5 Reasons I Read Young Adult Fiction

In order to fulfill a couple reading challenge categories for this year, I ventured back into the world of Young Adult fiction. I hadn’t read any YA in a while, for no particular reason.

Halfway through The Sun is Also a Star, I was reminded why I enjoy these books so much. After that one, I started another. Then I went to the library to find some more!

 

 

What’s the difference between YA fiction and the rest of the “adult” fiction I typically enjoy? The primary difference is the protagonists in YA are young people (duh). This means the setting and subject matter generally revolves around those faced most often by young people: school, dating, friendships, family dynamics, coming of age.

The writing is just as good, sometimes better. These books aren’t “dumbed down” for kids, or avoiding important issues. Quite the opposite! YA novels tend to feature compelling realistic dialogue, and deal with emotions in a touching way.

 

5 Reasons I Read Young Adult Fiction

 

 

1. YA reminds me of how powerful our “firsts” are.

First love, first kiss, first time living on my own – the older I get, the easier it is to lose sight of how significant (and awesome) these things were when they happened. A YA romance carries me all the way back to those moments from my youth, and conjures all those feelings of sweaty palms and awkward makeup session. A coming of age story is relatable to everyone, and they remind us of our own.

beautiful disaster while I was reading

 

 

2. YA reminds me of how far I’ve come in my life.

I appreciate spending time with memories of my adolescence because they are tied to who I am as a person now. I made plenty of mistakes and poor choices as a young person trying to figure things out. I hurt people I loved, I didn’t push myself academically, please don’t make me try to think of any more… Regardless of the short term consequences, all of that panned out in the long run — I’m exactly where I’m meant to be now. That gives me comfort for the future. Mistakes I’m making now likely won’t feel as big down the road. Intellectually, I know this. It’s nice to be reminded, especially in the midst of an enjoyable novel.

 

 

3. YA keeps me current.

Reading new young adult books keeps me up to date on current trends. Issues that are pressing for me at 40, are not necessarily hot topics for my teenaged niece and nephew. This is one way I can get a feel for issues they may be dealing with in their lives.

 

Me and my niece celebrating her recent birthday

 

 

4. YA addresses serious topics without dragging the reader into despair.

Many popular YA novels deal with heavy issues. A few I’ve read recently tackled the subjects of suicide, mental illness, grief, police brutality, and sexual abuse. Yet there’s an undertone of hope in these stories. They are written with honesty, and features characters who are realistic and relatable. Now don’t get me wrong, some of these books have ripped my heart out. They feature gut wrenching scenarios, yet while they have sad parts, they still manage to teach a lesson and inspire hope.

 

 

5. They’re quick reads.

I don’t know that I’ve ever DNF-ed a YA novel. They tend to be fast paced and super-readable. I often turn to YA when I need a “light” read. And for these reasons, they tend to make for fantastic audiobooks too!

 

So, what do you think? Have I convinced you to give YA a try? 

If you already read YA, tell me your favorite titles.

If you don’t want to read YA, tell me why, I’d love to have a discussion!

Leave a Reply