I often feel that I have to justify why I love the genre so much. Especially to those who are not readers themselves. It can be rather frustrating. I feel that people should be allowed to read what they like. As long as it meets a need and makes someone happy, how can anyone judge it? I also love retaliating by suggesting well-known YA titles that, more often than not, gets the reaction of "Oh? That is a kids book? Really?"
So what is it exactly that has me hooked?
To put it simply, YA makes me feel good. There is usually some sweet romance element woven into the storyline. When characters have problems, they are usually treated as obstacles on the path to achievement (whether that achievement is personal or something larger). And, oh, the imagination and creativity involved!
A classic example is Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy. A personal favorite of mine. Collins has created a whole world for her readers to live in. A world that is seemingly impossible when compared to our everyday realities. It is into this world countless readers have retreated and have gotten to know characters such as the brave Katniss.
|The Mockingjay symbol featured in The Hunger Games.|
Good YA doesn't talk down to the reader. Rather, it befriends them, welcomes them and invites them over for tea and scones (and how awfully British I feel saying that! Scones. Ha!)
All any skeptic has to do is look online at the multitude of blogs dedicated to YA. Not all of these are run by teens, either. There is a whole wave of adults joining me in discovering just how much fun YA can be.
If you are looking to pick up a YA novel but aren't to sure where to start, I am going to shortlist a few of my favorites here. The books on this list have really been the forerunners for me over the past few years in terms of good, quality writing and storytelling.
Starter YA for the Discerning Adult Reader (In No Particular Order)
- The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins
- Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
- The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares
- Sabriel by Garth Nix
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
There you have it. YA is my passion! I hope that, if you haven't discovered the magic yet, you will at least give it a try!