I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this for a while, as it is something I think about a lot. In terms of traditional target audience, I’m not really what YA is typically aiming at: I’m 24 years old for a start, which is a little more adult than young adult now I think!
Still, YA is the majority of what I read – as in it’s almost everything, with the occasional MG or adult book thrown in. I don’t really get hung up on reading it any more, like I might have in the past. I know who I am and what I enjoy, and I’m not going to let anyone tell me I’m too old to read what I’m reading, or that I should read ‘adult’ or ‘proper’ books (their words, not mine!)
When I was still a teenager (though admittedly late teens) I had people asking when I’d grow out of reading teenage fiction (I didn’t really have the YA phrase when I was a teen) and when I’d start reading adult books. I didn’t really understand why they’d ask that – I was a teenager, it made sense to me that I’d be reading teenage books. And adult fiction just didn’t really appeal to me. I read a couple here and there, but they were few and far between and had to be something really special to grab my attention.
When I finally stopped being a teen, I didn’t stop reading YA. I did still get asked if I had grown out of it, but I knew the answer now: I wasn’t going to grow out of it. These were the books I enjoyed and wanted to read, so that’s what I was going to stick to. YA books have incredible themes that aren’t just relevant to teenagers, they have characters that I still feel I really connect to, even if they’re not really my age any more, and they just seem to have a creative freedom and ‘anything goes’ feel that I don’t get (personally) from adult fiction.
I find it odd that sometimes YA books have ‘adult’ covers brought out, as I have no problem being seen reading YA books in public, but I can’t really complain about them if it gets more people reading YA.
I’d love to know what you love about reading YA, whether you’re a teenager or more on the adult side like me 😉