Sometimes I get a weird look from my fellow English literature majors when they hear that I read a fair amount of Young Adult books. Almost all of us have read those young adult novels that are critically acclaimed because they have literary merit, John Green I’m looking at you. However, the buck seems to stop there. Young Adult books seem to have this weird bubble around them that causes literary connoisseurs to turn their noses up. *best snooty accent* Oh no, those are for children.
Well, what about the story. Didn’t we all start reading because we loved the stories? I know I did. All of my peers are willing to sing the praises of the books they read as children. Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, His Dark Materials, The Spiderwick Chronicals, The Narnia Books, and Pendragon (my personal favorites) to name a few are all young adult or middlegrade books that involve fantasy or science fiction. They are all in the same category as the books I’m reading now and they are held near and dear to the hearts of people who fear that if they were to stray into the young adult section of the book shop they would be seen as illegitimate, like they see me.
I read young adult fiction because they are stories that appeal to me. I don’t need people telling me that I can’t handle literary fiction because I can and I do. I have read books by the leading writers in the adult genre as well. I just also choose to read books that might be a little bit silly or filled with tropes because there is something magical about them. I don’t know if it has to do with the love of the age group of teenagers that causes me to really enjoy these novels or the fact that all of the authors genuinely care about the topic. If you were to ask authors who write books for teenagers why they do it there seems to be a passion there that some adult authors lack. There is more passion here and even if you think I’m silly for enjoying them. I will continue to read these books even if you think I’m too old for it. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Stories are stories no matter the intended audience. I might not be the intended demographic, but I am still a willing and active customer.
Well, that’s my opinion on the subject. I would love to hear yours. If you write a blog post talking about why you do or do not read young adult literature be sure to come back here and leave a link in the comments, or just tell me what you think in a comment.
If you haven’t read or seen any of the books pictured above you can click on the picture to either be directed to my review of that particular book or to the Goodreads page. They aren’t all my favourites but some of the books I have read in the past three months that fall into this topic.
I hope you guys are having a great week, next week is Thanksgiving for those of us here in the U.S. I have things to do, The Pied Piper is calling me, can you hear him?