Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my next installment in my “Why I Love To Read…” series, and this time, I’m talking all about young adult books. You can find my previous posts below:
Why I Love To Read… Fantasy
Why I Love To Read…. Classics
Why I Love To Read… Historical Fiction
There’s something of an air of judgement surrounding those adults who choose to read young adult fiction. I fell prey to it myself in that age bracket of “I’m absolutely an adult and will not read anything that doesn’t make me look life a grown up” that I’ve thankfully grown out of. They say there’s some benefits to growing up, and stopping caring what people think of you is absolutely one of them. In my case, this very much extends to multiple areas of my life (but please still like my blog!) and includes reading.
I love a good mystery. However, sometimes I find with adult crime fiction there is a sense of needing to be shocking and graphic, often for the sake of it. Sometimes with certain authors, who I tend not to read any more for this very reason, there is also an element of “look, she went through horrendous trauma and is a better person for it!” which I simply cannot stand. As someone who has been through horrendous trauma and deals with the fallout of that every day, this style of writing leaves me feeling furious rather than curious.
The absence of these approaches is some of what I love about YA. Traumatic events, although mentioned, often are not the sole focus of a book, and certainly aren’t dangled around as if the character has only developed because of this. Many YA books are not what you would call ‘easy reading’, often being more complicated mysteries than you would find in the adult section, but they’re easier on the heart.
Running alongside this is the general sense of freedom that young adult literature allows. Sometimes in adult literature, it’s like we’ve forgotten we used to play make believe, and even fantasy novels are too serious. Not always, of course; I’ve read some brilliant books aimed at all age groups. But YA is a particular genre that seems to encompass so many others because it encourages authors, and readers, to rip up the rule book and just have fun. Vampires in ’90s New Orleans? Sure. A town full of people where everyone is psychic? Absolutely. A take on the ‘chosen one’ trope with the ‘well what do I do next?’ focus? Brilliant. I could go on and on, happily listing books that broke all the rules, and why they made me so happy for that very reason. Rules, sometimes, really are made to be broken.
There’s a certain comfort reading aspect to reading young adult too. Whether it’s because we feel safe having come out the other side of the age bracket the books are focused on, like knowing we’ll never go through a school day again, I don’t know, but picking up a YA book is absolutely my safety net, and the best thing I’ve found to get me out of a reading slump. As soon as I feel myself losing my interesting in reading, even for a short while, it’s a young adult mystery I’ll pick up.
Thanks for stopping by today to allow me to wax lyrical about one of my favourite genres. I’m so lucky that I find something to love in almost every genre, but YA will always means something special to me.