Niven praises ‘sophisticated’ UK YA market

Niven praises ‘sophisticated’ UK YA market

US YA author Jennifer Niven has praised her UK fans, saying her readers in this country are both sophisticated and enthusiastic.

“I love all my readers and the themes of my books are universal but I do like speaking to my British fans,” she told The Bookseller. “They are so enthusiastic whereas I have to draw my American readers out a bit more.”

She added: “There’s a bit more policing of YA in the states by adults.”

Earlier this year bloggers began questioning the themes of her second novel Holding Up the Universe, which is about a girl who has been obese, based on a synopsis put out by Niven’s US publisher Penguin Random House. “There was a bit of a controversy about the synopsis but they hadn’t read the actual book. I feel there’s maybe a bit more freedom in the UK.”

Niven also praised the YouTuber Zoe Sugg, a.k.a. Zoella, who chose the author’s first YA novel, All the Bright Places, as one of the launch titles for her bookclub.

“What [Zoella] has done for readers is amazing,” said the author. “She really boosted sales of All the Bright Places, not just in the UK but in Australia and the US, where it went back onto the New York Times bestseller list.”

Holding Up the Universe, about a boy with face-blindness and a girl who was once America’s fattest teen, is out in the UK now with Penguin Random House Children’s. Niven has also written the script for a film of All the Bright Places, which is due for release next year.

You can read the full interview here.