Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why do I read YA..Well why don't you?

 You know how sometimes you just have these thoughts in your head, and you need to get them out. This is just that. Although, sometimes it doesn't come out quite like you want. Well this is my pathetic attempt to explain to those who don't understand. Explain to them just why I love to read Young Adult books commonly called YA. This post has been in the making for the past month or two. Long time right? It's just that the same thing keeps popping up at different places, different times in different ways. I finally decided to give in. It's peer pressure I'm telling you. A special thanks to those I mention below.

1.) A friend (my very bestest friend and if you read this it's for you...kinda. :P ) has asked me on a few occasions why do I read Ya? Or better yet in her words "Those books" as she so kindly points to the ones I have in my purse. (Yes, I carry books in my purse and my kindle as well.) I try to explain to her (in the best way I know how, which by the way sucks.) why.  I can't do it very well because I'm put on the spot, and I can't think like that. I have to sit and let my words process in my mind. Even now as I type I still have a hard time. This is why being a writer would be difficult for me. The thoughts are there. They just don't want to come out and play nicely with me. I will show them one day.
2.) Lan at The Write Obsession because of her post yesterday: Bubblegum YA I of course had to reply. "I love this post. :) Seriously, I like smile when I read people sticking up for YA. It's weird because I've tried a few times to have this conversation with a friend of mine, and she's like why do you read those books? Shouldn't you read adult books? I'm thinking I can't relate to problems that those books have (most the time) I mean I'm not married, no kids. So why read them?" Now that you have a little inside look. If you want to know more from the above passage visit her site. :)
3.) Any others who have been here in this spot. Trying to express how they feel about YA and in some cases defending it. I thank you because you gave me the courage to say what I feel, and not worry about it. We shouldn't be ashamed of what we read (or write in some peoples cases.) Don't let those narrow minded people change who you are or what you read.
I'm a graphics type-girl. Can you tell?
Can you tell I've thought about this alot? I've even made two videos about it to try and see if I could to tell people how I feel that way. Still I can't seem to put into words exactly how I feel about this. I thought why not try and make a list.
1.) They give me a reason to escape into someone elses world to leave my world behind for those few hours that I'm reading. I let everything around me kind of fade into the background. I get lost in the world building the authors create, the characters battles, their flaws, their triumphs. It's almost as if I'm the character.
I don't expect everyone to understand this reasoning, but there are days I'm like why can't I be Rose, the strong-willed Dhampir from the Vampire Academy Series who would do anything for her best friend. Even Mia from If I stay whose family seemed happy together as she looked back on her memories. Some things in my life I want to get away from, and this is how I do it. This is my therapy. I read YA.

2.) It's in my comfort zone. This may sound a little odd, but like everything in my life it has to make me feel safe and comfortable. I'm not the type of person to step outside my bubble. If it works for me then it stays. (This is off topic but I still feel it helps with what I'm trying to say. :) Once I get use to something I rarely change like jobs. I've had two jobs since I was 17 because I got use to my surroundings and the people and was comfortable with them. It scared me to think about do something else.) I tried reading Adult books. I read Mary higgins Clark and some others I can't remember. Those were fine I mean I liked the mystery and the thrill of what might happen, but that's about it. It wasn't comfortable to me. I make books sound like they're pillows or something. I really don't know how else to explain this. *shrugs*

3.) I can relate better to the characters and their situations in YA books then I can in Adult books. Yes, I'm 25 and most the characters in the books are teens, but I can remember what it was like 7 years ago when I was in school. I know what kind of peer pressures there are and what kind of wacky things kids do. I can't however tell you what it's like to be married and hate your spouse, or have kids, or whatever else there is. I know I'm being stereo-typical here too with adult books. If others can do it with the YA books then I'll be damned if I cant do it with adult books. Now as Lan pointed out in one of her comments on her site I can't relate to characters who date vampires/werewolves or other mythical beings. It doesn't hurt to dream about it though. There are things I can relate to like the family dramas, the friendships, the love for someone else, the heartache, the understanding that high school sometimes sucks. All which may be minor points in the story, but none the less are still part of it.

Those are my main points really if you want more from me then watch my video because I talk about other things I don't hit on here.

