Reading Young Adult Fiction

Hi, my name is Nicole. I’m thirty years old and I routinely read young adult fiction. This is not a confession, I’m just telling you something that I do, that you should think about doing too.

Now, to be fair, I do write young adult and new adult fiction. I don’t write adult fiction for a reason. So, yeah, I’m biased. But I didn’t make this decision out of nowhere, you know. I did this because I love young adult and new adult fiction, and I’m not the only one. Hunger Games, Divergent, 5th Wave, these are all popular series that have now been made into major movies. Grown ass adults are reading these books, and it’s not like Harry Potter that came out when we were kids and just finished up when we were adults. I understand entirely why this is happening, and here’s why.

Therapy.

This one only applies to books I’ve already read, especially if I read it as a child. It’s soothing to read a story I know, revisit fantastic worlds and reread favorite lines and paragraphs. For example, I reread The Giver every year on my birthday. It’s short, I can easily finish it in a day.

I highly advise, if you’re going through a stressful time, try rereading a book you loved as a child. I personally love Harry Potter, of course. I also reread Chronicles of Narnia and all of the Beverly Cleary stories. That’s one of the best things about having kids, actually. I have an excuse to reread The Mouse and The Motorcycle.

Great stories.

Young adult stories are the best! The adventure, the character development, the side plots! Never does a character learn and become a better person more than in a young adult book. I’ll use Edmond as an example, from Chronicles of Narnia. It’s not the best example, because it’s a little heavy handed. But it’s the earliest example in my life when I started out hating a character at the start of book one, and by book three (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) he was my absolute favorite person.

Complex moral issues that adult writers don’t seem to fuss with.

I don’t know why this is even a thing, but young adult stories seem to tackle important things that I think need talked about more than adult books. Maybe it’s because writers think adults are already set in their ways of thinking while young adults can still be manipulated. But I still want to read things like that. I wish we could see a little more of that in adult fiction, honestly.

Not as much sex.

Not that I’m against sex! I like it, and I’m not about to porn shame. But when I’m reading, I don’t want to read graphic sex scenes unless I bought a book specifically for that. If I got a fantasy book, I want dragons and swords and magic, not detailed sex. And I don’t know why, maybe I just have bad luck, but I have never read an adult book (except cozy mysteries) that didn’t have sex scenes. And I read a lot. Horror, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction. Why does everything have to have sex? At least, in young adult work the sex is inferred, not explicit.

Fun characters.

Again, I don’t know why this should be so, but young adult book characters are more fun. Yes, some of the Game of Thrones characters are awesome, but as most of them are dead by now that doesn’t much matter now, does it?

My best example for this one is Tris from Divergent. She is a fun character to read about. She’s not a great person, sometimes she’s downright selfish. She’s not the brightest person, really slow at picking up on hints. But she’s a fun person to read about.

I hope you take two things away from this. If you’re looking for a new book, you might consider young or new adult. If you’re a writer, like me, you might consider writing like this, no matter what age range you’re writing for. Just saying.

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