Today marks the celebration of UK YA Day – a celebration, hosted by @LucyTheReader, of young adult fiction written by homegrown UK authors. I have, and always will, love YA fiction and hope that today marks the beginning of a rise in popularity for the YA market.
Many of my friends and colleagues who read my blog are strict readers of adult only fiction and wouldn’t dream of reading a recommendation if it fell under the ‘YA’ category. There is still a perception that YA books are written for, and therefore should only be read by, teenagers and this opinion saddens me. Some adults feel a sense of embarrassment reading books that are ‘meant for children’; this was particularly evident with the Harry Potter series where special ‘adult’ covers were published so as to hide the fact that an adult might actually want to read a book intended for a younger audience. The question we must ask ourselves is, why do adults feel this way? I, myself, am 28 years young and can confidently predict that I will never grow out of reading YA fiction. I hope that with posts like these, alongside national YA events, more adults change their perception of what they can and can’t read and pick up a YA novel.
Whatever age you are, people should have the right to read whatever they like.
So why should you choose YA?
1. The stories are much better
It is a known fact that teenagers are very hard to please. You can’t get away with a mediocre story fluffed up with big words and a plot twist. YA stories are filled with moral dilemmas, challenges and plenty of action that often take you outside the realm of reality and on a journey of escapism.
2. The stories are more fast paced and often quicker to read
Lets face it – no one has time to read a 500 page saga anymore. People are busy, and the longer it takes to finish a book the more off-putting reading can be. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty long YA books out there but I always race through due to their fast paced plots and short chapters lengths (everyone hates a twenty page chapter).
3. The characters are more relatable
YA fiction is filled with strong characters whose personalities and motives for acting a certain way are entirely believable. Many YA authors write in the first person, allowing the plot to take centre stage and the reader to live it through the character’s eyes. YA stories tend to let the reader into the character’s thoughts more candidly than their adult counterparts.
4. They have amazing covers
Again, teenagers won’t pick up a book with a crappy cover. Everyone knows you shouldn’t choose a book by it’s cover but we are all guilty of being sucked into beautiful typography and strong, colourful images. There are so many amazing covers out there and, in the YA world, an upcoming cover reveal is almost as exciting as reading the book itself.
5. The YA community on social media services such as Twitter & Instagram is AMAZING
I often remind myself that book blogging is one of the best things I have ever done. Not only do you get free books in the post (which is like Christmas everyday) but you get to meet an amazing collection of people who all share the same bookish interests and enthusiasm as you. Both Twitter and Instagram allow book nerds, such as myself, to share reviews, discuss epic plot twists and fan girl over the latest upcoming releases. It is thanks to wonderful people like @LucyTheReader that these YA events and meet ups are becoming more widely recognised and are allowing the young adult community to grow.
So, to help celebrate #UKYADAY why don’t you make your next read a YA read. Who knows, you might just like it.