This has turned into more of a weekend maunder as we are long past mid-week. I did want to finish, though, with the Wayward Children series and not wait until next week. “Come Tumbling Down” by Seanan McGuire is the fifth and last (so far) of the Wayward Children books. It is another excellent one. This book finishes the story of Jack and Jill, the twin sisters who played the key roles in the first book and were the focus of the second book in the series. Like all the books of the series, this one is short and tightly written. The story opens with the sudden, unexpected return of Jack to the school in a bad state and with an awful problem. The story follows Jack and her friends in their efforts to right the wrongs that have been done. The characters are all familiar from the other books but the story is dominated by Jack, both in time on stage and by force of personality. She is a complex and realistic character. In a way, it feels like this is the completion of Jack’s character arc. When we meet her in the first book she is in that in-between teen stage; we see her more as a child in the second book, but here, although the same age as in book 1, she is grown up and handling decisions fraught with danger and risk. The story is fairly dark with many sad aspects; this is not a happily ever after fairy tale. It is, however, a compelling read and I highly recommend it.
So, do we call this type of book YA fiction? I don’t know because I’m not certain I know what YA is. Yes, the principal characters are teens. Yes, the books are relatively short. Yes, they deal with issues of fitting in, or not fitting in as the case may be. They would certainly be accessible to an audience in that age group, although I have seen multiple definitions that go as young as 12 and as old as 21. I enjoyed the books and I’m, well, a multiple of the upper end of that range. Maybe, if you’ve seen your own children through that age range you also qualify. I guess I’ll take good story-writing and leave it at that.