How YA Rocked My World, and Why I’m Never Going Back

Ok, maybe “never” is too strong of a word, but reading adult novels has become a rarity in my life. And I’m an avid reader. And avid reader with a BA in English. Literature, I get. But I still prefer young adult books.

Why, you ask? Quite simply, YA has more fun. And I don’t mean that to sound diminutive. Fun is not bad, cheap, poorly-written, or lesser. Fun is enjoyable.

On a more intellectual level, YA books are often tighter written and edited than adult books. This is because teenagers won’t read something they’re not enjoying. Adults will muddle through a sloppy beginning or an superfluous scene, because they trust it will be worth the wait, but most teenagers simply don’t have the time or the patience for such wasted energy. As a result, YA novels have some of the best pacing out there. You want to learn pacing? Read screenplays or young adult books.

I’m not saying there aren’t fluff novels, because their are (Twilight, anyone?), but there are also a number of highly intelligent, deep, well-thought-out works of great literature being produced at the young adult level. The Book Theif is one of the best examples, which many people don’t even realize is a YA novel.

Right now, I see more risk-taking in YA than every before. Nothing is really off limits anymore. We’re talking sex, drugs, and rock and roll. There is also a lot of variety in YA. You’ve got your light chick-lit, your paranormal romance, you historical fiction, your literary fiction, your fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure fiction. You’ve got graphic novels and illustrated novels. There’s so much happening in the industry right now, and so very much potential.

Here are some of my favorites-of-the-moment, in no particular order:

The Hunger Games, by Susanne Collins

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John  Green and David Levithan

Cycler, by Lauren McLaughlin

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness

Empress of the World, by Sara Ryan

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About Lucy

If you want to get fancy, Lucy lives in Portland, OR, and has a MA in Writing/Book Publishing, with a focus on Young Adult Literature, and a heaping disregard for literary snobbishness (she was an English Major–she’s seen and spouted her fair share). She works as a social media marketer, and has dabbled in developmental editing as a freelancer.
This entry was posted in Publishing, Ranting and Raving, Reading List, Thoughts on Everything and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How YA Rocked My World, and Why I’m Never Going Back

  1. Eliza says:

    YA tends to make me nostalgic and a little weepy. It’s as if I get to go back in time and imagine a different teen experience for myself.

    • lmsoft says:

      I know what you mean! Sometimes I’ll get all emotional and involved in the drama, even when it differed a lot from my own experiences in high school.

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