December 05, 2011

YA love

So I've loved to read YA fiction for as long as I can remember. Well, once I got past picture books and easy readers and middle grade stuff. Once I hit the YA shelves as a tween, I never looked back. I'd be hard-pressed to name ten adult books I've read. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. There was all of that literature (those italics are there to indicate that this was said with a snooty voice) I read in high school and college. And they're classics. They're amazing books. I do feel like they have rightly earned their places, and there is still amazing writing being done in the area of literature.

But YA fiction just grabs me.

I mean honestly, will I ever do a reread on Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina or Don Quijote again? No. Resounding no. And they were incredible books that touched me.

So what is it about YA fiction that I love? I was pondering this as I was looking through some friends' reviews on goodreads that were firmly in the adult literature category. And I came up with a short (but sweet) list. I realize that there are some huge generalizations here, but it's usually true. The list:
  1. First love. There's nothing like the anxious, nerve-wracking, self-deprecating, fluttery feeling of the first time you liked someone. No, not just liked someone. Like liked someone. You know what I mean. And YA fiction is full of the stuff.
  2. The creativity. It seems like just about anything goes in YA fiction. Wizards and witches fighting a wizard-gone-bad and who shall-not-be-named? Check. An International Paranormal Control Agency because paranormals are running amok? Check. Kids who have to fight to the death just because their power-hungry government says so? Check. Not to mention the mermaids, trolls, vampires, werewolves, and then the amazing more real-life situations added to books.
  3. The conflicts. This is part of #2. Because of the range of topics, there are crazy, fun conflicts. There are plenty of the teenage-angsty kind of conflicts, but how about teen angst combined with a dystopian society that chooses everything for you? It's just delicious!
  4. Fun. Sure, there are some YA books that are just heavy. But even serious YA books are more fun (to me, at least) than serious adult books. Something in the writing style, or something in the characters, or something in the plot that just leaves me more entertained than their "grown-up" counterparts.
Would I ever want to relive my teenage years? Not a chance! Too much braces, bad hair, awkward situations, and social craziness. But do I love reading it? Yes. Now excuse me while I go read about a girl who is in love with a fallen angel, has broken up with him, is seeing hallucinations of her dead father, and is feeling the teen-angst to the extreme.


  1. Hey Annie,

    Love the blog and I'm really loving your book. I'm so glad to have been chosen the winner for a signed copy recently. Hopefully soon I'll have a review posted for you. Belive me, I know how it is when your debut novel comes out and you really hope for good reviews. Not to worry. I can already tell it's going to be a winner!

  2. I love this post! And it's all so true. :)