I am an adult, well more or less, legally for sure, but I love reading Young Adult books. I don’t read YA books exclusively, but I read quite a bit of YA. I’m even in a book club with other adults who read YA books.
I am not surprised when people ask why I read YA books. I have ADD and a high stress job, admittedly it’s mostly self-imposed stress but it’s still stress, YA books offer me a fast escape into another world – there’s typically not as much stress or voluminous back story, you turn a few pages and you’re off down the rabbit hole. YA stories also tend to be more imaginative because younger readers are more willing to suspend disbelief. I’m not saying that these things are appealing for every reader, but they certainly work for me.
What constantly surprises me is the complaints that some adults have when they venture into the world of YA books, so I thought I would take the time to explain why those issues aren’t even a blip on my radar.
The Characters fall in love too fast. Of course they do, that’s what being young is all about, the willingness to throw your whole heart into a relationship. It’s experience that teaches us to guard our heart, to be careful who we bestow it on, but teenagers are not generally known for their caution and consideration.
The parents aren’t present. While kids love their parents, at a certain age spreading your wings means you get a little self-centered and for many kids that means life becomes all about them and their friends. Their highlight reel might have a few shots of Mom and Dad, but mostly it’s the every day adventure of friends. (Though I think a truly great young adult book will have some genuine parent-child moments.)
YA Girls can get angsty. My YA reading leans towards paranormal, scifi, fantasy – more than real-life stuff, because that gets way too angsty for me, but even Hunger Games has some moments of girl angst. Of course it does, like it or not, there’s always a certain amount of drama that comes from any teenage girl.
There’s always some books that are more guilty of these offenses than others but at the end of the day, a story that grabs you and won’t let go and characters that are likeable and compelling, more often than not, will always keep me coming back for more!