Most of the books I read fall into the YA category ~ especially if it's YA paranormal fiction. I guess in a lot of ways, I'm still a young adult at 25, but I'm definitely nowhere near the squealy high school teens that wear "TEAM JACOB" t-shirts. Maybe that's a little harsh, but trust me, I went to the opening night of New Moon (never went to an opening night again), and I swear the sixteen year old mini skirt sitting next to me nearly hyperventilated because of Edward. Anyway, I get off point. Lately, I've been trying to expand my library, reading books I wouldn't normally read in order to get out of my comfort zone and learn something new. I love it, I really do, but there's just something about YA fiction that keeps me coming back, and I began to wonder what the insistent attraction was.
The YA books I read usually take place in a world different that the one at present. Either it's an apocalyptic futuristic setting or it's in the present where other realms exist alongside the one of humans. Typically, the hero or heroine is a young, unique person trying to find their way and discover who they are. Young adults feel so much because a lot of what they experience is for the first time. I've said many times that I'm a sucker for raw emotion, and in the mind of someone inexperienced and perhaps a little naive, you don't get any more stripped and bare than that. These characters are lost, don't fit in the normal world, and must reach inside themselves for a strength and courage they never knew they had to find themselves and discover or save a place where they belong. Now, they aren't all like that, but my favorites definitely are.
So I guess I haven't really answered the question yet: Why do I love YA? Well, I'm still figuring out who I am and what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. In a lot of ways, being in your 20s is a lot more difficult than being in your teens because the real world is all around you, and it's cutthroat. This is the time you find your place, whether it be a job, a career, or a hobby, and for someone like me living where I live, it's pretty difficult to get to where I want to be. As if I'm even sure where that is yet. I find that people see me as a little weird, different, and outside the way 'normal' people think ~ needless to say, I rarely find a group of people where I fit in. YA fiction is something I can relate to or use as an escape. I can empathize with the characters who are frustrated with the feeling of being confused or lost, and I enjoy the thought of other worlds and seeing places that shouldn't exist. It makes this real world full of people who are just trying to get what they can out of you a little easier to digest.
I guess we could say similar things about all books. They are a transport out of our reality, but they also teach us about the bare bones of humanity and what is truly important in this life: love, honor, courage, determination, strength, loyalty... I could go on and on..
So whatever genre you choose, enjoy :)
Happy Reading Everyone :)
~ Keely ~