It’s Valentine’s, a day in which we celebrate love. Primarily romantic love—but hey, I have great relationships with some of my books, so I say book-love counts. In particular, I’d like to talk about the love of Young Adult books (which, as it happens, I also write.)
When I’ve admitted to how much I enjoy teen fiction, I often get side-eyed, as if there is something odd about an adult reading YA. But the data tells us that more than half of all YA books are purchased by adults, for adults. I’m in pretty good company.
So, let me share 14 reasons for adults to read and embrace the magic of young adult fiction.
- Experience again your firsts. First crush. First kiss. First love. First heartbreak. And yes, in some YAs, first sex.
Relive the laughter and tears you shared with best friends.
- Discover authors who boldly mash-up subgenres. If you like the idea of sci-fi fairy tales with zombies and gargoyles, you’ll find them in the YA section.
- Impress (or alarm) your friends/children/grandchildren by understanding teen slang.
- Remember what life was like when everything was still fresh and new, and the possibilities felt endless and…possible.
- Enjoy what you missed in high school. (In the YAs I write, the heroines always go to the prom that I didn’t get to attend.)
- Feel the rush from books known for their exhilarating pace and raw honesty.
- Feel the immediacy of first person point-of-view from a character in an “immediate” stage of their life.
- Witness how hard it is to grow up in today’s world, with its maddening abundance of choices.
- Be charmed by kids on the cusp of adulthood, eager for the future, thinking they’re ready, not realizing they probably aren’t.
- Learn about the tough topics that YA authors aren’t afraid to tackle, like mental illness, poverty, bullying, grief, disabilities, racism, harassment—and then cheer when the teens prevail.
- Root for a pair of young characters to find love and reach their HFN—Hopefully For Now.
- Read books filled with adventure, humor, pain, joy, courage, intelligence, love—all essential elements of amazing stories!
In my books, the stories are a kind of “love letter” to my daughters, expressing my hopes for the world they’re inheriting—and the promise that they aren’t alone.
Have I left out any reasons that you love YA books?
Which of these 14 reasons resonates with you?
Join us in the comments and let’s talk about teen fiction.
Julia Day is an award-winning author of Young Adult fiction. She was born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi, and now calls North Carolina (USA) her home.
Julia has two twenty-something daughters, one old husband, and too many computers to count. When she’s not writing stories or software, she’s traveling to distant places or watching dance reality shows on TV.
Writing as Elizabeth Langston, she has two YA magical realism series available (time-travel and genies.)
1 Lucky winner will take home Fade To Us by Julia Day, Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry ,The Darklight Trilogy by Darynda Jones
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