Thursday, September 15, 2011

Discussion: Why do so many adults really love YA?

I get this a lot: "Why do you love YA so much? You're an adult."

Yes, that's right. I'm twenty-seven years old, and the majority of what I read is of the YA category. Most people who don't read in this category nowadays might be surprised at how good the material is that is being put out, too. It's not just for kids and teens-- and in fact, a lot of it can cross-over smoothly into adult ranges at times.

The funny thing is, when I was a kid and teen I read more adult-oriented novels. It wasn't until my late teens and very early twenties that I started picking up YA more often. Now it just seems I can't get enough.

I think for myself it's because of the more character-driven plots. I'm a person who likes to really get attached to a character, and I find myself doing that more often with YA than in any other category. The emotional factor is just there for me. As well as the fact that oftentimes I can relate with many of the characters due to past events, personality traits, etc.  And personally, I know I'm always young at heart. :)

This brings me to another topic I had in mind. Not long ago, I saw a post with someone saying something about how they thought maybe YA should be a reading level rather than a genre category- or perhaps they didn't understand it. Not sure. I don't remember exactly. Why not both? On a quick side note here, I'd like to say that YA is a genre category (with many subgenres of course: paranormal, fantasy, horror, historical, dystopian, etc.), or else publishers wouldn't seek it out like insane hungry zombies, and is defined like this:

The YA genre, also known as Teen fiction, is defined by meaning that one or more characters in the plot are young adults (usually under the age of 20 years old) and can follow a subgenre. This genre does not have erotic elements (but can tend to be a little "spicey" sometimes).

Very simplistic.

A YA reading level definition would mean that it would be a younger person or child who read in the category or below because they were either A) still learning, or B) can't read adult due to their age.

This is what I have learned anyway. Feel free to debate! Ha!

Back on topic.

I love YA because it's what I look for everytime in a book. Action, romance, characters. I find this all in adult books as well, but I guess not as often anymore. It seems I have better reading luck, more enjoyable reading experiences and less "bad pick-ups" when I've read YA in recent years.

If you're an adult, why do you love YA so much?



  1. I love YA for all the reasons you've mentioned and also for the fact that I think, yes we all have to grow up but there is always a part of us that's will always be 17. I love being able to open a book and be transported back to a time when bills and mortgage payments haven't taken over and your biggest worry is whether the boy you have a crush on likes you back. I could go on and on but I suspect this comment could turn into it's own novel.

  2. First I would like to say I am the one who wondered if YA should be a reading level and not a genre. I feel very honored to have a quote of mine mentioned in such a quality blog.

    I read a fair amount of YA fiction. If I had to put a number, I would say around 20%. I read YA fiction mostly because they are easy and fun reads. My reading time is very limited, but it is rare I can't whip through a YA novel in a few days.
    That being said, Easy does not mean bad. Some of the best books I've read over the last few years have been young adult books. (Of course some of the worst books have been YA too.)

  3. I get asked this question with some regularity, and I love how you worded the answer. Because that's exactly why I love YA fiction. I also read more adult books when I was a teen, high school age and such. I think that was because sometimes in adult books they seem to have these glamorous lives and you can't help but wonder if that's how life is going to be for you. Now, I'm an adult (at least that's the rumor, now that I'm 26) and I know better, so I think I prefer the YA books because they are an escape from some of the brutal realities of life as an adult.
    Thanks for posting this! I loved reading it!


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