As a reader I try to expand to as many genres as I possibly can, from Romance and Humor to Thriller and Horror but I’ve always been a fan of Young Adult. It was the genre that got me into reading after all and I still enjoy diving back into that world pretty often. But reading YA as an adult is sometimes frowned upon by others who categorize the genre as “not real books”.
You know you’re an adult when your thoughts begin with “back then” and then you just want to crawl somewhere and never interact with young people again. I was having a conversation the other day that went just like that and I thought to myself, I was reading a YA book just last week, what the fuck happened? I enjoy reading Young Adult and even if I don’t read it as much or relate to the characters as I did a few years ago, I am not going to stop any time soon.
Truth is YA books are fun to read, they are quick and light and like a nice Sunday afternoon, they are just what a bookworm needs at the end of the day to unwind and chill. YA is awesome because it’s familiar, and familiar is always welcomed.
read a real book
Just because Young Adult books are a mix of tropes thrown together, that doesn’t make them non-books or easy to write/read. You need to stop telling people to read real books when they tell you they read YA. Books are books, there’s not a measurement to see how real a book is. YA is an important part of a reader’s life. Each book that one reads is sacred and there’s a process that needs to be followed. As kids we start from fairy-tale and bedtime stories and we go from there. Imagine giving a child Game of Thrones to read, they’ll probably use it as a ladder to reach another book from a shelf. I remember as a kid the Harry Potter books looked huge in my tiny hands and they took me weeks to finish and that felt like such an accomplishment, looking at it and saying, I read that. Go me!
That being said, as an adult, reading YA has its ups and downs. For example I will have fun reading it but my mind will make some very strong arguments that are too real sometimes and ten years ago I would not have thought any of them.
When the book you’re reading involves an 18-year-old and you find yourself swooning but at the same time questioning everything because OMG he’s eighteen and that’s younger than my little brother and why am I reading this????
education is important
Every time I read a book about teens saving the world but completely messing their education, the teacher in me dies a bit, I won’t lie. I mean saving the world is nice and all and very important but they’ll probably end up being the ones who can’t spell they’re, their, there and should of instead of should have. *pulls hair* STOP CONFUSING THOSE!
listen to your parents
Nothing screams I’M OLD when you read a YA and nod along in agreement with the parents in the book. NOTHING. Again, if your child is off slaying bad guys and saving the world some things take a back seat but homework needs to be done and bedtime needs to be respected because kids don’t appreciate how precious sleep is, take a jacket, be careful and eat your vegetables, kid!
unfair beauty standards
Show me a teenager who didn’t have to deal with acne, body hair suddenly appearing over night, period cramps, braces, awkward hairdos and awful fashion sense that have been permanently captured by your mom and displayed somewhere. SHOW YOUR FACE! *points to every YA book* GET THE FUCK OUT! That awkward teen phase seems to have skipped a generation and frankly, it’s unfair.
Fearless = BS
Okay this one is serious. As a teen I wanted to consider myself pretty fearless, I didn’t have to deal with the Dark Lord or fight for my life or save to Earth who seems to always be in trouble but I was not. Teens are little shits that need permission to stay out past curfew and when you see a missed call from your mom you literally hope the Earth explodes because nothing will save from an angry mom. Yes, of course reading about a fearless teen is awesome and teens love it but keep it real at least, put some effort into it and write a teen who gets scared once in a while, trust me, we’ve all been there.
If you’re the kind of person who judges other because they read YA, newsflash: your kid will read Young Adult and you’ll probably want to pre-read to see what kind of material the books contain, which is totally understandable so don’t hate a book which will influence your kid in the future and shape the way they think, react and maybe even lead their life. Sounds like a lot of pressure to put on a book but that’s what books do, they shape a young person’s life, I know the books I read did – hell, even reading shaped who I am today. I have friends who don’t read who can’t even imagine why I love it so much and I have friends who read just as much as I do – trust me, I see how reading affects people. Reading is powerful and it’s a little magical. We say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but you shouldn’t judge it by its genre either.
Do you read YA? Have you ever been judged for it?