Why I Read YA

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The hashtag, #WhyIReadYA, has been popping up every 2 seconds around social media this week. Instagram, Tumblr, Blogs, etc. have been bubbling over with blurbs explaining the reason why he/she reads YA lit, so I'm here to tell you my story and the reason why I read YA.

I, like most of my fellow YA readers who are not teenagers, get a lot of shit for reading books that stem from the Young Adult category. Everyone from my family, to English major friends, to professors and teachers, to the average joe who thinks he knows what 'true' literature is always makes comments about the fact that I read what they like to call children's books.

Most of these people think that YA is naïve, unintelligent, unrealistic, or not educated enough to be considered true literature. blah. blah. blah.

What do I say to that?

I say, "You're wrong."

YA is so much more than the age it is primarily marketed for. It is more than the teenage protagonists. It is more than the teenage escapades and angst. It is more than all of that combined.

I read YA for the strength of the characters, because when I read a book, I become the protagonist. When I read Throne of Glass I become one of the most feared assassin's in Adarlan. When I read The Book Thief I become a little German girl searching for words in the basement with a Jewish man. When I read Harry Potter, I become a wizard who always finds a way into the restricted section of the library among other troubled situations.

When I read YA I find that I have that same strength in myself. I have bits of all of the characters I've read hidden somewhere in me. I have the courage of a lion, the curiosity of a child, the imagination of an inventor, and the passion of a revolutionary leader.

Why do you read YA?


  1. Why do I read YA? Good question. I think part of it stems from my dislike for adult books when I was a teenager. I wasn't really interested in reading about adults who were a lot older than me (I was the same way with movies for a long time). It was difficult to relate to people who had such different life experiences. YA hadn't really become a huge thing yet when I was a teenager; Judy Blume and Paula Danziger ruled at that point, and they'd done so for years. As the selection of YA books grew in the next few years, I just went along for the ride.

    It's not like I never read adult books at all, but I still enjoy mostly YA... if I can find something unique and well written. I've read more than enough Twilight clones!

    1. I completely understand! YA lit was just becoming popular when I was a preteen -that was when Harry Potter came out and everything boomed! I'm so happy that YA has grown to what it is today. So many more people are reading, and I can't believe how much HP has helped literacy. I just love books so much. *gush*

  2. I read YA to gain a different perspective on life. I love Adult and MG books too but the experience is different for all of them. Each age group has limits. A YA character usually doesn't have the experience that an Adult character has. When faced with the same problem, they'll most likely have different resources and go about solving it in different ways.

    I have yet to face criticism from anyone for reading YA books. I don't know why it even bothers people that some adults read YA. Does this mean we shouldn't read children's books to our children too? Or is it an exception because we aren't reading it for our pleasure? Do these same people look down on young adults that read Adult books? Some people need to just sit down, eat some cake and enjoy their own life instead of worrying about what other people are reading.

    1. Thank you for such a thought-provoking comment! I completely understand! I studied English in college, so a lot of people with degrees kind of snub their noses at such inferior literature, considering that only the classics are worth reading. When I was in college, my Creative Writing professor said there were only two types of literature worth reading in the world. Novels written before 1980 and poetry. So not only did he discount every single YA title, but all the adult novels that were published post 1980. It's frustrating.
      I agree though people just need to sit down and not worry what other people are reading if it disagrees with their delicate reading pallet.

  3. I love this! And I think you're exactly right. I don't think anyone should be judged on what they read! Reading is a personal experience, and a reader should be able to read whatever makes them happy without having to be subject to ridicule by people who don't have the same personal or emotional connection to the text.
    I'm 21, and I do not see myself ditching YA in the near future (or any future, for that matter). I love YA stories. I love how passionate they are, and how swoony they are, and how adventurous they are. They make me fall in love, and feel things that i wouldn't normally get to feel so often.
    YA is nothing about age - it's about enjoyment, and I think everyone should know that!


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