All YA Love: Why the more mature crowd still loves YA.

Filed in All YA Love , The Quirky Lover Posted on November 3, 2010 @ 1:00 pm 7 comments
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!

About Jackie

Jackie is a quirky mom, living in Ontario, Canada. She's a bookkeeper by day and a book lover by night. She also blogs at The Novel Nation and writes occasionally for Heroes and Heartbreakers.

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  • draconismoi November 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I'm personally loving YA right now because the issues/problems the protagonists encounter don't resemble those in my own life. And when my life is in shambles, I need distracting comfort reads.

  • Missie November 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Yes! The feeling of being able to recapture that youthful innocence, I mean, who doesn't want to relive memories of making out until your lips were numb, but it felt so good you kept kissing.

    But also to be able to escape and go back to a worry free life, one with no real responsibilities.

    Then be able to laugh at what these youthful, fictional characters are actually stressing over, since the answer to their problems actually seems so simple.

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jackie November 4, 2010 at 9:27 am

    @draconismoi – So true, a total distraction from reality. We get to laugh at the depths of teenage drama.

    @Missie – I love the "making out until your lips were numb"! Glad you liked my take on things 🙂

  • Sharon S. November 4, 2010 at 9:44 am

    helps me relive my youth . But, I am finding YA novels to be emotionally exhausting! How did we ever survive those years? .

  • Jackie November 4, 2010 at 9:48 am

    @Sharon – LOL, I know, right? Maybe that's why so many people these days are in therapy? 😀

  • Sheree November 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I enjoy YA books for their linear plots – nothing too complicated or intricate and I can mostly speed-read through them. As much as I enjoyed the Harry Potter books, J. K. Rowling is not P. G. Wodehouse and I don't feel compelled to chew over every word she wrote.

    Plus, with all the teen angst and teen drama, I'm just that much more happy to never have to go through that again. 🙂

  • Jackie November 5, 2010 at 11:05 am

    @Sheree – That's very true. I can't count how many YA novels I've read in less than a day. Now, Jose Saramago? 3 weeks-ish to get through his stuff, lol.

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