I love young-adult books. I’m far from young, but somehow, I find myself downloading book after book in the YA genre. Seems I’m in good company. 1 in 5 people ages 35 to 44 say they buy young adult books more frequently than any other type. Female young-adult fans 25 to 44 have nearly doubled over the last four years. The young-adult genre is on the rise and not just with teens. Adults are reading it too.
What’s up with that?
Young-adult books tend to focus on rites of passage and first experiences: first crush, first kiss, first…well, everything. Adults are often nostalgic about their teen years. They can still recall their firsts, and sometimes like to revisit them vicariously. There’s something about the euphoria of a first love and the sorrow of a first heartbreak—everything is just so intense when you’re young. I think readers crave that intensity.
I love an otherworldly aspect to stories, and the YA genre is far more accepting of strangeness than adult books. YA is more willing to give your imagination a workout. I want a story that takes an idea and runs with it. I want a story that deals with possibility. I want to spend time in the “what if” world.
What if love is seen as a disease? Matched by Ally Condie. What if society is divided up into factions? Divergent by Veronica Roth. What if you could rent out your body? Starters by Lissa Price. My novel, Rewrite Redemption, ponders, “What if you could edit time?” I’m a person of possibility and wonder. YA does a better job of taking that wonder for a ride.
So here in I HEART Young Adult month, let’s celebrate the YA genre. It’s clever, creative, intense, and exciting. I’m a huge fan and don’t see that changing.
I HEART YA!