When I was trying to get back into reading more often one piece of advice kept popping up, read YA fiction.
I read my fair share of young adult fiction when I was a teen like Hunger Games, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Paper Towns to name some of my favourites from back in the day. A year or so ago, I would kinda turn my nose up at anything to do with YA. I think I was trying to prove to others I was more mature by only reading adult fiction.
Now I realise that was a bit ignorant of me. Since according to a study from 2012, 55% of YA novel readers are over 18. I would go out on a limb and say that number has probably increased in the past few years as more adults are reading now and the idea of older readers enjoying YA is being normalised.
So, I am making more of an effort to, as the old saying goes, not judge a book by its cover. I picked up a few YA titles that seemed interesting and my sister lent me two of her favourites. These include Truly Devious, Carnival and The Dark Vault.
So, why are adults reading books aimed at a younger demographic?
My first thought was, if the story is good enough it will attract a lot of folks. Think about cartoons these days. Many of them end up having a lot of adults in the fanbase. Shows like Gravity Falls and Steven Universe for example. These shows both have adult jokes and themes such as mental health and identity. Quite a lot of YA these days do too.
At the risk of sounding condescending, YA novels tend to be quicker reads for adults. This makes them a good pick if you want some light reading that will stack up and help you reach your reading challenge goals.
Since they are lighter reads, they are also good for folks who don’t read for fun to get into the habit. Hence why that piece of advice from earlier keeps floating around on the internet.
Frankly, YA titles these days look more adult then they did when I was younger. I have borrowed books from my library only to discover when I logged them on my GoodReads shelf that they fall under the YA category. Namely The Dark Vault. I saw it on the return trolley and after reading the blurb figured it was my kind of book.
I have seen a few snobs mock YA readers, and like I said in The Importance of Reading ignore those bitter bookworms. If you don’t like YA, fine. Leave them on the bookshelf for someone else to read. But there is no reason you should ridicule someone’s taste. Get a life!
If you are looking for a few more books to add to your quarantine reading list, consider adding a few YA novels into the mix. If you can, please order from local booksellers as many are now delivering. In times like these, we really need to try to help local businesses.