Why I Still Read Young Adult Books As An Adult
Young adult books. I can’t remember when I started reading young adult (YA) novels, but I do remember when I stopped reading them. It was my second year of university when I was first introduced to the world of classic literature. Blame it on my English major, but I started finding young adult novels predictable and boring. The joke is on me though as fast forward to today, I am back to reading young adult novels.
Surprisingly, I find myself relating to the stories more than I could ever imagine. For whatever reason, there’s something about YA novels that keep pulling me back. Even so, I am grateful that I have started reading them again. Although one might argue that these novels are clichéd, there is always a beautiful lesson embedded around that cliché-ness. This is why I am writing this; to tell you the reasons why I read young adult books even though I am an adult, and hopefully get you to start reading them again too!
1. It is light and entertaining.
The first reason why I read young adult books is this: after a whole day of staring at the computer screen, the last thing I want to do is shove more complex words into my brain. This is why the YA genre is the perfect genre to cuddle up and relax with to help me wind down. The storylines are still interesting as they have strong character development. In other words, they are fun to read minus the complexity of the language! As it is a genre that targets teens, the plot is usually fast-paced which makes it a page-turner. If you are still struggling to build a reading habit with easy YA books, here are some tips on how to cultivate a reading habit.
2. It talks about serious issues.
Don’t let the word ‘young’ in it fool you. The existence of the word ‘young’ in the genre does not mean the issues in these YA novels are light. They are not afraid to tackle issues or feelings that even adults are afraid of talking about. Most of the lessons I have learnt about serious health or mental issues are through YA novels. For example, Things that Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari talks about eating disorders, and The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle taught me a lot about epilepsy. Last but not least, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green talks about cancer and that hits close to my heart. As you can see, you can always learn something from anything; even from something you deem as a children’s book.
3. It is well-written.
Just because it is a genre for young adults does not mean that the writing is simple. Relating to point number one, YA is often written in a simple tone but that does not mean the writing is at a sub-par level. One thing you have to remember when reading YA is that they are not written by young adults. Most of the writers for young adult novels are adults themselves (surprise, surprise). This is why even though some stories can be clichéd, the writing is still beautiful. They often have great storylines too which can then be turned into TV shows that we adults enjoy. Now, don’t tell me you did not watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Harry Potter!
4. It is RELATABLE.
Most YA novels centre around a coming-of-age theme. With that said, coming-of-age stories are still relatable to us, millennials. In this world of uncertainty, every one of us is still figuring ourselves out. Even at our age, we can still feel clueless sometimes. Reading about teenage stories can make us think about our journey of self-discovery. At times, when feeling stuck in life, reading YA books help me to navigate and understand my feelings deeper whenever I am feeling lost. This reminds me that no matter how old I get, I still need to go back to my young heart and remind myself of the important things in life.
In conclusion, genre transcends age. At the end of the day, they are just books. The same way you pick the movies you want to watch; you are free to pick which books you find enjoyable. No rule says that you only have to read old literature or novels written by laureates to grow. All books, whether you love them or not, will help you gain something in some way. This is why we read young adult books. Someone’s intellect does not depend on their choice of genre. An intellectual is someone willing to always learn no matter where they are and no matter who it’s from. Besides, as C.S. Lewis said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”