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YA has become an increasingly more popular genre in the last few years.
Whenever I tell somebody that I read YA, the first thing they say is: "Wait, isn't that only for kids?"
There are so many misconceptions about YA that I decided to smash them together and destroy them in a post.
1. Only kids read YA
In a 2012 study Bowker Market Research determined that "fully 55% of buyers of works that publishers designate for kids aged 12 to 17 [...] are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44". In around 78% of the cases, the adults aren't even buying those books for their children, friends or relatives, but for themselves.
2. But YA stands for Young Adult Fiction - It's only for teenagers!
Actually, YA is a genre. It refers to protagonists aged around 12-18 that are all going through similar stages while growing up. You wouldn't say that crime fiction is only for serial killers and criminals, would you?
3. YA writing is worse than the writing in Adult writing
Why would you think that? Do publishers and literary agents suddenly put on blindfolds when handling YA manuscripts? It would be quite unsettling if YA writing was characterized by being poor quality writing. You'd think that if this genre was only for teenagers, it would be made sure that they get the highest quality educational material available, right?
I've noticed that it's way easier to find well-written and even popular YA lit about controversial topics like LGBTQIA issues, social stigmata and feminism than adult fiction. There are great and not so great books in every genre, why would it be different for YA literature? But yeah, if you think James Patterson and Nicholas Sparks are the whole grail of literature compared to YA written by Laini Taylor or Julie Anne Peters, I don't think this conversation is worth having.
4. YA readers read YA because they can't handle regular adult fiction
Why? I read both. I tend to go back to YA more often because I rather identify with protagonists of similar age to mine. I've gone through similar things than those characters, and even people twice my age might think the same way.
5. YA topics are immature
Dystopian fiction has become a risingly popular branch of YA. I'm sure you've all seen The Hunger Games and Divergent - these were originally YA books by Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth.
Dystopian fiction is characterized by dealing with a dystopian view in the future, mostly involving an uprising of the people towards the end. The concept of The Hunger Games is literally putting a bunch of children in a fighting area and letting them fight to the death. Pretty light reading, right? I mean, it's not like there are other YA books that aren't dealing with crushes and high school.
- Popular YA about violence and abuse: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen ...
- Popular YA about death: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, Before I Die by Jenny Downham ...
It doesn't make a difference whether you prefer adult of YA fiction. Maybe you even read both! At the end of the day books are here to entertain us. Nothings speaks against reading solely the one or the other or even both! In terms of quality YA is just the same as adult fiction. There are good quality books and there are bad quality books.
In general it shouldn't matter to you what the target audience is, since marketing predictions only work in theory anyway. If you don't like YA, don't read it.
What are things that you've heard people say
when you tell them you read
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I Fall For Problematic Love Interests
Are Diverse Characters and Representation Unnecessary?
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