Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two thumbs up for YA lit

The increase in YA titles out there lately has me so both a writer and a reader.  Now, there are a lot of excellent adult titles coming out - of course - but it's the YA stuff that I particularly like.  I think it has a lot to do with the following:

A. YA books shape minds. I will always remember the books that made me, as a child, want to be a writer and the ones that made me want  to read more about a specific topic. These are the books I'll keep forever and I'll crave to read over and over.  There aren't many literary titles I read as an adult that have the same oomph.

2. In YA books, writers can concentrate more and character and plot that on pretty literary topics. I once knew a writer, who aspired to be a "true writer" in that she only concentrated on manuscripts that were all cerebral and literary. She looked down her nose at genre writers. A lot of the publishing world agrees with her. Except when it comes to YA books. Kids want the unbelievable. They find beauty in the escapism of it.  That's one of the things that makes writing YA so fresh and fun.

3. Less explanation is necessary. Telling a story to adults often requires so much set-up. Why do these supernatural beings exist? How did they get here?  In YA books, there is more imagination and less set-up. Scary things just are.  Let's get to fleshing it out and dealing with it, instead of thinking it to death.

4.  Writing YA makes me feel younger than I am. I become the kid in the story and I love it.  Reading YA makes me feel younger than I am.  I become the kid in the story (again) and I still love it.


  1. Yay for YA! I feel the same things about middle grade books, since YA is still around my age level:)
    I love reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson, Magic Tree House and more. They are exciting and it brings back such fond memories of when I loved reading so much and wanted to go on the same adventures as the characters.
    Great points!

  2. Thanks! I just read "Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire" from the author of Wimpy Kid and it was so much fun.