I used to think I was a bit of a dork for liking Young Adult literature, even though my years as a young adult are long gone.
Not so anymore. Although some may be too shy to admit to it or call it a guilty pleasure, YA fiction has a huge fan base among grownups; in fact, a recent study states that 55% of its readers are actually adults. And while I also choose from a variety of other genres and often crave the more literary and classic offerings as well, I particularly enjoy writing Young Adult fiction, as two of my upcoming novels will attest.
Why do I and so many others love reading YA novels? I don’t believe it implies immaturity, but rather suggests a more “young at heart” sensibility of the reader. And I am careful about not lumping all of them together; as in every genre there is great writing and not-so-great writing. With that in mind, here is what I find appealing about most of the YA and coming-of-age literature I have read:
- It draws you in and hooks you on the first page.
- It is usually light on the exposition and heavy on the action and dialogue.
- The drama isn’t contrived. The teenage years, with all of its growing pains, can be filled with turmoil. Ordinary situations often feel emotional, and even catastrophic.
- Teens are well-known to be impetuous and curious, therefore their actions are often unexpected. This opens up all sorts of drama which may include acting on violence, sexuality, and other previously uncharacteristic behaviours.
- We’ve all been there, so we can identify with many of the common conflicts that arise. Other times, we might enjoy reading YA as an escape into wish-fulfillment: a way of righting the wrongs in our own experience.
Still not convinced to give Young Adult a try? Peruse these quotes taken from bestselling YA fiction:
What do you think of the Young Adult genre?
Do you have any favourite YA quotes to share?