Discussion: Why YA?

Posted May 16, 2013 by Liza in Discussion / 6 Comments

When someone asks me about what books do I like to read, the inevitable response is Young Adult.Most people’s reaction is an amused looks that seems to say: “but you are NOT a young adult”.  Indeed, I am not.  Why then do I like to read these books so much?  What is it about the YA genre that I love so?

I always seem to be at a loss for words when the question arises, but let me attempt to answer it here.  I’ve always been an avid reader.  I am the type of nerd that read all of her ‘summer reading’ during the first few weeks of summer.  I pestered my mom to take me to the book store, and then beg for books instead of toys.  Later, when I stared working I did a weekly trip to get books of my own.  In my adulthood I started reading romances, with a specific interest in historical romance; this is a genre that I still enjoy but don’t read as much. 

I think my fascination with YA stared with two specific series: Harry Potter and Twilight.  For very different reasons I adore these two series, the adventure, the fantasy, the magic, the possibility of the impossible. I love that moment that reminds us of the feelings of finding our soul mate. I remember the angst that goes hand in hand with being a teenager, the trials of high school and college.  I revisit the moments in which true friendship was a lifeline.  I enjoy all of these things in a ‘clean’ way.  Even when the stories delve into the magical, the fantastical or the horrific, like many dystopia or tales of abuse, I find that the human soul is so strong, so hard to break, that goodness is something that will never be lost, despite the age of the characters.

You should also keep in mind that, for the most part, young adult books are written by adults.  I know that it’s easy to lose track of that fact, because these amazing authors, that were also young adults themselves, have such an outstanding insight into the soul of the young men and woman for which they write.  They are true artists and crafter of words that rightly deserve the celebrity status that they have gained.  YA is not only “in” right now, it is here to stay.

Do you read young adult? Why or why not?  What is your favorite thing about it?  Do you think it is a fad that will eventually fade?


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6 responses to “Discussion: Why YA?

  1. I read quite a lot of YA, even if I haven’t been a young adult for quite a while *grin*.

    I think it’s the feeling that everything is possible, even while struggling with the growing up part I love so much about YA books. On the brink of adulthood, I remember how I thought my life could be, and plunging into a story where that is important, because the MC is on a focal point in their life, making decisions that will be important later is something I love reading about.

    I also like paranormal YA, exactly because of the added mystery of something that is still unknown to me today – since vampires / wizards /were-animals don’t exist (at least that we know of *wink*) makes that an added mystery to the growing up part the MC has to do.

  2. I read YA, I find the books so much more accesible and I like the content better. They explore subjects I can relate too and just flow better. I find YA easier to read and it captures my attention more. There is just something so captivating about them.

  3. I’ve struggled with how to explain my YA addiction as well. I tend to think of it in two ways – like you said, I think that series such as Harry Potter and Twilight really elevated the expectations of the genre, and I think authors are really stepping up and stepping out of the box and creating stories that are not only appealing to actual young adults – but anyone who can remember what that felt like.

    Also – I like that they tend to cater well to short attention spans. I don’t do well with sprawling details and info dumps, and I find that’s more accepted and expected in ‘Adult’ reads. There’s an expectation when reading a ‘regular’ book that you have to power through to really ‘get into it’. I don’t have time for that! haha. I like the YA genre because for the most part, I can tell within 10 pages of a book whether or not it’s going to hook me, and I haven’t found that sense of connection in any other genre I’ve read.

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