I used to be somewhat embarrassed about liking YA. Teen books were supposed to be just for teens, right? WRONG. These days I’m reading almost exclusively from the Young Adult section, and I make no apologies for it. I love these stories so much, I’m even crazy enough to try and write one of my own. Here are 5 reasons why this category has taken over my bookshelves.
1. Big, big emotions
I hate when I hear people complain about “angst-y” teen characters. When we are in high school, we lament, obsess, and complain about our lot in life. We often feel as if no one understands us, and that our problems are the end of the world. This isn’t something to make fun of, or roll our eyes at. Being a teen is TOUGH. Trying to figure out who we are, and where we belong is no easy task. The flip side of all this angst is that we feel joy in a big way, too. Exciting events are monumental. Personally, I had way more “cloud nine” moments as a teenager than as an adult. These higher highs and lower lows make for incredibly rich stories.
2. So many firsts
Everything is new! First time being hurt by your best friend. First time drinking. First time holding hands. First time falling in love. First time… *cough*… doing other things. First time being heartbroken. Seeing these firsts up close and personal is always SO fun for me to read. Add in the big emotions from #1, and I have a hard time putting these books down.
3. Faster reads
YA books are shorter than adult novels, and are generally easier to read. (Not to be confused with being easier to write – haha!) It’s not that I can’t appreciate heavy literary novels, but sometimes I don’t have the mental energy for them at the end of the day. I can read YA books much faster, which means reading more books per year. There is something very satisfying about lining up a big selection of books I have finished, even if it is just electronically on Goodreads.
While you couldn’t pay me enough to go through high school again, I do have a lot of amazing memories from that time in my life. I love looking through my photo albums and yearbooks. My experiences in adolescence – both good and bad – shaped me into the person I am today. Reading about characters in high school is a great way to take a trip down memory lane.
5. Teens are more FUN than adults
Teens do dumb things, just because they are fun. They have inside jokes. They pull pranks on each other. They take risks. They like to talk about things other than current events (which, quite frankly, I find depressing most of the time). When we hit a certain age, racing down a hill inside a shopping cart would be inappropriate. At age 15… it’s not out of the question. The fun-seeking nature of teenagers makes for some very entertaining scenes and storylines.
(Anyone remember Ferris Bueller’s Day Off??)
What else do you like about YA books?