Monday, January 30, 2012

Why Do You Read/Write YA?

Laurel had a post the other day about there not being much of a market for college-aged kids out there.  I had commented that I had never really thought about it when I was in college, because I always just read YA.  Even at 30, I still read YA exclusively.

photo credit
So that got me thinking.  Why did I just read YA?  Why did I never transition into reading adult novels like many college/mid-20's people?  Why do I still read YA?

There is just something about that raw emotion YA novels (especially fantasy- my favorite) exude that (for me) adult novels just come up short on.  The whole coming of age, experiencing love and adult-like dilemmas for the first time, and just the ability to escape to another world just drew me in.  And it still does.  Your teenage years are one of the most important times in your life.  It's real and it matters.  No matter what anyone says.  It's what helps shapes you into the adult you are today.  I think those books had such an impact on me, that's why I wanted to write YA.  To give to someone what I experienced, and still do experience.

I've never been ashamed to admit I read YA.  I know some adults are, and they shouldn't be.  It's interesting how in the past few years it's become less taboo for adults to read YA.  I think Harry Potter and Twilight contributed a lot to that.  I meet so many adults now that actually sound interested when I talk about a certain YA book I'm reading.  And that makes me so incredibly happy.

So, I still don't know why there isn't much of a market out there for college aged kids.  But I do know there's nothing better than sitting down with a good YA and experiencing those teen years again just for a little while.

And then coming back to reality and realizing how glad you are those years are over.

So why do you read/write YA?  Or if you don't, what drew you to start reading adult novels?

15 comments:

Christine Danek said...

I think I write/read YA for the same reasons. It's just one of those times in your life when everything matters, no matter how big or small the issue. I love falling into other worlds and escaping. I have some "new adult" ideas floating around in my head, but I always go back to YA. Although, most of the YA I write seems to be upper YA. I guess I'm still 18 in my head. :)

Ellen Brickley said...

I read YA because I find the teen years so interesting, because the characters usually don't have jobs and rent and all the things I find so tedious about my own life, and because the emotions are stronger and more vivid than in adult fiction (I also read adult fiction, I just love YA too).

Great post, I enjoyed reading it :)

April Plummer said...

I'd never be ashamed to admit it. That's just silly. I do love YA, and I haven't always, and I'm not sure why I do. I think it's because...I guess I can relate to it, having been there/done that. And it is so raw. Young adults have an innocence about them, even if they aren't innocence. Everything they feel is so real and deep and...dramatic. Like you said - raw. I love it.

Kristin Rae said...

I've heard about a possible emerging genre called "New Adult" that would be between YA and Adult fiction. I had a story (that was crap) written for that age, but I sort of abandoned it because it's not really being pushed. I think it should be though!
I often choose YA over adult titles because for the most part, they're clean. I'm a fairly conservative reader, and some of the adult issues dealt with in books don't apply to me/I don't want them to apply to me. haha. I also love, as you said, the raw emotions of teens in these stories. And I started writing YA because I love reading it so much. :)

Meredith said...

I read YA when I was about twelve and thirteen, but then I started reading adult books and didn't come back to YA until I was in my early twenties. The raw emotion definitely drew me back in.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I liked fantasy and science fiction and back when I was a kid (let's just say that was a long time ago) those genres were predominately adult. That's what I read and still continue to read.

NiaRaie said...

I wrote a whole post on why I read YA (for a blogfest I believe) but I'm in my twenties (post college) and I exclusivity read YA. It's because YA is full of characters who are ardent and intelligent and romantics and make tons of mistakes. They just get to...live. And do it without the tedium of adult life (bills,mortgages & careers). So yeah that's why I read and write YA.

Angela Brown said...

Reading and writing YA is something I've always done. When I've tried adult, I find myself gravitating back to YA. There's just always been something about the possiblities, the chances, the changes endured during the YA time.

Colene Murphy said...

I can probably count the adult books(series) I really love on one hand. YA is just where it's at, for me! And I talk to many adult reading people, and I get "well it's really wordy" or "it takes a while to get into it" or "Most of those novels are boring, but this one was okay" and I always wonder...why read them if they have to make these kind of excuses for them!? I have rarely EVER said ANY of those things about a YA novel, whether I liked it or not.

Elliot Grace said...

...that stack is a whose who of literary prowess. I do believe I've read all of those ;)

If the story's penned by a talented wordsmith, I'll read it, regardless of genre. As writers, we're capable of squeezing valuable knowledge from our peers, whether it be a romance novel, or a YA drama.

Great post,

El

Ellie Garratt said...

Well said, Abby. For me (and I've only recently discovered a love for YA fiction) it IS about the raw emotion and the transition from childhood to adulthood. Maybe I'm re-living my teenage years over and over again, albeit a rather fantastical version, but I don't care. I love it.

Ellie Garratt said...

Oops. Forgot to ask about the Origins blogfest. There's no link and I couldn't anything about it.

Talli Roland said...

I wouldn't say I'm a massive reader of YA, but I'm not one to NOT read a genre just because of its genre. It's all about the story for me.

Slam Dunk said...

Not sure when I transition from YA to adult. I do remember enjoying Lord of the Rings so much as a teen that I wanted more. I think when I had time to read again, I was looking for other experiences of adults.

Rachel Morgan said...

Same reasons! There are so many "firsts" in YA novels. Everything is heightened, everything is more of a big deal. And all those firsts are exciting to write about (or re-experience when you're reading about them!).