Why YA?

As part of Beth Revis’ awesome November contest, she asked that we write a post about why we love YA literature and why we read it. This is such an easy and hard post for me to write! There is so much I could say, quite frankly.

Here is why I love YA:
– It’s authentic.

Life is hard and scary and wonderful and difficult and worth fighting for. No matter the sub-genre within the YA sphere, all my favorite YA books seem to embrace the full experience of life. These aren’t cookie-cutter books that don’t have a point. These are young men and women going through some pretty incredible things and having to figure out how to be who they are meant to be in a crazy, complicated world.

-It’s fun.
I read YA because I love it. Because the stories are easy to capture my imagination. YA is exciting and creative and fun. It is where authors explore and encourage their readers to create a world within the world. YA books are books with deep truths, but these truths are often told through great, highly exciting, stories.

-It’s appropriate.
Yes, I know this one can be argued. But, compared to some of the “grown up” books I have read, YA is reader-appropriate. For the most part, the language, sex and situations are not as graphic and…insert word I can’t think of… as may books. That’s not to say there isn’t language, sex or violence in YA (I mean, have you read The Hunger Games?), but it is usually handled with an intentional, delicate hand. I have read very few YA books with sex for sex’s sake, for example.

-It’s creative.
Maybe I don’t read enough adult books to compare, but I find YA books to be creative and exciting. Sure, there are genres that seem to have a lot of books. A LOT OF BOOKS. But, I have found some truly unexpected and delightful books with completely unique stories, stories that I don’t think would have been accepted as “adult” literature.

-It creates life-long book lovers.
YA has a big job. It has to catch the reader’s imagination in a crazy world where everything is competing for their attention. Good, quality YA has the potential to make readers for life. If a good YA book or series convinces a reluctant reader to be a voracious reader, then I am happy to be a part of that trend. I know people who never read fiction that read now because they fell in love with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I know people who, as adults, have discovered the magic of James and his Giant Peach for the first time.

These are just some of the reasons I love YA. Why do you?

For more on this great contest, go to Beth’s Blog!

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