What makes a good story?
For young adults.
I look for the plot to be fresh and interesting without so much boring narration bogging it down or boring characters or forgettable scenes. Subject matter has to be something that would interest the reader. If it’s for school, especially high school, the subject matter or theme behind the novel would have to be something that would make good classroom discussion, for questions, essays, small projects, etc.
For example, in “April Raintree,” (a novel penned by a Metis author named Beatrice Culleton, who comes from my home province of Manitoba) we discussed to role of Native Canadians in our society, and their relationships with white people. The novel itself was about a young Metis woman (title character) in search of her identity; she could pass off as white while her darker-skinned sister waves her Native heritage proudly like a banner. In another novel I studied, “The Stone Angel” (by another Manitoba author named Margaret Laurence) we discussed the role of seniors in society, basically. This novel was about a 90-year-old woman who reflects on her life as she is dying.
That’s all I have to say. Hope you’ve been informed.