Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why YA?

An interviewer recently asked me why I thought so many adults were reading YA books these days. Well, I think there are some obvious reasons why even my mother has read The Hunger Games:

1) It's a fast growing genre, so publishers are pushing out more new titles than ever before in YA. They are more widely distributed as the sales grow.

2) YA novels have universal themes of survival, falling in love for the first time, discovering who you are. They appeal across age demographics and are often timeless stories.

3) There's exciting diversity in YA. You can find anyone from an LGBT teen to a post-apocalyptic vampire hunter cast in the main character role. There is room for every perspective, fantasy, and experience.

4) It's great for parents to keep up with what their teens are reading. Mother-daughter book clubs are springing up and YA books give these groups the opportunity to discuss subjects that might otherwise be extremely uncomfortable.

What do you think? Why is YA striking a chord across the country and the world?


Wherever You Go - Harcourt - November 2011
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen

P.S. What I'm reading - Will Grayson Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green. *Pure awesome*


Liana said...

They are also cheaper than adult books and more fun!

Unknown said...

They get to the point faster.

TinaFerraro said...

I love the complexity and peaks and valleys of teen drama...reading it and writing it!

TinaFerraro said...

P.S. And what better example of teen drama than Will Grayson, Will Grayson??? Loved that book, too!

B. A. Binns said...

It's the diversity and the themse that hit me. Most YA authors strive to capture that time of life when we all fealt we could change the world. As an adult we know you can't fight city hall, but it's great rading about young people who try, and often manage to succeed. And YA romance is all about that first time you fall in love, the incredible high of realizing that this person is different from the rest of the herd. Whether its a happily ever after or a happily for now, that first love is a powerful feeling I enjoy reliving in a book.

YA isn't scared to cover topic that adult publishers still appear skitish about, including gay and lesbian issues, race, nationality, abuse and other painful problems.

Where else would I find a book about a kid struggling to deal with OCD, or the steroid enraged bullies in his school, or pretending to be a lesbian because she's falling for her sister's boyfriend or...or any of the issues I'm coming to love.

I think it's a growing genre because it's not afraid to push boundaries, just like we were when we were young.

nymfaux said...

um, I got distracted from my answer, because after B.A.'s response, I am totally curious if there is a book where a girl pretends to be a lesbian because she's falling for her sister's bf...

My ORIGINAL answer was going to be--YOU GIRLS!!!--The Buzz Girls, and all the other amazing authors, who are writing things worth reading...

I really like B.A.'s answer--For me it's kind of similar--reliving not just my own firsts, but also reliving the kind of amazingness that I fell in love with when I fell in love with reading--Reading the kind of things that I used to read when I was younger--reminding me of all the magic and adventures, and drama and romance and love and mischief that is out there!!!!

I read "adult" books, too, and enjoy them very much, but there's SOMETHING fun and magical that YA books tend to have, and that adults tend to lose?