First of all, let me admit I’m a big fan of YA novels. For my second confession, I personally haven’t been considered a “young adult” for quite sometime…ok, decades, but who’s counting? I have not let my age deter what I read; I never have. When I was about ten years old, I had a crazy thing for Agatha Christie novels. Now that I’m more *coughs* mature, I have become a bigger fan of the YA genre.
I know I’m not alone in this, which does give me some comfort. I was at a restaurant one day and was looking around while waiting for my meal. Being a bookish person, I often notice others of my ilk more than anyone else (excepting super hot guys, of course)
. There was a man across the aisle, also waiting for his meal, killing his time by reading. He was probably older than me….ok, he was probably the same age, but I’m still in denial about my own…and what was he reading? Harry Potter
This got me thinking…what is it about Young Adult novels that appeals to us “older folk”? I’ve come up with some possible answers here:
The first, I previously mentioned above: denial of our actual age. The younger characters featured in these books keeps us feeling young. We can vicariously relive our youth, though, why anyone would want to relive high school is beyond me, but there it is. The sense of adventure with these younger peeps comes across in spades.
Then there is the innocence involved. Adults at one point or another become cynics about “real life”. The YA novel brings us back to a more blissfully naive frame of mind, where life is less complicated…unless you’re being chased by rogue wizards, werewolves, bloodsucking vampires, fallen angels…you get my point. The younger audience has the advantage of looking at things from a very different perspective.
Lastly, and for me this is the big one: the “first love” aspect of many novels. The young heroes and heroines feel the butterflies and hearts-a-flutter effect that the finding of a special someone brings. They also feel the utter devastation if/when it ends, like only young love can bring. Recently, my fave romance was with Violet and Jay in The Body Finder
by Kimberly Derting, though there are many others that have made my heart flutter too. Again, as “grown-ups” we’ve lost that first love feeling but can easily recapture the emotion by reading YA fiction.
What do you think about all of this? I’d love to hear from other YA fans that aren’t part of the target demographic!