My Random Thoughts

Why I read YA (even though I turn 30 next month)

So, first of all, we all have heard of Young Adult Fiction and just as a recap Wikipedia describes it as

Young adult fiction (YA) is a category of fiction published for readers in their youth. YA books are catered towards readers from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults.

Subject matters and the genres of YA correlate with the “age and experience” of the protagonist and subsequent supporting characters, typically facing “real world” problems as the story progresses. The genres available in YA are expansive and similar to those found in adult fiction genres. Common themes related to YA include: friendship, first love, relationships, and identity. Stories that focus on the specific challenges of youth are sometimes referred to as problem novels or coming-of-age novels.

YA was developed to soften the transition between children’s novels and adult literature. In recent years, diversity has become a defining feature of young adult novels.

So yes I am one of the “approximately half of YA readers are adults” but why is that. Like I say I turn 30 next month, I have two kids and a husband but I still don’t feel like a fully fledged adult yet. We’re stuck in an era where I feel like we’re constantly disappointing the generations above us even though we’re working just as much as they did but we have nothing to show for it. Yes, I would like a bigger house and a mortgage but I’m not willing to sacrifice my mental health or my first born to get it.

For me, it’s nice to be able to read and escape into a story without these problems. Plus I like a bit of romance, not every girl does but I do even if I don’t appear to. I am a woman who wants occasional flowers just because, I want walks along a beach at sunset, I want to be kissed under the stars, However,  I’m not like Elizabeth Bennet. Mr Darcey doesn’t do anything for me

I don’t want to read about a pompous, sanctimonious prick who thinks he’s too good for me. I also don’t want someone like Noah Calhoun from the notebook

Someone who threatens to kill themselves unless I go on a date with them is the beginning of a toxic relationship to me and I don’t want that. I think Women’s Romance novels go way too deep sometimes and I just want to escape from the real world. Give me men like Rhysand, Julian (from Caraval), Prince Dorian or Chaol.

On top of the romance aspect (take it, Belle)

We’ve (my mother and I) have been looking at our family tree of late and have discovered that at least one part of the family hasn’t moved out of North West England since at least the 1400’s. Where I live it’s genuinely beautiful and I’m not just saying that because I live here. I grew up on an island where the channel was at one end of my street and the Irish sea was at the other and I loved it. The Lake District is on my doorstep. However, now that we have done the family tree I have a bit of wanderlust stir inside me. I want to travel and see the world but this is simply not something I can do. I can’t just drop everything and say “right come on passports are up to date lets go”. I have responsibilities and I am not the type of person to shy away from them. Sometimes I wish I could and I’m willing to bet my husband does too but I need to think of my children’s education and wellbeing. If I was stuck in a car with the three of them for a long period of time, we’d likely go insane and do something we’d come to regret later.

So instead I read YA books because I want to see myself as the main character and get swept up into a fantasy land where anything is possible. Sometimes we don’t want to feel grown up and you know what that’s ok. We millennials get put down enough and why should I made to feel about things I like doing. I love pole dancing. It doesn’t make me a slut, it makes me strong. I love chocolate, yes it will make me gain weight but that’s my prerogative. If I want to escape into a YA novel because I like them and find women’s romance novels to be too much sometimes then dammit I will read YA novels and no one but my bank can stop me.

At the end of the day, I read them because I like to read them and yeah they might have an outlined age recommendation but so do other things yet adults still enjoy them as sometimes we want to feel like a carefree child again.

11 thoughts on “Why I read YA (even though I turn 30 next month)”

  1. You summed up really well what makes YA great, and thank you for sharing your feelings about adult responsibilities and wishes for something more.. magical, if I may put it like that. You’re definitely not alone feeling like this!😽😊

  2. I read YA and am older than you. I like them because most of the time the drama is “real” unlike typical romance novels where it feels forced and melodramatic. There’s nothing more real than someone on the precipice of their adult life with all of the choices out there in front of them.

    1. I completely agree. Sometimes typical romance novels are quite farfetched in their quest to find love where YA it’s more natural. l couldn’t agree more with you on the realism of the choices the characters have to make as they’re entering the adult world

  3. This is a beautiful post… and you captured all of us thirty somethings feelings very well… I still don’t know why I connect so much to characters in YA, but they feel so close to me… I relate to their issues more than any adult books… I don’t mind reading adult romances too but YA is my heart ❤️
    And who wouldn’t want a Rhys or Prince Dorian 😍😍😍

  4. I’m 25 now and I sometimes still feel too old for YA lol. But it’s been my fave genre for SOO long, that it wouldn’t be me to just give it up because I’m “too old”. Even though some of the things these teens and young adults go through is so juvenile and trivial 😆.

    1. I know what you mean. I feel like people give me funny looks when they see me browsing the YA section of the bookshop but I do feel like I have more of an idea of what these characters go through. I’m not planning on giving up reading YA because of these funny looks though

  5. Really great post with interesting points! I read YA for many of the same reasons as you! And even though I am “only” 20 I sometimes feel I get a bit judge by it. But I too just wanna escape from the everyday problems and enjoy a good story 🙂

  6. 17 nearly 18 year old here *chuckles* I’m glad you love YA, and that other people who probably judge you for reading it, haven’t put you off. Whilst I’m technically still in the target audience bracket for YA my mum who’s in her 50’s reads YA, well the books I shove her way and say here read it. Then I proceed to watch her like a hawk because I trust no one with my books. So she’s all caught up on the Shadowhunter books, Throne of Glass series along with some others. I even got my grandma to read the first two books in the Lara Jean trilogy, and she’s in her 70’s.

    So read what you love, after all it’s our way to escape <3

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