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Monday, March 31, 2014

In Defense of YA

I love books. All kinds of books. But I will say I tend to gravitate to the fiction variety. I can be found reading non-fiction once in a while, but it better blow my mind or I’m not interested.  If given the choice of fiction, YA is by far my favorite.
Courtesy of asme.org

I’m so tired of people slamming YA. Belittling it and those who read it. If I was a fab lawyer like Jessie Humphries, I could argue my point better but I’ll just have to settle for listing why I LOVE YA.

YA is still relevant in my life—As much as we would like to think that once we are out of high school we never have to go back, the truth is SCARY. The world is HIGH SCHOOL. I can’t count the times I’ve listened to what is going on in at my hubby’s office and thought it sounds just like high school—rumors, lies, gossip, stealing others work, etc.  Even among women I know, I feel like I’m a Sophomore again.

YA helps me understand my teenagers—I have two (yep, I’m that old). I love to read YA and talk to my boys about it. As I read, I remember teens are moody, learning, confused, insecure, whiny, sometimes selfish. But that is okay, because they are still trying to find their place in the world.

YA lets me explore feelings—When I read YA (or most fiction) I feel like I am living the story. When I read non-fiction I feel like I’m sitting through a lecture. Yawn. YA is always heavy on the feelings. Teens tend to be more dramatic in the expression of how they feel :)

In YA I can dig for meaning—I can find truths in fiction that aren’t readily apparent. If I read a YA story that explores the theme of selfishness, I have to work to understand how it affects the characters and me. Reading a non-fiction book about selfishness generally doesn’t change me as much.
Everyone can love what they want. Reading is such a personal experience. I would love to see a little more open-mindedness and a little less judgment. A girl can wish.

What kind of books do you LOVE and why?
Angie

Side note—Here is an old post called Fiction and Empathy. It includes a study that explores the idea that reading fiction actually makes people more empathetic than people who read non-fiction. Just saying :)




13 comments:

Angela Brown said...

Like you, Angela, I'm a fiction reader. Non-fiction is great for those who dig it, but that's not me.

I enjoy YA as well. I read and write YA as well as adult, but there's something magical and wide open about that YA time frame that makes reading and writing it such an adventure :-)

Emily R. King said...

Great reasons. The world is so high school. Gah. I might as well read about it!

Brandon Ax said...

I feel, like other writers, YA and the other tags are marketing tools. I think great stories come in many ways. I write YA myself, but it is because of the age of my character.

Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

ilima said...

I can't stand non-fiction and the only time I read it is if I'm forced to for my book club or have to look up a recipe, haha. I've tried writing everything under the sun, but YA is definitely where I belong. Teens just FEEL everything so extremely...I love writing that voice.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've always written primarily about young people, but over the last few years, I've gradually come to realise I just write regular adult books that happen to have young protagonists. I don't really fit into the current U.S. YA mold, particularly since I write historical. I read almost nothing but historical and classic world literature, and also read a lot of non-fiction and memoirs. Sometimes I also read sci-fi.

Jessie Humphries said...

Haha, I got a shout out! :) and girl, that was a pretty good argument! Maybe you should go to law school. ;) Yay, I'm going to streak some of this for my PowerPoint presentations at the high schools!!!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Why apologize or justify...you go girl...you read whatever you want!!!

I like relationship books, be they adult or YA. I want plot. I want realistic characters. That's what I like.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I love YA, too. :) (And MG!) YA can be just as diverse and meaningful as adult reads. It can also be light and fun-just like some adult reads. The idea that YA is somehow lesser than adult fiction is just ridiculous to me.

Leigh Covington said...

I love fiction! I can read some non-fiction from time to time, but fiction is where my heart is. And I absolutely LOVE YA!!!!

Tara Tyler R said...

who's slamming ya? the jealous haters! forget them!
love your points! and ya is an important part of reading!

nice to hear from ya! (and love the smoosh!)

Stephanie Faris said...

I've never heard anyone say anything bad about YA, but if so, that's just silly. I used to write romance and, talk about people having prejudices!!! I've heard people feel the same about children's fiction. ("When are you going to write a real book?") but I haven't experienced that just yet...

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

I think the world needs all kinds of literature because the world has all kinds of people. Most types of writing aren't "better or worse" they just fulfill different needs.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I love YA. It's a time in a person's life when their future is open. It's a time of self-discovery, when things are still new.

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