You’ve probably seen online articles that say adults shouldn’t read YA books. Shame on you adults for wanting to escape from adult life for a little while! Don’t you know that someone having an opinion on the Internet means they’re right?
(Just kidding. Everyone has an opinion on the Internet. And if you take them all to heart, you’re probably not using your brain too much.)
Those of us who like Young Adult books know why we do. But if you’re still in your teens and wondering why the heck people twice your age (or even older) sometimes like reading them, too, here’s why.
1: Surprise! Adults connect with YA issues, too. Think adults know what we’re doing in life and what our purpose is? Here’s a secret. We don’t. Heroes and heroines in YA novels don’t know what the heck they’re doing, either. YA books are, at heart, about young characters who find themselves in adult situations, whether it’s starting a serious relationship, finding out who they are, or saving the world. Well, adults find themselves in those exact situations, too. Young Adult books your mom and you will love!
2: Nostalgia. Life was great when it didn’t involve bills, car repairs, custody battles, crappy bosses, and the like. YA books don’t usually have those things, and we can escape from a dull reality for a few hours. Sounds like a good deal.
3: YA is written for teens, so it can’t be a snooze fest. Let’s face it: you’re not going to grip a teenage audience with a book about some guy working on a farm or with a book that has a bunch of boring office scenes. Unless those teens are being held hostage by a stuffy Lit teacher. Teens want forbidden romance, secret royals, intrigue, shifters, magic, and more. And so do we.
4: Facing bleak reality all the time wears you down. Not all adult books have the underlying theme of “life sucks,” but many do. We know life can suck, even when we’re still teens. It’s nice to read about poor girls becoming royalty, or about enemies falling in love, or about saving the world. It gives us the hope that maybe the world isn’t a completely terrible place.
5: The characters are awesome. Ever notice the main characters in YA books are deep and well-thought out? They always have reasons for doing what they do, and any good YA book will force a flawed character to overcome that flaw (often through that swoony romance or saving the world.) How cool is that? We’re entertained, and we’re learning how to be more awesome ourselves at the same time. Win-win.
6: We’re more likely to find new things. Ever notice adult books always have a formula? Romance stories generally have the same type of format, as do thrillers, sci fi novels, etc. Gets dull after a while, doesn’t it? YA books have the freedom to play with cool stuff like journal entries, text messages, illustrations, and more. And not just that, but the stories, too. Where else can you combine magic into a futuristic dystopian society?
So the next time someone has an opinion on the Internet about how adults shouldn’t read YA books, put a quarter into a jar. Soon you’ll have enough money to buy another awesome YA read (or three, if you read Kindle books from indie authors.) And those people with opinions? The joke’s on them. Happy reading!