Why do I love YA?
I know that when I started reading YA, I read it because it was about the age group older than me. From what I’ve seen, that’s normally the kind of reading people gravitate to—they want to read about the age group they’re about to head into (or at least, that was how it was for me.) I never was into middle grade literature. I wanted to read about angsty 16 year olds when I was 12-13. I wanted to see my future, and I felt no need to see what people my own age were doing—in books that is.
Now, my answer to this question obviously has changed. I’m older than a teen. I’m older than the average YA protagonist by 4-5 years, give or take 2-3. Technically, I should be reading New Adult and beyond to see what I should be looking forward to (or what I should be doing now). But I’m not (most of the time). I am YA, all the way. Ha.
I love YA now because:
I can read about a protagonist that doesn’t have to worry about bills, life, marriage (some books excluded). Life is open in front of these protagonists, and they can shape their lives with tragedy, misadventures, romance, magic, or whatever they feel like.
Yes, there are parents involved, but like it’s been discussed in other YA lit circles, the parents in YA today are often M.I.A. So that can be worked around…
Everything feels magical about that time of your life, even if yours was less than fantastic. You have your first kiss. First dance. First trip into the under magic world. You know, all of the biggies. Why not read about how others had their firsts? I eat that stuff up.
Because the protagonist doesn’t have bills, children, etc, they can have adventures. They can be as mature or as immature as the author wants them to be. Wherever they are on the maturity scale is believable.
Lastly, (and even though all of my points semi-overlap with each other), this point speaks to why certain people have been bashing YA—the sheer theatrics that authors can put that age group through. Horrible things can happen, and often do, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s an amazing thing. YA now can show teens any situation, literally. And nothing is sugarcoated. The genre runs the gamut from innocent/sheltered to buck wild crazy, with games to the death, mental disorders, kidnapping, and magic in between. Whatever a teen/person of a particular age wants to read, chances are, nowadays someone is writing it. OR they can write they’re own and publish it themselves (like moi, very VERY soon).
It’s an amazing time to read YA, and I will continue to spend too much money and fill my arms too full from the library YA section.
Psst, send any good YA recommendations my way please. Anything that kept you up reading, I want to hear about in the comments, or by email. :)
Now to leave you with a song to write by, “My Heart Is the Worst Kind of Weapon (acoustic)” by Fall Out Boy. Love it.