Anyone who reads a fair amount of Young Adult (YA) books, will likely be well aware of the reputation they hold in general society. Specifically, that they are simply not as good as general adult fiction (adult fiction makes it sound dirty but I just mean regular books).
The main thing which makes a book YA is the age of the characters, normally between 15 and 18 years old. For some reason this has meant that many people believe you should only read YA if you fall into that specific age bracket. However, it is a simple fact that the age of the characters has absolutely no relation to the quality of the writing.
The other common misconception about YA books is that ‘Young Adult Fiction’ is it’s own genre (like crime fiction). This is simply untrue, YA encompasses every genre, from fantasy to contemporary to historical. Thinking that YA stories are all fantasies about vampires is an entirely false notion and invalid criticism. The subject matter covered by YA authors is so vast and interesting I can guarantee there is something for everyone.
Many YA novels do fall into to fantasy/alternate universe category, and therefore face additional criticism. “It’s not real”, “That would never happen”. No, it would’t, but that doesn’t make it wrong for myself or anyone else to want to read about a fictional world – even if the story takes place in the ‘real’ world it’s still fiction. In my opinion, it’s even more difficult to write a fantasy novel – because the author has to create an entire world, in addition to their story.
Being still 17 – and within the YA age range, you might think that I haven’t experienced as much pressure as most to ditch these books (and maybe I haven’t) but there has certainly been a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no opposed to reading non-YA books, I have read many and loved many, but at the moment my main passion for reading is found in YA, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
At the end of the day, as long as you enjoy and are passionate about the books you read, then you’re in good place.
Thanks for reading, Elsie x