I’m old. Sigh.
Okay, I’m not that old but I am still old in the eyes of gamers and bloggers alike.
I’m 25 but sometimes I feel like I’m 40 while other days, I feel like I’m 15. It all depends on the day, my friends. My friends would tell you that I’m always acting old. I am the resident grandpa friend after all.
I had a lovely conversation on Twitter about being an adult and being in the YA section of the library. This got me thinking how does it feel to be 25 and still reading YA? I suppose the better question would be why am I still reading YA at 25??
These are all excellent questions, my friends. And honestly, I don’t really have a solid concrete answer for you. I am so vague and mysterious.
A little history of my reading life: I started reading YA pretty intensely back in middle school. I had a pretty high reading score so the entire library was mine for the taking. (At my middle school, your AR or Accelerated Reading score dictated where you could read at the library. I scored above college level so I could read the whole library. Kind of a horrible system if you think about it…) I really fell in love with the writings of Philippa Gregory (I actually had to look it up to make sure she was considered YA. At my library, she is shelved in the adult fiction section), which jump started my love for historical fiction. And the rest is history. I’m really good at puns….
When I hit high school, I fell for the YA dystopian genre. I believe this was around the time of the Hunger Games. Everything seems to stem from that series, now that I sit here and write this out. It’s my go to after Harry Potter. I knew that YA had sucked me in for good, after I discovered the YA dystopian genre. It remains, to this day, my favorite genre. If given the choice, I will always chose the dystopian over the historical fiction.
I realize I have not answered any of the questions I asked myself. I’m pretty good at that. But like I mentioned above, I didn’t really have a solid answer for you on what I read YA. Maybe I read it because it’s so diverse. YA can be contemporary. It can be a dystopian. It can be a retelling of a fairy tale or even fantasy. There is no limit to what YA can offer. Well, except for erotica. I don’t think YA can be erotic.
Maybe it’s because it all the amazing and wonderful worlds it offers. This goes hand in hand with the different genres. I have found that some of the best world building happens in YA. One that jumps to mind is the world of By a Charm and a Curse. I honestly did not think I could like magical realism again but thanks to this YA book, I have found that I really do enjoy it. It’s based in a circus but it’s so much more than that.
Maybe because it’s a bit easier to read then some of the NA books. Some NA (new adult) books can get so wordy or not make a lot of sense. The Almost Moon is one that comes to mind. I don’t consider that book YA due to its graphic content even though others might since Alice Sebold wrote The Lovely Bones and I know that is probably considered YA. I recall not liking the book at all and actually giving it two stars despite the amazing cover. It made no sense and the MC made some of the dumbest decisions ever. The structure was weird. The whole thing was just a mess.
Maybe, just maybe I can read whatever the h*ck I want. I know what you guys are thinking. Novel idea right?? That is the beauty of reading. I can read whatever I want because I can. I am a grown woman and I don’t have to listen to anybody. Unless the book is incredibly problematic. Then I will listen because I do not want to support problematic books and authors.
Now don’t think me touting that adults should read YA as an excuse to push teenagers out of this genre. That is not my intent in the slightest. Teenagers should always come first when it comes to YA. We, as adults, should listen to teens when they say something is problematic or something is repped negatively. The YA genre is for them but that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it. We just have to remember who the genre is really for.
For those my age that feel too ashamed to read YA, don’t be! I will always read YA. Heck, my dad reads YA. He got me started on the Hunger Games (if you’re reading this, thanks dad!) YA has something for everyone. Just because it’s called Young Adult doesn’t mean it can’t be for you. After all, it has the word “adult” in it.