To kind of piggyback off of my post from Monday, I wanted to write about how much I wish I had YA when I was younger. But steph, you're only 25; what do you mean? Yes, I know, but no one had ever told me about them and when I was in high school I had a hard time finding books I liked to read. When I in elementary and middle school, I read a ton of Babysitters club books (especially the mysteries; they were my fave!) and some Nancy Drew. My mom would tell me to try some more "grown-up" books but I couldn't find anything else interesting to me. I dabbled in Agatha Christie but they were too adult as mysteries for me. I remember my mom recommending Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace for me, kind-of the only YA books at the time, that she knew of. (Hated ASP but liked CitR, and then had to read them over again the next year for English class. I remember complaining to my mom that I had to read ASP over again and I still haven't let her live that down, lol). I tried reading Catch-22 and Fahrenheit 451, two books that were good, but didn't peak my interest enough to make time to read for leisure, since high school was already incredibly busy. I remember going into the library and not being able to find a book I wanted to read. Yeah I know; crazy I couldn't find a book in a library...
I remember reading Ender's Game and loving it. When HP came
out, it was amazing. But I couldn't find much else. My high-school
years were spent playing sports and music with the occasional book
thrown in. Maybe I had trouble finding books because I like
fantasy/mysteries better than contemporary, and couldn't really find
that in YA. (There still aren't a lot of mysteries in YA). In college,
I only read during the summer, but still couldn't find a lot of books.
I read the Ender's Game/Ender's Shadow sequels but they were teetering
on adult. Same with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I think the first YA book I read was the Uglies series by Scott
Westerfeld. And woah. I. was. blown. away. The world-building was
amazing and I finally got that fantasy world that I so wanted! I
scarfed the rest of the series and then anything else I could find by
him. Then I started to look on the same shelves he was placed on. I
was like, what is this? A gold mine? Suddenly, at 20 years old, I came
out of the library, my arms brimming with YA books. Why had no one
told me about this section before? I wish I would have
discovered it earlier, because it would have given me so much more time
to read all these fantastic books. Now, I think, I have 140 TBR books
on my list and 95% are YA. My mom still tells me to read more "grown-up
books", but since I look like I'm 17, I think it's okay to still read
YA. (Plus I would read them even if I didn't look 17, because these
books are good).
My point is, I didn't read that much in my late teens, because I
didn't like "the classics" or "adult" books. How is not reading that
helpful to anyone? Reading gives you experiences that you might not
have otherwise, teaches you what to do in certain situations, gives you a
world to fall into when you need a retreat. Just because they aren't
the classics, doesn't mean they can't teach lessons, morals or life
experiences. They probably teach them better than the classics, because
young adults are reading them and understanding them. I love YA. I
think we should be giving praise, instead of belittling.
ps. I will be out of town playing Ultimate frisbee for the long weekend, which I'm making longer, so I won't be back til next Thursday. 'Til then!