Guest Post: The Wonderful World of YA

Why do I love reading YA books? This is actually a question I get frequently because nearly 95 percent of the books I read are Young Adult books. The other 5 percent are a mixture of Middle Grade and New Adult books, with a dash of whatever my future Mother-in-Law throws my way. I’ve read a variety of other genres but nothing ever felt quite right, like they were lacking something. It’s almost like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

My Start

When I was a freshman in high school I was pretty terrified due to the fact that I had been home schooled all of grade and middle school. When it came to my first week of freshman English we went to the library to pick out our own book to read for the month. I was familiar with my public library a few streets down from my house, but I never really enjoyed what I read. The class period was almost over and I still couldn’t find anything and all the other students had already found their books. My teacher pulled me aside and handed me Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. She pulled me into the small YA section of the library and simply said “I think you’ll like these books…” and gave me a warm smile. I took the book home that night and by the time I was in English the next day I had finished it. I begged my mom to take me to Borders that night and buy the second book in the series, Pretties. They’re still my favorite books to this day!

YA’s Unwarranted Criticism

People bash YA books quite a bit. It’s sad. I think regardless of the quality or genre of book a person is reading, at least they’re reading! Every genre has poorly written books. But there are some amazingly talented authors who write YA that can rival some of the most legendary authors out there. Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, Leigh Bardugo, Veronica Roth, Sarah J. Maas, Alexandra Bracken and the list goes on and on. Many of the books that are being adapted into movies are mostly YA! Divergent is phenomenal and The Hunger Games is spectacular. Then there’s John Green. The Fault in Our Stars. Looking For Alaska. Two adaptations in two years! Panic by Lauren Oliver was optioned for film and she’s writing the screenplay! Whether you’re a young adult yourself or you’re in your 40s, these books offer something for everyone. YA should not be viewed as a “lesser” genre than any other, because that’s just ridiculous.

The Appeal of YA

YA appeals to me for so many reasons. For one, a lot of the explicit language and material is cut out. It’s not necessary and the author just adds more adventure to the story. During this period the characters’ emotions are heightened. Everything is felt so intensely. This is a time in your life when you’re experiencing a lot of firsts. I think how these authors capture all of this, then throw in some crazy plot of the world being separated into factions and fighting each other to the death, is pretty amazing. When I first started reading YA a lot of the stories dealt with issues I was also dealing with, and they became a coping mechanism.

Now I’m a twenty-something, engaged, college student and daycare teacher. I read to escape from the stresses of  daily life, and YA is my primary escape. The books are fast paced and unlike a lot of people (I guess), I don’t want to read five pages about the description of a forest. I read because I enjoy reading, not because I want to give myself a headache. I read YA because I like it. Simple as that. Just like John enjoys reading crime novels. That’s what interests him. YA is what interests me!

Happy Reading!




10 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Wonderful World of YA

  1. Many of these reasons coincide with my love of reading and writing middle grade fiction. I read regular adult fiction, as well, but middle grade, for me, shows the wonder of innocence, despite the novels dealing with difficult topics. I applaud thee and thy love of YA! You’re right, it gets a bad name.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love middle grade books! As I get older I seem to read more! My fiancé pretty much only reads middle grade novels and started me on them as well. Thanks! I figured if I can spread the love maybe the hate won’t be so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No one should EVER criticize someone for the genre they read. I know many (all in their 40’s) who enjoy YA. I’m sorry you’ve encountered such discrimination. I mean it’s not like you’re reading erotica. LOL I’m kidding! Everyone has a right to read what they want.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Young readers need well-written books to grow in them a passion for reading. My idea of a successful YA is a book that doesn’t drag, is easy to read with words that flow into ideas, in which ugly language that young people need not have stuck in their heads is eliminated. Just sayin’. I’m not an expert in genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with what you’re saying. However, I don’t think that these books are necessarily for young readers. I think they should be read by all ages but they’re appropriate for adolescents. Also who wants to read books that drag? I think that for almost any book to be successful it shouldn’t drag. I, like many people, read for enjoyment and if a book is dragging I put it down and find something else to read so I don’t waste my time! lol! Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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