Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why do you love YA books?

I love all kinds of books, but there is something special about the Young Adult genre. It is almost as if there is a freedom in talking about emotions and desires in young adult literature that cannot be found in other kinds of fiction. This freedom can be called innocence or ignorance even, but I think it just takes us, as readers, to a time in which emotions were not as easy to suppress as it might be in adulthood. For those who are still in their adolescent years, it helps them share their pain with someone who might think exactly like them, or whom they hope they could be like. 

There are lots of lessons learned in young adult literature, but what matters is the experience within the pages of the book. And what's most important to realize is that lessons can be learned at any age. 

I adore the sub-genres in YA literature. Most importantly, the paranormal and the "tough stuff." My favorite paranormal/science fiction book series I love is that of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. It is one of the best pieces of evidence of a story combining the harshness of growing up (realizing that all you've known has not been what you perceived it to be) and the thrill of the otherworldly. It's a fantastic ride and metaphor for growing up. 

I have two favorite "tough stuff" books: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen and The Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Jody Keplinger. Just Listen combined my love of music with the lesson of learning to accept yourself and your value. The DUFF showed readers a different side of a love story. So many times we are used to reading about the beautiful girl who gets swept off her feet. In The DUFF, we get a taste of a love story involving the popular kid and a girl who could be our best friend - who we know is beautiful, but not perfect (because there is no such thing as perfection) but who doesn't know how beautiful she is. 

Why do I love YA books? Because it allows me to enjoy a different world that is just as real as mine - and in a way that is much more honest than other book genres can be. 

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