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Why YA?

Unequivocally My Favorite Genre                                                                                                         YA is my favorite genre and sometimes when I tell people, I get: "You don't like adult books?" or "Isn't that for teens?" or "You aren't a 'serious' reader". To those people I say, I have always liked this genre and just because I grew up doesn't mean that I'm to old to read young adult or ANYTHING I want for that matter. I enjoy Children's, Middle Grade and Adult categorized books as well but YA is my absolute favorite. Of course I am an adult and not by far the same person I was when I was a teen reader but that doesn't mean that my tastes have to change or reflect my intelligence or growth. I grew up but I still like chocolate chips cookies, The Little Mermaid (I know all the words to Part of Your World), night lights and red vines - do I have to give up these things too because I'm grown? I love YA and I'm not ashamed to admit it.


A book's genre classification shouldn't mean that it is "less than" other books in the market or strictly for a certain kind of person or a specific demographic. Remember that YA is written by mostly adults Three of the younger authors writing YA were 21-23 years old when they first got published, Stephanie Diaz's Extraction, Veronica Roth's Divergent and a new author, Lindsay Cummings who is bursting on the scene with several debuts (The Murder Complex & Balance Keepers). Therefore knocking a genre that is written by adults in which 28% of all YA sales are from adults between the ages of 30 - 44 is plain ignorant. It's not like YA is child porn or adults reading YA negatively impacts the world - it is a personal preference that does not constitute a reader's level of intelligence - to each its own. To those who ask and write articles debating this issue where they practically shake their fingers at adult YA readers, I ask, why do you care what I read?   


My Background on Genre
I fell in love with Young Adult literature while reading the Sweet Valley High series and then later the Harry Potter series (I know it’s part MG & part YA and that’s debatable) and never turned back. I always felt that there was a lack of color in YA that did not reflect the colorful world we live in and that made me want to write stories that reflected the world. From this standpoint I evolved into wanting to give teen’s material they could relate to as well. I enjoy the components of YA books the most because they have pure rawness. The love story (usually a first love), self-discovery, the newness of first time experiences, rapidly growing memorable characters & the innocence of youth. It’s a phenomenal phase in life that I love to capture with my mix of science fiction and fantasy plots and characters.


YA Endings & Trilogies
What's this about the endings of YA books? Do adult books always have ambiguous endings--really----always? Come on, I don't think this is true for the range of adult books out there. The Giver, a book that has been out for a long time and had a movie adapted in 2014 had the most ambiguous ending. And the Divergent series and Hunger Games series don't totally wrap those dystopian worlds up in a neat bow.


One trend I am SUPER SUPER tired of is trilogies-especially when the second books (in most cases) have become fillers. It's like you meet the characters in book one and get attached (maybe) and then the author thinks it's ok to write a book where we sit and watch them do nothing and bam book 3 wraps it all up. Next time you find a mediocre trilogy skip book two, you'll save yourself hours of reading and you won't miss a thing.


The YA Wave
I think there are several adult authors riding the wave and cash train of the genre like James Patterson who truly don't understand the category although they are masters of their previous categories. I think those that write the genre should only write a YA story if they can truly write from the perspective of a teen in a way that is not condescending, preachy, cookie cutter-ish or cliché. There are also many young adult authors who don't get this write (yes I meant to spell it this way). Writing for young adults is about tone and style, the ability to place yourself in the mind of someone who is learning and establishing who they are in the world. This has to been done through believable/relatable characters, dialogue and choices. Whether it's done in a contemporary setting, made up world involving teens that shouldn't be a reflection on the seriousness or quality of the writing.


References:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2014/07/03/the-rise-of-young-adult-authors-on-the-celebrity-100-list/


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Roth




http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2014/06/against_ya_adults_should_be_embarrassed_to_read_children_s_books.html


http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-ya-switch-20140618-story.html



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