For someone who isn’t entirely sure what their favourite genre of book is, I have an awful lot of young adult fiction on my bookshelves. I could probably take up three shelves with just YA fiction. Young adult fiction is literature supposedly written for twelve to eighteen year olds and yet, I wasn’t ready to give up my license to read YA when I was suddenly able to buy Peach Schnapps. It was more like: Now I’m eighteen, I can read John Green WHILE drinking Archers. Hooray!
I’ve known “proper adults” to enjoy YA fiction and have ensured my mum has read some of my all-time favourites. I think the genre is so welcoming to all ages because each book tends to have an underlying tone of seriousness; whether that message be obviously poignant or lurking ever so slightly underneath the pages. Most YA reads feel like a coming of age story; probably obviously so, what with the protagonist likely to be attending high school. By the end of a YA novel, it’s as though the characters and reader alike have completed a symbolic journey. The climax of this symbolic journey will, nine times out of ten, be celebrated by me sobbing my way through at least the last three chapters of a YA novel.
But why does YA feel so accessible to all readers?
- Its authors tend to not patronise their readers
- The stories inspire a sense of nostalgia to those older than the protagonists
- YA tackles serious issues unapolgetically
- Arguably, YA is the best form of fiction for escapism
- YA writing is often very sophisticated
My top ten favourite YA novels:
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
- Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
- I Was Here by Gayle Forman
- Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
- Stolen by Lucy Christopher
The important topic each of these books tackle:
- Terminal illness
- *Don’t want to provide spoilers.*
- Stockholm Syndrome
Young adult fiction is often praised and rightly so. The Outsiders, however, misunderstand the genre. The genre that provides a safe space for young people; its narrative often spreads positive ideas and characters reach important resolutions. I ignored YA fiction for a year or so but, after reading a handful of brilliant YA reads, it’s the genre I’m most excited to read more of this year. Young adult fiction is definitely the brave and fearless genre of fiction that I hope continues to transcend age and “target” audiences.