Why Do I Read YA?

food for thought

I’ve seen this infographic floating around lately and it got me thinking:

_100213975_1_oscars_scripts_640-nc

…that THIS RIGHT HERE might be the reason I’ve always read and written YA. Girls are so much more present, so much more vocal, so much MORE in YA. International Women’s Day seems like the perfect time to present you with the these, the reasons I read YA:

1. There is so much girl power

who run the world
You find more books narrated by girls in YA. You find more stories about the power of female friendships, women supporting other women, girls standing up for themselves, and having a voice. You see girls owning their power, owning their sexuality, owning themselves. You watch them kick ass, both figuratively and literally.
Some of my favorite girl power novels: Cherry by Lindsey Rosin, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

2. They have writing so beautiful you could cry

slowly and then
I’m not crying you’re crying

A good story is a good story, and I find more of them in YA. They’re not dumbed down, like many who don’t read YA assume. Unlike many “literary” adult books, they can contain beautiful language without ten pages of boring description.
Some favorite beautifully written books: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, If I Stay by Gayle Forman

 

3. They’re about coming of age and personally, I feel like I’m still coming of age 

growing up
In a nutshell

YA is about figuring yourself out, who you are, who you want to be. At 34, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of who I am. Even as adults, we’re always changing, we’re always growing. Reading about teenagers trying to find their place in the world is more relatable than not.
Favorite books on growing up: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Top Ten by Katie Cotugno, This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

4. They tackle issues without being A Very Special Episode

problemsAnd I don’t think we can solllve them

YA covers any issues you can think of–school shootings, eating disorders, suicide, rape, racism, sexism, abuse, drugs, teen pregnancy–but all in a sort of hopeful way. They don’t all end with everything tied up in a neat little bow, but they aren’t as cynical as adult books can be.
VIP Issues: Now Is Everything by Amy Giles, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, Violent Ends edited by Shaun David Hutchinson, Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

5. Diversity FTW

The new normal is there is no normal

I don’t know what else to say about this one except that YA is wildly inclusive. Whoever you are, you can find yourself, and you are welcome here.
Books about people being peopleThe Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, This Is Where It Ends, Marieke Nijkamp 

6. They give you all the feels

emotions
Same, bro

The intensity of your first kiss, your first love, your first time. The sense of wonder and possibility that things seem to hold. Fights with friends you thought you’d always have, romantic relationships that are messy and raw. It’s all there, and it’s all beautiful.
I will go down with these ships: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren, Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman, How to Love by Katie Cotugno

7. Formatting Fun

texting
Don’t actually call me unless you’re on fire

YA gets this RIGHT. SO many novels are told in interesting and new formats. There are stories told entirely through letters, texts, emails, top-secret government documents, drawings, pretty much anything you can think of. These books are so fun to read, it’s so exciting to find a book written in a way you haven’t seen before.
Cannot recommend highly enough: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn, It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm, We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

So tell me in the comments…what do you read, and why do you love it?

2 thoughts on “Why Do I Read YA?

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