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thoughts

Books for Thought is where I post a discussion topic related to books, reading, writing, or something pertaining to one of the three. I hope you’ll join in, and discuss today’s topic of

why i read ya

I was hanging out with a friend at the library, and we were talking about what books we like to read. And when I said I read YA, he asked me “Why?”

And all I could really think of was “Because I love it”. Which is, to be fair, a shitty response. It doesn’t give any insight into WHY I love it, or WHAT I love about it, or anything. But in those tiny few seconds I had to think of an answer to give him, I couldn’t think of anything else to say.

And I guess I do read YA ‘because I love it’. I always have, and it is likely that I always will. But what is it about YA specifically that I love? That keeps me coming back, and keeps me reading book after book? I don’t know if I could ever really pin-point an exact reason, but I here are a few things about YA that I love:

its intensity

Now, I know that adult books can probably whip out the intensity factor, as well, but I love how everything that main characters in YA feel is to the max. Because what young adults feel is, a lot of the time, intense. When these characters fall in love with someone for the first time, or have their first kiss, or go and do their first special snowflake thing – it’s all so intense. And a lot of the time these intense things lead to intense feels. And feels are always good.

it’s relatable

I am not a thirty year old divorcee travelling the world to find the lust of life. Which, to me, it seems a lot of adult fiction is focussed on. I am also not in a dead end career with three children. Or engaged to be married to my fiance, but still in love with my childhood best friend. I cannot relate to any of the adult books that I ever come across. But I can still relate to the YA storylines I read, because a lot of them are universal. I mean, I can throw myself back five years and still remember with heightened clarity my high school years. And even when a YA book isn’t about high school, it can be about finding yourself, and figuring out what you want to do – and I can still relate to that. I can relate to YA.

the shipping

I have to say that shipping is such a bigger thing in YA than in anything else (in my experience). I love shipping things with my ‘force of a thousand fiery suns’ because (like I said in the first point), I love dem feelz.

the writing

I have read some beautiful YA novels. Lyrical books that made me fall head over heels in love. And I just haven’t found that anywhere else (yet – they’re probably out there). I love reading words and marvelling at their beauty, and falling in love with the fact that 26 letters can form such beautiful words.

the storylines

The storylines in YA interest me. A badass assassin who is also part fae and out to rule the world. A fallen angel who is a demon and unsure of the meanings of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. A girl who goes into faerieland with her sisters to dance all night. An orphan girl who turns out to be the most powerful magic wielder in the world. A girl who pretty much single-handedly brings down a dystopian society. These storylines are epic, and breathtaking, and they make you realise your own potential.

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I suppose my list could go on. The authors that I have interacted with that I can now call friends. The friends I have made through blogging. The simple joy that reading YA gives me. All of it plays a role in my shitty answer of “because I love it”. But I think I would have bored him near to death if I actually described all the reasons that YA owns my heart.

YA also means a lot to me. These books have been there for me through everything. They’ve given me just so much, and they will always have a special place in my heart because of that.

Sure, I might reach out into other genres (more so than I do right now) at some point in the future, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving and reading YA.

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What about you? Why do you read YA? What are some of the things you love about it?

sig-chiara

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Posted on: October 9, 2015 • By: Chiara

37 Responses to Why I Read YA

  1. Omg I agree with this so completely. My biggest two are a) the sizes of YA books are usually smaller and awk, I love a good concise book that gets to the point of the story faster!! and b) relatability, too. *nods* I doooon’t relate to ANY adult books. And when I do read adult books I find myself reading ones like Extremely Loud and Incredible Close and The Girl with All the Gifts which are both narrated by children anyway. xD

    • Chiara says:

      Yay! HAHA, I hate big books, too. They terrify me, and I always find myself backing away from them slowly XD I don’t relate to Adult fiction, either! And the ones I find myself enjoying are always written like YA or are YA cross-overs, haha.

  2. All the yes for this post, Chiara. Excellent points!

    Tbh whenever I open a YA book and got immersed into it. It felt… like familiar turf. Like YA is the only genre I can feel comfortable with anytime. I’m not sure if I’m making sense hahaha and yes, the coming-of-age books are especially relatable. It’s great to be inside a fictional tenager’s head and just… click with the MC. Lol

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you so much, Evelyn! (And sorry for the very late comment reply.)

      it certainly does make sense! I always feel a sense of comfort when I start my newest book (of which 99.9% are YA). I know that I’m going to have a good time reading a YA book, even if it’s not a book I am completely in love with!

  3. These are all such good reasons to love YA. I definitely agree that everything is more intense – which sometimes more angsty, but hey, why not right? And even MG has a lot of these things in common. Boo to adult books, haha.

  4. I think I like reading YA because the books are easier to read, if that makes sense? I only really read adult chick lit, otherwise I’m YA all the way, because the books aren’t too wordy and the characters don’t have stupid names (look at you Throne of Glass) and the general bookness of it is less intimidating.. I think. Also, I’m only 20, that’s not out of the YA age range yet, is it?

