For short answers, they would be "because I can" and "why not". But since I wanted to get in depth with my reasons, I decided to dedicate a post about why I read YA literature. :)
Before anything else, what is YA or young adult literature?
In the 1960's, the Young Adult Library Services Association used the term "young adult" to represent readers aged 12 to 18 years (Strickland, A., CNN). At the time, it referred to realistic fiction set in a contemporary world and addressed issues or circumstances of interest to young readers (Cart, M. for YALSA, The Value of Young Adult Literature).
Robert Carlsen, a pioneer in the field of young adult literature (Nilsen, A.P. and Donelson, K.L., Literature for Today's Young Adults), gave a simple definition: "It is that literature which adolescents read" (Hipple, T.W. and Bartholomew, B., Review Essay, College English). The definition was later expanded to:
Young adult literature is literature wherein the protagonist is either a teenager or one who approaches problems from a teenage perspective. Such novels are generally of moderate length and told from the first person. Typically, they describe initiation into the adult world, or the surmounting of a contemporary problem forced upon the protagonist(s) by the adult world (VanderStaay, S., Young-Adult Literature: A Writer Strikes the Genre).
Over time, young adult literature has evolved. Though the given definitions still hold true today, the genre has adopted a wider age range of readers and has taken more subject matters other than contemporary realism.
Despite these changes, many are still adamant about their idea of young adult literature. Thus, I want to share with you folks why I read YA. And hopefully convince you to read them too. :)
I haven't experienced any discrimination about the books I am reading, but I've heard (or read) stories about YA readers being ridiculed because of their choice of reading material. That's insane, I know. It's like people expect readers to move on to a different genre once they hit 18. But of course, there's no rule/memo/law/whatever that says so. While some do move on, there are a large number of adults who enjoy reading YA as much as those of younger ones.
So, why do I still read YA? Here are my reasons:
1. Though I am only 25, and I am not "really" (actually, just refusing to be an adult, hehe) far off the mark, YA still reminds me of the younger years. More than nostalgia, it kind of refreshes my way of thinking and looking at things.
When we grow old, our way of thinking changes. We become "mature" in thinking. But not every circumstances needs to be handled in an "adult" way, sometimes we need to have a care-free, simple approach to the way of life. :)
2. Regardless of the characters' age, they're humans too. Having to read from a younger (age-wise) perspective (same goes for adults) gives me insight to different kinds of people.
3. Not all YA deals with high school romance. Most YA books deal with dynamics/relationships between friends and family, personal growth, and social/socio-political issues.
4. Some YA books are light reads. When #adulting is being difficult, a good fluffy, light read saves my day. Plus, I do have those moments when I just want to read without stressing over every #adult things. You know, when all you really want to do is enjoy a good book.
So there folks, my reasons for still reading and loving YA
I know we all have our reasons in favoring a particular genre. But really, it's not about the genre. What is important is that we all love to read, and through reading we get to widen our views and connect to others.
How about you folks? Do you love YA? Any thoughts?
Have a nice day!