There are many people that ask me, “Why do you read young adult novels?” There are other people that laugh it off and say, “Oh your still young you will get over reading “these” kinds of novels.” There are also some other people that are outright rude and say, “You mean you like to read romance novels between two teenagers and you’re a 30 something-year-old woman?” And then there are some other people that silently judge me by giving me a side-eye while smirking to themselves. Many people have the wrong perception of YA and they feel that it shouldn’t be held in the highest esteem and that it is a frivolous genre. This common perception couldn’t be further from the truth.
YA books aren’t just for just middle school or high school students. The way that these books are written can be almost identical to adult fiction as well. In fact, YA books can be for any age from someone who is 13 to someone who is 50 can pick up a YA! There is no age range when it comes to YA. When it comes to YA, it just happens to be that the characters are teenagers but it definitely doesn’t mean that the writing is simplistic in the slightest. Here is an excerpt of my favorite magical realism YA novel Ava Lavender and you can be the judge of whether this writing is worth its merit or not.
“To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did. I was a girl.”
-Leslye Walton, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
YA books are my passion because it brings me back to those first time life experiences. Those first experiences are that pivotal time where everything is so dramatic and felt so strongly.
Who can forget those first experiences of your first day of high school, your first dance, first crush, or first heartbreak? Those are the experiences that are so visceral, so raw, and so much a part of who somebody is as a person. There is no one that I know that can ever forget what it is like to be a teenager. Being a teenager is an experience that never leaves you because it is the time where you are experiencing all those unforgettable firsts and they truly are “unforgettable” in every way. I feel so much for the characters in the book because I have been there and all I want to do is hug them and let them know that they will laugh about this one day. YA novels make me stop and feel again. When I read YA it takes me back and it makes me feel those special “first-time feelings” which can never be repeated but they can be relived. That’s why I read YA. Why do you read YA?