Why I love YA books…

Today I thought I’d go a little deep by asking myself “Why do I love YA books?” After all, there areΒ tons of genres of books out there to read so why do I gravitate particularly to the YA genre? (For those of you who don’t know, YA stands for “young adult.”)

Like any literary genre, YA also has sub-genres. Such as YA dystopian, YA fantasy, YA contemporary and so on and so forth. I found myself gravitating mostly towards fantasy of any kind, really, but YA the most. There’s a lot of truth that one should read what they wish to write so I write fantasy, meaning I read fantasy.

I recently attended a YA book festival in Texas and many of the authors said this: Teenagers are much smarter than we give them credit for, and personally, there is truth in that. Life is hard as a teenager and they want something as an escape but they’ll also grasp the bigger concepts laid out in a book–the struggles and confusions, the first crushes and first loves, the heartache of losing a family member–and all the things in between. They want revenge, nitty-gritty, but also happy-go-lucky and sweet.

I’ve been reading since I was in elementary school. I’ve always loved reading. I never truly realized my deep love for books until high school, until I read Pride and Prejudice as a assignment in my high school senior English class. I fell so incredibly in love with the book (and the adaptations–hello, Colin Firth! πŸ˜‰ ) that I became an English major in college, emphasizing in creative writing (I wrote a lot of bad poetry and fanfiction which I won’t dare give you the links for but you can have fun trying to find me on Fanfiction.net or Fictionpress.com πŸ˜€ ) that my love for books just grew stronger.

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For me, YA is incredibly diverse, and is aiming to be even more diverse. I’m not saying this isn’t the case for other genres, but there’s something incredibly heart-wrenching and heartwarming about teenagers who go through a lot before they turn into an adult. Lately, I’ve seen an emphasis on diverse characters (characters that aren’t white/Caucasian) and I’m excited for that. I grew up reading very few diverse books–I didn’t know any! No books I read in high schoolΒ featured a half-Korean teenager! But there are now books with Korean main characters (i.e., Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Maurene Goo’s Since You Asked come to mind)! I know I’m leaving more diverse books out but these speak directly to me so feel free to mention ones you loveΒ in the comments!

I’m a quick reader so a lot of YA books are quick reads for me. Not all of them are easy to read it. YA is complex and I think there are an unending amount of subjects that can be touched in the genre when it comes to growing up or just being a teenager especially now!

Did this somehow answer the question I posed? Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. But one thing I know or sure, I don’t think the YA genre will ever fade away. As long as there are teenagers, there is a great need for YA books. A book doesn’t have to be popularΒ in order to be loved or to have greatly influenced or touched a person.

So now I ask you the question, why do you love YA? Or why do you love the genre you read the most?

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2 thoughts on “Why I love YA books…

  1. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    I love this post! I’m not a teenager anymore and sometimes I feel like I have to defend why I read YA to other people – never a good feeling, haha.

    I agree that YA is diverse! I feel like many, many authors use the genre as kind of an experiment, whether it’s in creativity, format, setting, etc. I also love reading books not set in the ‘typical’ settings.

    Anyway, I actually wrote a post on reading YA as an adult, if you’re interested. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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