Monday, March 1, 2010

Why Young Adults should read YA

So a couple of weeks ago I got approached by one of my school's newspaper editors to write an article about why teens should read young adult - as they felt many at our school shied away from the genre. I thought I would share it with you all and see what your opinions were on the matter!

At some point in time we have all walked into a bookstore and seen the section completely devoted to teens. Most of us though do not think to take a second glance and keep on walking, as they seem to think they are to young for them, or are too much like their everyday lives. The thing is though, there is a plethora of books in this section to choose from that are enjoyed by all age groups and have so much to offer.  Their topics range from high school highs, high-strung adventures, cliquey romances to the many emotional issues that so many teens face. They also act as portals to unknown worlds, just as books have promised to do for years. The characters are so commonplace – they almost feel as if they could be your best friend, or arch nemesis – it is easy to relate to them and find some semblance to your own life.

As someone who is quite familiar with this genre – I have had the pleasure of professionally reviewing over 300 different titles – I feel that I can say that you should all try at least one good YA book. You will see that the authors try extraordinarily hard to make sure that everything from the clothes that the characters wear to their facial expressions, fits in line with our everyday lives. I have also found that YA authors try so hard, that their books come out so much better. It’s like applying to college - you know you will write a better essay for Harvard, Princeton, or Yale, then one of those easy to get into schools. The same thing happens with YA authors – they bust their butts to write a good book for teens, as they know we are a tough bunch to impress, rather than a mediocre book for adults where the audience is much less selective. Because of this fact, YA books end up just being better in regards to writing and storyline.  

Now many people have reservations about reading YA books as they are too focused on teens, or you do not want to read about a life you already know about, but here’s the thing – you get to see a new person’s life in a different light. Also, a lot of the time the only reason why YA books are classified as such is because their main character is a teenager. Take Megan McCafferty’s “Jessica Darling” series, which starts out being about a senior in high school and all her calamities and then proceeds to follow her throughout her college years. Within the books there is gossip, juicy scandals, and oh so much more and all of it has been enjoyed by countless teens and adults alike – and the only reason that you would find it in the teen section is because the main character happens to be 17.  Look at the Twilight series. I think every person, whether young or old, has probably enjoyed these books and they are classified as YA. As you can see, YA books are not young, they do not represent a genre that we have outgrown – they are simply books about teens, meant to be enjoyed by all, but in particular teens themselves. Just think, you have years and years to enjoy the thousands of adult books that are out there, but only a few to cherish those that have to do with you, right now.


So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Fnantastic article! I completely agree with you about everything you said!

Ng said...

That's a fantastic article. I absolutely agree with all of your points too.

Marie Cloutier said...

it's bizarre to me that teens wouldn't want to read YA. Who doens't like to read about themselves? another challenge would be getting them to read adult books! Great article!

hing12133 said...

I agree so so so much! My friends always tease me when they catch me reading a YA book. But I love them so much! I will be sending them this article!

Kirsten Hubbard said...

great article, Tasha!


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