Why I love Young Adult books:
To start, let me say a few things. First, I am 30 years old, been married for 10 years, and I have 3 kids. In no way do I consider myself a teenager.
Second, I have been reading long before YA became huge. I have read classics, contemporaries, non-fictions, and everything in between. Yes, I have a favorite genre, but that’s not because I haven’t tried anything else. Lastly, I don’t expect everyone to agree with my opinions, that’s why they are mine.
What is YA? Young Adult is literature written about protagonists that are 13-18 years old, but mostly 15-18 years. YA is a genre itself but it has the same types of sub-genres as adult fiction: speculative, fantasy, contemporary, romance, etc. *Just a note about YA vs NA fiction. NA = New Adult. It’s meant to close the gap between 18yr old YA and upper 20’s Adult protagonists. This post is solely about YA books.
Ok, here we go. Why I love YA literature:
- I’m still young at heart. No, I don’t wish I were a moody, hormonal teenager in high school, trying to fit in and find a date to prom, but I lived that life. I can relate. And my heart loves to read a story about high school aged kids figuring out life. I love stories that take place in high school where the complexities of people are just as real as in the adult world. BUT there are still some rules. There are still authoritative figures you have to work around. This is an age of learning who you are within boundaries.
- FIRST LOVE, LAST LOVE, ALL THE LOVE. I am a sucker for love stories. Love at first sight, happily ever after, and true love are pretty much my favorite phrases. Give me a Cinderella story any day. Growing up, I watched these stories about love at first sight and now I get to read it over and over. And not just the “poof we’re in love”, but I get to read about characters trying to figure out what love is, trying to learn what they want, who they like, and why. I can read this in adult fiction as well, but there is something special about a first love which usually happens during teenage years.
**Beside, it’s so dramatic all the time!
- YA characters are still babies. Now that I’m nearly twice their age, I can call them babies. They are so young, so naive. In most cases they aren’t adult cynical. You know, the bitter-can’t-ever-change-post divorce type. They have a whole life to find Happiness. They are young and fresh, and optimistic. No, they are not all perfect people with perfect lives. I’m pretty sure no one would call Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) or Celeana Sardothien (Throne of Glass) perfect or optimistic. But they haven’t let the old cynical world tear them down so much that they want to quit life.
- YA as an Escape. I tend to read YA faster than Adult novels. The font is bigger, the words less archaic, which means I can get into a book much quicker. I can get through more pages (which makes me feel awesome) and I can care about the characters faster. YA provides the perfect escape from day-to-day life.
- I know a lot of people love the YA boys! These amazing, swoon-worthy boys/men who are perfect. They are the boys we wish we knew in high school. But of course, we didn’t, because they are fictional. BUT I have read some pretty swoon-worth men in Adult fiction (romance) as well so this point ties in my book between YA and Adult men.
So I think what it comes down to is why do you read? What drives you to pick up a book? If you have a problem with teenage protagonists saving the world, falling in love, traversing high school, then YA probably isn’t for you. BUT if you need a reminder about how awesome teenagers are, or you need an escape from adult life, or you need to be reminded what first love felt like, then walk the YA section of Barnes and Noble, look at the top sellers on Amazon, browse the YA list on goodreads, or better yet, VISIT YOUR LIBRARY and find a new book.
Let’s Chat! Why do you read Young Adult books?