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Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I Love YA Lit.

I'll be answering your questions tomorrow--feel free to leave any last minute ones here!  One of the questions someone emailed me was about why I chose to write a young-adult novel as opposed to an adult novel.  I loved that question and thought it deserved it's own blog post!  So let's do it.

Young-adult literature is definitely getting the recognition it deserves lately due to Hollywood.  The Spectacular Now, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent...all young-adult novels.

These novels (and now, movies) don't simply draw the attention of young adults, but they also draw attention from every age group and walk of life.  Why is that?  One would think that after 20, the gap between what happens in YA novels and what readers are interested in would be growing wider by the day.  Obviously, that's not the case.  Why?

There are certain things in life that, once they happen, they can never happen again.  The first time you fall in love.  The first time you do something rebellious.  The first time you make a decision that terrifies you.  The first time someone breaks your heart.  Sure, these things will happen over and over throughout your life, but there's only one first.  Sometimes it's a good first, sometimes it's a bad first, but once it happens, you'll never have that first again.

It's nice to be able to re-live the magic of those firsts.  It's great to watch a character fall stupidly in love and then make a ton of mistakes because it's the first time she's ever been in love.  It's wonderful to be able to recall your own version of that story with the fondness of hindsight.

Because there are still a ton of "firsts" that you are totally unprepared for.

Buying a house, having a family, learning how to budget money, figuring out how to do life with another person, stumbling through careers, figuring out what the heck you actually want to do with your life...no matter how prepared you think you are in life, you never really are.  And it's nice to watch some characters stumble through life, because you can totally relate to that.

It's incredibly emotional. 
If you read about a grown man getting his heart broken, it's easy to be cynical.  But to read about a teenage boy getting his heart broken?  It's heart wrenching.  Because you remember how vulnerable you were as a teenager.  Reading about characters who freely fall in love and jump into new things, even when they are sure to end badly, reminds you of that part of yourself.  Sometimes you need to remember that you haven't always been cynical and stressed and worried about life.

Because there is a part of your heart that will always be young. 
A part of you will always long to fall in love, will always long to be irresponsibly adventurous, will always long to be vulnerable and open to life.  And most YA novels are about all of those things.  They're about being open to life.

Do you read YA lit?  Why or why not? 

PS:  Have a Nook?  My book is available for pre-order on the Nook today!


g o  s h o p p i n g:

22 comments:

  1. Very true. I don't normally read a lot of YA lit, but I'm getting back into it. I recently re-read The Fault in Our Stars and just read Divergent, and am waiting on #2 from the library.

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  2. I totally agree. I love YA lit. Partly because I don't really want to read about the exact things I'm living through now, as a 30 year old. It's a little more of an escape.

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  3. i don't normally read YA lit, but when i do i love it for the exact reasons you mentioned. 'the fault in our stars' was definitely the best i have read in years.

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  4. I love YA lit! I think all that you wrote above is very true!

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  5. I adore YA lit. Most of the novels I find myself drawn to fall into that category for exactly these reasons. There's something so captivating about living those pivotal moments of someones life with them!

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  6. I love YA fiction and read it bc I like that the stories go faster and they're usually not so bogged down by details!

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  7. Yes, this is a great list of reasons to love YA!! It really is a genre that can interest almost any age.

    Last minute question for you on publishing your book: how long did it take you to write your novel, and what led you down the path to your publisher? I'm excited to read this post! :)

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  8. I love YA, too! I still buy all of my favorite books from when I was younger, just so my kids can read the same ones that I loved, too. My YA shelf is one of my favorites :)

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  9. This is such an awesome way to look at the young adult fad. You are so right...that time of life is so impressionable and exciting. It's intriguing to read about regardless of whether you aren't there yet, are in it, or have already left it. I'm going on 25-years-old and YA is still my favorite genre!

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  10. It depends on the story...as long as there is a love story, I can usually get into it. I'm loving Divergent; reading it after seeing the movie. Hunger Games on the other hand didn't push me to read the books after seeing the movies. I'm interested to know who designed your book cover? How did you choose the designer and ultimately settle on your book cover?

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  11. I don't read a lot of YA lit but I do like it depending on what it covers. I can't get into Divergent and Hunger Games but ones that deal with the struggles of growing up and things like that I really like.

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  12. Well I imagine I am about twenty something years older then you..closer to your Mom's age, and while I adore YA dystopian, fantasy, paranormal etc I struggle most with YA contemporaries. I love coming of age and first loves those are sweet, but most of the time I cannot relate to the high school drama etc. There are exceptions like Pushing the Limit, Sea of Tranquility etc Fantastic post!

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  13. Yep, these are all my reasons. I love the firsts. They make my heart race reading them, and I swear YA keeps me young.

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  14. I loved reading this! I've always been a huge reader so when I was younger I loved YA novels! Over the past few years I've been more drawn to other genres, but lately I've been getting more into YA books again! I think blogging has a lot to do with it because I come across so many great books and authors in the YA genre!

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  15. I love YA fiction! And your reasons for it here make perfect sense! I've never thought about it, but it's so true. Reading about those firsts is so different than reading adult fiction. :)

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  16. I love YA Lit...they're more adventurous and exciting than adult novels.

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  17. guilty. guilty. totally guilty! even if i'm 24 years old i still love young adult lit. so much more exciting, dreamy and fun to read then adult novels. ick!

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  18. I think you covered it well! I remember all those firsts and all those EMOTIONS and I like to relive it a little, I guess.

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  19. Wonderful post!

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  20. I agree that the idea of Firsts are a big draw of YA lit. For me it's also the hope that is common within the genre. Teens are just starting their lives and even when things are horrible, within the genre there is almost always the idea that things will or at least can be better in the future.

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  21. Awesome perspective! I love YA novels. I love how relatable they are and how close and connected the reader gets to the characters. In the end you feel like you've made a friend.

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  22. Even at 24, YA is still my favorite genre. I agree with you, I definitely feel like I relate to and empathize more with YA characters.

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