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.