    • Chiara says:

      They are less intimidating, although some of them are getting pretty hefty now, haha. I’ve found that the Adult fiction books I’ve read and enjoyed read more like YA books anyway! So obviously it is still the genre for me. I don’t think 20 is out of the YA range, but I don’t think any age really is. I think if you enjoy YA, you’re still in the age range :)

  5. Katherine says:

    This is never a question I’ve been asked or considered before, but I’ll think about it now! Anyway, I think I read YA because it, like you, is where I am personally right now. I’m technically maybe a little bit into the new adult genre, but I still love young adult. I think I also like it for the same reason we like Disney movies – it brings me back to high school and what it was like to be that age. Plus, I like the type of fantasy worlds it includes. Not that I’m saying there aren’t complex worlds in YA (because there are), but I love settling into a YA fantasy world which isn’t huge and dramatic like some of the popular adult fantasy series. It’s perfect to escape in for a little while, which is ultimately the reason I read too.

    • Chiara says:

      I definitely get what you mean about the fantasy worlds! Some of the ones in the adult fiction genre are so complex, and I fear that I would never be able to wrap my head around it all! And all the words are so weird, too, haha XD

      YA is a great escape, especially in books that aren’t contemporary. And I still relate to a lot of characters, and can see myself in their shoes, as well!

  6. Love this. I read YA simply because it’s what interests me. I’m still at that age where it’s “acceptable”, but even as I start to get older, I don’t see myself ever not reading YA. Adult titles don’t entice me in the slightest and like you, I can’t see myself relating with most of those story lines until way down the track. And even then, I don’t even know if I’ll want to read them much. I suppose this is why NA exists, to help bridge the gap between YA and A. Before that came along, there was a big gap. But anyway, I’m getting off track…

    26 letters can form such beautiful words. -THIS. This fact blows me away.

    • Chiara says:

      <3 I don't know if it's technically "acceptable" to read YA at 22, but I just don't care! I love YA so much, and I'm not going to let an invisible norm stop me from reading what I love :D And yeah, NA is a great bridge, but I feel like that genre still has a lot of growth in it before it becomes a real stepping stone.

      RIGHT? It's amazing.

  7. Leah says:

    This blog post rang true with me. YA books have been my home since I was around ten or eleven years old. I too have yet to find my home in the adult fiction section. As you yourself so excellently stated, I can still relate to the characters in YA fiction more easily than I can with characters in adult fiction. New Adult is a burgeoning genre which I am tentatively exploring. As I am in my mid-twenties, I’m hoping this genre will provide me with some even more relatable characters. What do you think of New Adult? Have you read any New Adult books?

    • Chiara says:

      I’m glad you could relate, Leah! And I definitely still relate more to YA books that adult books. I think that’s because most adult books focus on people in their thirties – or at least it seems that way, and that is definitely not me yet, haha.

      I have been reading some more New Adult books! I have to say that the genre seems pretty saturated with romance at the moment, but there are a few gems in there.

  8. Yes to everything!!! I love YA because it opens my eyes and mind to a lot of things. It has taught me a lot, made me experience a lot of feelings and emotions and it’s is impossible to believe how much a few written words can do to a person!

  9. Shannelle says:

    It’s the coolest being able to reach out to an author and get a response, and I think no one does it like YA authors do. *hugs all the YA stuff* Basically, YA forever.

  10. “The shipping” YOU HAVE IT SO RIGHT. I didn’t really get into the shipping business for quite a while, and only now am I just coming comfortably into it, but it’s so great. I’m in love with the shipping, so long as it remains nice. It can go both ways, totally, in any community, and with our passions so high here it can get nasty, sometimes.
    It’s interesting that YA wasn’t really a thing, fifty years ago, and yet it’s just such a huge thing now. If I were to describe why I read YA, I don’t know what my answer would be… I guess I’d say “because it’s what I like”, but that’s not enough, you’re right- YA deserves more. The things we love, they deserve more than a simple answer. A summary like that. I suppose I read YA because… it’s the natural thing for me to do. It’s the place I feel at home. I read to be captivated into worlds I couldn’t otherwise be in, and sometimes they feel more like home than this one. And that’s what I love.

    • Chiara says:

      I’ve never wanted to see the bad side of shipping, and thankfully have never experienced it, but I still think the greatness of it outweighs the possible negatives. It makes so many people happy. And it’s a thing you can do by yourself, with friends, and with a whole community. It’s amazing.

      It is weird! And gets so much shit that it doesn’t deserve :(

      I love what you said about reading YA, Romi. It’s perfect <3

  11. I’m twenty-seven-years old, so I have often thought to myself, “You need to stop reading YA fiction.” It’s not all I read, but it is still the majority. I’m still in love with the same novels I’ve loved since I was sixteen. While the devil on my shoulder likes to tell me that my love for YA is my refusal to grow up and become an adult, I really love how you simply state that, even now, YA books are still the most relatable. I haven’t had the life experiences popularized in adult fiction yet. But I can still understand the pain and the struggle of the main characters in YA books. That and the writing is lovely and the stories are amazing. Most of them could easily feature older characters and still be amazing. Great post! <3

    • Chiara says:

      There’s no doubt that I’ll still be reading YA novels far into my future. Maybe it is about wanting to stay young and refuse to enter the adult world in every aspect, but I don’t really mind. I love the stories I’m reading in YA novels, and I think that’s the most important thing!

