Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yes, I'm 46 Years Old and I Read Young Adult Novels

Not only that, but some of my favorite novels of the last ten years are young adult novels.

And apparently, I'm not the only one. Here's Jen Doll writing about her young adult novel addiction on Vulture.

Why? Well, first, let me make it very clear: I read Young Adult novels because there are fantastic authors working in that genre. It's that simple. There are other reasons, that I'll get to later, but the main reason is there are wonderful YA books out there. Perhaps we can all thank JK Rowling and Harry Potter for bringing the masses to the Young Adult sections of the bookstore and library. Since the first Harry Potter novel was published back in 1997, authors both new and established have realized that they can sell books in the YA category. And the talent has moved there.

Of course, the other reason I love YA novels is that's where the action is! Sorry adults, but for the most part, you're boring. That decade or so from middle school through, what incredible years those are. Both good and bad. The emotions and experiences of those years; nothing else can compare to it. Your first kiss, your first love, your first heartbreak, best friends, worst enemies. First experience with death, with sex, with driving, with living on your own. The agony and ecstasy of puberty. Wishing everyone would just leave you alone...and wondering why no one will pay attention to you.

It's no wonder authors love to write about that time. There's so much to be said.

If you're looking for a few good YA books to see if you too appreciate it like I do, or if you already know you love it and just need new recommendations, here are a few I've read recently:

-Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher / I'm actually in the middle of this one right now. Just brutal. The story of a high school girl named Hannah Baker who committed suicide. Hannah tells most of this story herself. It's heartbreaking. This one will make you think back to your own high school years and wonder, "what did I do...and what were the effects of my actions."

-The Fault in Our Stars by John Green / I've written about this one already. One of the most wonderful, life-affirming books about cancer, and ultimately death, you'll ever read. I can't recommend this one highly enough.

-The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky / The story of, yes, a wallflower, and his rough journey through high school. This book is written mostly as letters from the main character, Charlie, to an unknown person and can be a bit hard to get into because of the format. I found the movie, directed by the book's author, to be better - you won't hear me say that often.

-Wonder by R.J. Palacio / You think you had it tough in middle school? You don't know tough. The story of August Pullman, a fifth grader with drastic facial deformities. Sounds a bit like an after-school special, but this one is very well-written, using multiple narrators to show how one person can change many lives.

-Winger by Andrew Smith / Wow. Just wow. This one is extremely funny, but heart breaking as well. Pick this one up first thing.

-The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider / This one did not end the way I wanted it to, but hey, that sometimes happens in life, right? This is the story of Ezra Faulkner and how a horrible car accident turned his high school life upside down...but brought Cassidy Thorpe into it. High school there anything else like it?

Gotta go read. Talk to you soon.

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