During Armchair BEA, I shared one day that I actually read very little YA when I WAS a teenager and looked down on it as a type of book.You know those comments and jokes that cause us bloggers to shake our heads and turn to go the other way? Yeah, in high school, I would have totally been someone saying some of those things about YA and yes, probably those who read it(not some of my proudest moments).
So as a follow up to that, I thought I’d share some of my perspective on YA. Originally, this was going to be one post. Then I wrote my personal history with YA and that alone was pretty long, so I’d thought I’d split it up. I have a lot to say about my personal perspective on YA, so it’ll probably be easier for both me and you, dear reader, if I don’t write a 2,000 word essay on the blog.
Let me just say, in high school I was a total snob when it came to reading. I’ve already said I didn’t read YA, but it was more than that. Even with adult fiction, I read almost nothing but complete literary fiction and non-fiction(I’ve always been a fan of memoirs). I was always the one to score the highest on reading & English test in my class at school(including tests like the ACT), so I had this idea that I had to be reading SERIOUS stuff almost all the time(don’t try and follow the logic). The only exceptions were for childhood favorites like Harry Potter. And yes, I was one of those people that looked down on genre fiction too. And while I love literary fiction, I’m glad I expanded my genres. The ONLY YA I read in high school was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which I read on a vacation because I was sick and needed to do something with myself(though I did enjoy it).
So there’s my starting point. After leaving high school, the only things I thought of when it came to YA was fluffy reads. And while there’s nothing wrong with fluffy reads, they weren’t what I wanted at the time. The book that brought me back to YA? The Hunger Games. I read the trilogy in the summer of 2011. I was working at a day camp in a program where I lived with my teammates, and one of them had read The Hunger Games during the beginning of the summer. She talked about them a little and I was intrigued. Then, Amazon happened to be running a sale on the first one for $1.99, and since I had just gotten a paycheck, I decided to buy.
And then I didn’t leave my room for the two days we had off over the weekend because I had to read ALL the books. From there came books like Divergent and The Maze Runner. I started incorporating YA into my reading diet, even though it was only a small part at this point. I also began reading less literary fiction and MORE non-fiction. Except for the books mentioned above, I don’t think I read ANY other fiction books in 2011, except those required for school.
When I started blogging is when I got really into YA. I’ve never called myself a YA book blog, because I have a lot of interests, and I’ll probably never define myself in that way. However, I DO read mostly YA at this moment because I feel I’m just now finding all these awesome books everyone else has been reading the past few years. Which might also be why I feel like I haven’t read ANY of the books everyone loves, even though that’s not true! I’ve been slowly making my way through some of the books that get recommended to me all the time, and a lot of times, I love them.
I’m sold on YA. There are things I’d like to change about it. There are things I just outright DISLIKE. But there are SO many reasons that I read YA today that I love it as a whole, which is how I end up here, reading so many YA books after being so vehemently against it in high school.