      Thank you so much <3

  12. Aentee says:

    Completely agree Chiara, even though I am 25, I actually have a lot of difficulties relating to the quarter life crisis that the fictional adults go through, I feel like I can relate to the finding yourself side of YA, rather than the reinvent yourself side of adult fiction. Plus, I feel that the world views expressed in adult books are often so bleak (e.g. Gone Girl, omg) that I prefer the more hopeful world portrayed in YA. I AM AN OPTIMIST.

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, I don’t really see myself relating to any adult books. And even if I did, I’d probably want to read something fun, not reminiscent of my own adult struggles, yaknow? YA is definitely more hopeful, and I really like that aspect, as well. Even if I am not particularly an optimist XD

  13. THIS. I completely agree with you 110% on this Chiara. I think there’s something about YA that makes it relatable to everyone – teenagers and adults alike. The emotions and the feelings that YA characters go through, the struggle of being on the brink of adulthood but not quite being there, are feelings that both adults and teens know so well. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! ♥

  14. Next time someone asks me why I like YA, I’m just going to whip out this post and be done with it xD I definitely agree that YA is the genre I relate to the most! I also think that YA is one of the most original genres out there right now. Although I’m taking a liking lately to Urban Fantasy, so maybe I’ll have a new favorite soon :D

    • Chiara says:

      Haha, I’m glad you think it answers the question well! :D

      There is a huge range of YA books, aren’t there? And a lot of them manage to be pretty unique, as well!

      I’ve been reading a little more NA at the moment, which is fun, but my heart will always belong to YA <3

  15. Tasya says:

    I agree with the shipping and it’s relatable. I LOVE seeing the chemistry between 2 people and ship them. I also find it easier to like a book if it’s more relatable/easier to connect to the situation/character :)
    Anyways I tagged you for the I Mustache You Some Questions tag. You can kindly check it out here: http://theliteraryhuntress.blogspot.co.id/2015/10/i-mustache-you-some-questions-tag.html :)

    • Chiara says:

      Shipping people is one of my true happinesses, so that’s definitely one of the reasons why I love YA so much, haha. And being able to relate to a character of their situation is always such a perk when reading a book!

      Thank you so much :D I will answer these ASAP (sorry for the late reply, university and life things got in the way!).

  16. I always find it hard to explain why I love something. I just DO, you know. It’s the same as asking me why I breathe. It’s a feeling and when I think about (YA) books it makes me warm and fuzzy. There is something comforting about it and the best way to escape.

  17. Valerie says:

    Yes! I can tell you the exact reason WHY I read YA. Because of the content! And plot! I remember when I was a youngin’, and I thought I HAD to read adult. Well, I tried, and it was so dry. I didn’t care about these old people that only cared about romance. And the main plot was cheating or drama or moving to a new middle of nowhere place. NOPE. I needed more than that. With less detail. Which is why I stick to YA, because it’s not boring AT ALL. And most of them actually MOVE me. Which is what I need. Though it’s true I do read some adult books, it’s only the ones that REALLY interest me. But that’s it :)

    • Chiara says:

      LOL, I used to think the exact same thing and then I realised that reading is for ME, and I can read whatever makes me happy :D Which is YA.

      Oh gosh, YA is hardly ever boring (there are the few rarities that are), and I have been emotionally moved by quite a number of them. It’s gorgeous.

      Same! I’ve been reading a few NA novels and actually liking them, but YA will always be #1 ^.^

  18. definitely the reliability! I love that I can read characters that experience and feel the same things I do, and I adore the intensity too, every emotion in YA [the good ones that is xD ] are so rich and complex, they’re a multitude of wonderful aspects. I will say however atm I’m taking a little step back from YA, not completely, but I’m aiming to read some other genres too, so far YA, fantasy and romance have been dominating my reading list so I’m excited for the change! [naturally there will be plenty of horror and murder mysteries to come, because I’m perfectly lovely like that haha ^.^ ]

    • Chiara says:

      I really do love the emotions in YA, and how almost every aspect of the story is influenced by that intensity!

      I have taken a liking to New Adult, actually! I mean, I still read YA more than anything, but I have been enjoying my little forays into the NA world. I hope you enjoy yours, as well! :D

  19. I honestly hate that question! Great books is typically my response, but YA is great for all of the reasons you mentioned as well. Also, a lot of times I don’t think the characters feel like teens because the parents are absent and they have some pretty epic adventures (like Throne of Glass!!!)

    • Chiara says:

      Me, too! I never feel like what I say in response is good enough, haha. And it’s true, a lot of the time it doesn’t feel like I’m reading about teenage characters. And I don’t mind if it does feel like that, either, because I was a teenager not so long ago, anyway!

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