Monday, January 23, 2012

Musing Monday (#4) - Why read YA?

Musing Monday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Each week, she poses a bookish question for us book bloggers to discuss. This week's question?

Why do you think that the Young Adult genre is so popular with even the adult readers? Do you read YA books, yourself?

I think it's pretty obvious that, yes, I do read YA books, lol! It is my favorite genre! This started only about 2 years ago, actually. At that time, I never even really thought about reading YA...I was an adult, so I thought I should be reading adult books. Would like to know what propelled me into the wonderful world of YA? Here's my story...

My 12 year old daughter received a letter the summer before her 7th grade year from her soon-to-be English teacher. This letter told her that her summer assignment was to purchase and read The Hunger Games. I had never heard of this book off to Barnes and Noble we went. I found it, and it was only available in hardback - I was a very frugal person at the time, and NEVER bought hardback unless it was secondhand! I was honestly horrified to spend almost $20 on ONE book. But it was for my daughter's school, so I did. I read the blurb inside the cover, and thought "hm, that kinda sounds interesting...." and I thought "Gosh darnit, if I have to spend $20 on this book, I'M going to read it too!" So, I did. And I couldn't put it down. And I went out the next day and got Catching Fire and then had to wait anxiously for Mockingjay to be released! I became obsessed with this book, and started googling it, and kind of fell into this whole community of adults who read YA...wha? really? You mean, it's OK, if I'm a thritysomething wanting to read YOUNG adult? Well, SIGN ME UP! From there, I took a good look at the YA section of the library and bookstores and a whole new world opened up to me! I entered this new world and never looked back! :) That's my story!

So, WHY is it that YA is growing in popularity with older readers? Well, I think that the popularity started with the Twilight and Hunger Games series. I believe alot of adults were hooked in with those books. I think YA books are given more liberty to have more whimsical plots (look at all the paranormal/fantasy titles) than adult, but they still have complex plots and interesting characters that hold the interests of adults as well as teens. Today's YA is not all "fluff" like it has been known for in the past.

I still have a few friends that turn up their noses at YA...I'm trying to convert them, lol. So, what do YOU think the reason for the YA craze is?


Jennifer said...

I completely agree with you. Though I cannot attest to feeling too old to read them (as I am only 23) I can completely agree with WHY non-young adults still love reading YAs. I think that there is a little bit of everyone that can relate to the main character in a YA story, because no one is completely confident in themselves. YAs are about growth as well as adventure, and who doesn't need a little of both. =)

Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library

Heidi said...

Don't forget Harry Potter as paving some ground as a major crossover series! When I was a teen, I never read YA. I was a bit snobby about how "mature" I was, and had been reading adult books since elementary school. Of course now I realize what a twit I was being, and YA comprises the bulk of my reading! I think that YA has also matured a lot as a genre. Not too long ago, almost all YA lit was meant to teach kids something. Now they can just be 'real' (I mean the characters, not always the situations), and I love that.

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