My love of reading goes back to my childhood. I was never without a book in hand for as long as I can remember. And over the years my taste in books has changed several times over. When I was a child I read mostly middle grade and “picture” books. As a teenager I ventured head-long into adult books the likes of Nora Roberts, Christine Feehan, and classic literary novels.
Surprisingly, throughout all of these preferences, I was never more criticized for my taste in books as I now am as an adult. Whenever I am discussing books with friends, I try my best to avoid telling them which books I read because I am sick of hearing the inevitable question, “Really? Isn’t that book written for kids?”. And then after I admit that Yes, it is a young adult book, the immediate strange looks that I then receive. With the conversation ending shortly thereafter.
But, you know what? I am sick of being ashamed of my reading preferences! And I am going to lay out for you all of the reasons
Why I Read YA
P.S. Let me preface this by saying I do not think these are hard and fast rules of all adult vs. YA books. These are only my opinions from what I have experienced.
Reason #1: I Can Read Them Faster
In my opinion, young adult books just have a better flow to them than some adult books. The writing is easier to digest and understand at a faster pace. The plot twists are plentiful and spaced closer. I assume this change in writing style is a mechanism to capture the attention of the video game generation, but it works on all readers. I am just as busy and distracted as any young person, what with my children demanding attention, my job, my worries, my responsibilities, etc. So I appreciate a book that can capture my attention and take me out of my own head for a little while.
Take this for an example: I recently read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (579 pages) and it took me almost a MONTH to complete it. Was it just a poorly written book? Absolutely not. In fact, I really enjoyed the book. I just really struggled to get through all of the detail with very little action to keep the flow up.
Let’s liken that to a similar sized YA book: I read Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (513 pages) this summer in only SIX DAYS. Why the difference? I was completely sucked into this story and it never let up. Every time I would think it was going to have a lull in the story, another dilemma would enter the scene and draw me back in for the next few chapters.
Reason #2: They Are Typically Lighter Reads
Now wait. I am not saying that YA books do not tackle some very prominent and difficult topics, because they do. A lot of them actually. You can find social and behavioral issues buried within most young adult books. But that’s the point, they are buried. While the issues and lessons are there, they are not overwhelming or in your face.
Reason #3: The Romances Are Sweeter
Even this is number three on my list, it is probably the biggest reason that I read YA. Call me a prude, call me a romantic, call me Shirley…but I like to read about the relationship between two characters, not just the relations they have. Let me be really clear on this subject: Adult books have TOO MUCH SEX and not enough FOREPLAY.
I like the butterflies in the stomach, that rush when you hold hands for the first time, the sweet warmth of a first kiss, and the agonizing frustration of unfulfilled anticipation. I love when an author takes a relationship all the way to the brink, only to be interrupted. A perfect example of this type of writing can be found in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series. Alex and Aiden have the sweetest, most addicting relationship I have ever witnessed. I am completely convinced of their love for each other, even though they have never done more than kissing through the first three (I think) books in the series.
So the next time I am discussing books with someone, I am going to proudly state that I prefer YA. And when I get the inevitable look of confusion, I will share with them all the reasons stated above. I may even attempt to convert them into trying out YA for themselves, because I believe everyone should read YA.
In fact, I am going to try to convert some of you too. The lovely ladies of Epic Reads (Harper Teen) had a discussion recently relating to converting non-YA readers and they came up with a YA Starter Pack to give out. You can see what they chose to include in theirs HERE.
So I am going to give away my own YA Starter Pack. You do not have to be new to YA to enter or win, but I would suggest that if you are as in love with the category as I am, maybe you can use the starter pack to give to someone you would like to convert.
The Following Items Will Be Included:
Hot Chocolate/Tea Packet
YA Book Inspired Snuggie
Paperback Copy of any Jennifer L. Armentrout YA book (your choice)
This giveaway is open to US/CAN only (international friends, see below).
It will run until the end of September.
Cheaters never prosper on my site. I verify every winning entry and your entry will be forfeit if I find you cheating.
For my International Friends
I did not want to leave you out of the YA starter pack fun, unfortunately I just cannot afford the shipping to send these items to you. I know, it’s not fair and I am sorry for that. So in stead. I am offering you your own YA starter pack giveaway!
Winners will receive:
Paperback copy of any Jennifer L. Armentrout YA book (your choice)
$25 gift certificate to online book retailer of your choice