Who should read YA?

The answer is anyone who wants to, No matter what age! What led me to blog about this is, I came across an article on Slate about ‘Against YA: Why adults should be embarrassed to read children’s books.’ I might only be 17 (until next week) but is a child and a young adult the same thing? Is YA literature the same as a children’s book? The post begins with “Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.”

I found this statement extremely patronising towards teenagers, the whole article is implying that adults should feel embarrassed and ashamed to read YA, to have the same tastes as we do. It makes it seem like YA should not be taken seriously as literature. YA isn’t written for children, the genre isn’t called Young Adult for no reason- It is aimed at a younger audience but why should that mean that older audiences can’t read it? Everyone should read what they want to read and not feel any shame about it.

The YA genre often deal with serious subjects such as life and death, gender issues, race, sexuality. Examples of some best sellers revolving around these subjects are:

. The Fault in our Stars by John Green – deals with Cancer and death
. I’ll Give you The Sun by Jandy Nelson – deals with sexuality and death
. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – deals with suicide and mental illnesses

There is nothing childish about these subjects. Yes, it is educational in the sense that it helps young people to understand different issues in life but it raises awareness to adults too.

This isn’t a new subject to me because ever since I started reading YA, my dad has tried to steer me away from the genre. He doesn’t do this to patronise me, he has always encouraged me to “broaden my horizons” to try out different genre’s and I completely agree, everyone should venture out and try different reading material because you might just discover your new favourite book. I explained to my dad that I am willing to try new genres but I will probably always read YA too and my dad said he doesn’t care what I read, he is just happy that I do read. That is how it should be, read and be happy (don’t listen to other people’s judgements!)

Basically what I’m trying to say is when it comes to reading, age is just a number. Books are supposed to open minds, there should be no borders around what you should and shouldn’t read. No two reading experiences are the same.

Does anyone agree or disagree with what I’ve talked about? Leave a comment!

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14 thoughts on “Who should read YA?

  1. What's She Reading? says:

    I 100% agree. YA can definitely be fluffy at times, but a lot of it deals with hard issues like you mentioned. I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading YA either. I’ve started to venture out into more “adult oriented” books, but the reason I keep coming back to YA is because, for me, they’re more appropriate. I don’t like reading books with a lot of profanity or sex scenes and so I’m just more comfortable choosing a YA book to read.

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  2. MyTinyObsessions says:

    I’m 30 and I love YA books. Heck, it was my grandmother (now with 87) that let me borrow her Twilight books to read (and mind you, that wasn’t that long ago).
    Reading – whatever it is, even if it’s comic books – should never be a reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed.
    I walk around my college campus with any book I’m reading and I feel rather good for it, and this month alone: Eleanor & Park; Popular, a memoir; Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the Universe… yep, all YA!!!!

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    To be honest, I think age is just a number for many things. I don’t think you’re ever too young (there are exceptions to this, of course) and old to do anything, especially learning, reading, or exercising one’s imagination. I do tend to read a lot of ya, so I definitely agree with your points in this. Nice post!

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  4. ljbluto says:

    Thank you for this! I agree with you – you have some great points! I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was actually a little judgmental of a book that we are reading for my book club this month, The Last Book in the Universe, because it is more of a children’s book (it has ‘RL5’ on the back of it). It talked of a post-apocalyptic world without books and reading; similar to Farenheit 451, but from a younger perspective. It was an easy read but I enjoyed it! Also I realized, I read a lot of YA in general and I know many adults who do. Its nicer, too sometimes for me to read a book that will not have a lot of swearing and do not go into too many details during the intimate scenes. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but its just refreshing sometimes. I’ll even go back and reread some of my childhood favorites.. and there is nothing wrong with that! Thanks for posting!

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    • bookbound says:

      Thank you! I understand that completely, I think we are all guilty of this every now and then. It’s nice to just enjoy an easy read sometimes! I sometimes read children’s books too, there’s some great classics! One of my favourites is The Wind in The Willows.. Thank you fir commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dani W says:

    AHHHHHH WHAT?! I’m sorry, but YA is the most interesting genre out there as far as I’m concerned. And YA isn’t the same as children’s books! It’s not like we’re reading picture books! *rage*

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