding that not a lot of YA books have tons of family moments in it lately too (or at least the paranormal ones that I read haha), but when they do, they're SO PERFECT. I'm reading a book right now about a girl with her twin brother in a wheelchair and her parents being oblivious the fact that her boyfriend was abusing her. It's heartbreaking and raw, but the family elements in this book are just so powerful and real that I can't help but love it even more! <3 Thanks so much for sharing this, you two! :)

  8. Thanks for having me as a guest, Shirley. I looked at my math up there in the census stats and had to laugh. It doesn't add up.The error is in the second paragraph and should say the one child in four lives with only a mother. Also, my posts aren't usually this serious. I must have been contemplative the day I wrote it. :)

  9. What an interesting guest post! Most of the YA books I have read in the past seem to have had either the stereotypical 'good' parents or 'bad' parents. It's definitely more believable to me when there's both qualities in a parent. Not everyone is perfect after all. Melina Marchetta springs to mind here with Saving Francesca. I think she portrayed the parents perfectly in that book!

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Whisper of a Memory sounds like a really great book. :)


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