I read a lot. Like an insane amount a lot. And I’m not bragging or being presumptuous when I say that I have read more books this year alone than most of you have in your life by choice. (Unless of course you are a book blogger, then you can understand)
On a normal given day, if you ask me what I’m reading, there is a good probability that I will respond with the title of a young adult fiction book. I get asked this a lot: “You’re 30, why are you reading teen books? Aren’t you too old for them?” I find that the majority of people who ask me this don’t really read that much to begin with or they haven’t actually read much YA fiction. This seems to be a common theme when you don’t really understand why someone does it but you still feel the need to question and judge.
So what’s the simple answer to those questions? Because I enjoy them.
Long answer: Like any subject or genre of anything, you have your good and bad, you have your preferences. As I said, I like reading a lot. And while I read a large amount of books, I’m rather picky about what I read. There are many duds out there. And there have been books where I feel that money is more of a factor than a quality story. But there have also been some fantastic books out there.
There are many definitions of what young adult fiction is. My personal definition is a story where the characters are 12-18 and is primarily marketed for that age group. Yep that’s it. Doesn’t mean that the story is juvenile or any less quality because of the age range. I think sometimes that some adults either have forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager or they are really out of touch with what teens go through these days. Anyone can enjoy it regardless of the age of the reader. I started reading YA fiction when I was in elementary school and as long as there are good stories, I’ll be reading it until I die.
I lean more towards stories that are contemporary, historical, mystery, and dystopian. I’m not really into paranormal or fantasy, that the market is heavily skewed towards. To me the mark of a good book is when after the first few pages, I am already lost in the story. I know almost immediately whether or not this is going to be a book that I will put down or not. I’ve read a lot of fluff books and a lot of books where I am trudging through them to just get to the end of the story. I feel this way sometimes with a lot of trilogies that have been popping up lately. The first two books are SO good. And then the third one feels like the author got rushed or just stopped caring.
That being said, there is some nostalgia I feel while reading these stories. I remember what it was like to be a teenage girl and sometimes it’s fun to relive those moments, and sometimes it’s painful. I’m glad I don’t have to actually relieve those moments but seeing how characters get in and out of their situations makes me realize how much I’ve learned throughout the years. I also wish that I could be some of these characters. I wish I could be like Katniss and Tris and take care of myself and be strong in those types of situations. I have really appreciated how in the past few years, there have been several strong female lead characters in these books.
I have no problems reading what I like to read. If I ever decided to go back and get a second master’s degree, it would be to get a library science degree so I could become a young adult librarian. Until then, I’ll just continue to enjoy immersing myself into stories.
Dystopian – Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
Contemporary – anything by Elizabeth Eulberg, Janet Gurtler, Jen Calonita, Beth Kephart
Historical – Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Mystery- The Mary Quinn Mystery series by Y.S. Lee