Now before you decide to take the plunge and watch me stumble on my words and try to figure out what it is I'm actually trying to say. (Like I said I speak my own language. That often times I don't understand.) Here's my warning to you: I talk about The Hunger Games. This may seem odd that I'm telling you this,but I know plenty of people who love this series. (I'm sure if I ever read the other two I might have a change of heart) But until then it's iffy for me. This is just my opinion and we can agree to disagree or whatever about the book. Thank you and enjoy if possible. :)

Jackson Pearce on Ya Haters
I absolutely love watching her You tube videos. Check them out.

Is YA fiction to dark?
This is actually a radio station somewhere that had Author Maureen Johnson and The writer of the article mentioned below talking about Ya. I loved listening to them.You should definitely listen to it.

In conclusion to my very wordy post here. There are always going to be those who don't understand. Those people who would rather write articles like: Darkness in YA. Then try and understand where it is Ya readers and authors are coming from. I honestly believe they don't understand the whole YA concept. Then again maybe I don't understand YA. I have enough sense though to read more then a few books that I'm told to read. I'm just wondering do these people who write these articles just read those specific books. Do they go to a bookstore and read the flaps to other books. Do they talk to more than a few people before they assume that what one person feels is what everyone else feels?
So...I say...
Read on readers..
and write on writers!

Do you have something you would like to add? What are some reasons that you read/write YA?


  1. Yikes Ash! You put my tiny little post to shame! There is not one part of this post that I didn't agree with. I think my biggest issue is people trying to cast a certain light on all YA books ie they're all about impossible vampire love triangles. More than anything, I love the uninhibited creativity and imagination in YA. It feels like such a free space where anything is possible. Time travel? Sure thing! Fae? Why not? Telepathy? You betcha! Anything goes in YA and that makes for much more exciting reading than your run of the mill, family drama. Don't get me wrong, I like reading other stuff besides YA but I just feel like it gets a bad rep for no justifiable reason. And as for darkness/sex/swearing in YA: Get over it people. Your 12 years old probably already knows all about it and it's probably a good thing that they can read a book in comfort and explore these issues in a constructive way. Quote "This is why being a writer would be difficult for me. The thoughts are there. They just don't want to come out and play nicely with me." Just that bit alone tells me you'd be a great writer Ashley. That is gold and it's how I feel every day but I slog on. YA has taught me never to give up on a dream and if nothing else, when the Strigoi/zombie/vampire apocalypse comes, I'll know what to do! Non-YA readers: Can you say the same?

  2. We all have our comfort zones :)

    I occasionally read YA, but I largely read adult fiction, and I'm the same age as you, 25. I think part of it is that here in the UK, YA is nowhere near as big as it is in the US (where I'm on vacation at the moment). I'm astounded at how big the YA sections are in shops here compared to at home.

    I was always eager to get on adult books, and wouldn't want to dwell on being a teenager.

  3. Lan,

    Lol. Yeah it's sort of long huh? Believe it or not I could have written much more then I did. I was trying to summarize it, but it just kept growing. Finally I was like I have to stop or this is going to end up as an essay. :)

    "Your 12 years old probably already knows all about it." I agree with this kids now days learn alot more about things at a younger age then I did. I was talking to a friend awhile back and she was telling me about what her 11 year old was learning in health. She was telling me some of the questions her daughter came home with, and I was like did I know what that was at 11. I don't think so.

    "Just that bit alone tells me you'd be a great writer Ashley."
    :) Thanks I have my moments. It's funny because I have so many thoughts written down that I would love to try and make something out of, but that's as far as I ever get.

    "YA has taught me never to give up on a dream and if nothing else, when the Strigoi/zombie/vampire apocalypse comes, I'll know what to do! Non-YA readers: Can you say the same?"
    Lol this cracked me up. We will definitely know what to do if our goverments take a drastic turn for the "better".

  4. Sam,
    I love going to our bookstores, or any store really that has a book section. Most of them have some sort of YA section. Sometimes it's bigger then the the others. It's always the first area I go to in a store just to see if they have anything new. Our used bookstores where I live I can always find the most awesome selection. What gets me is alot of them are books that just come out, and I'm like jackpot. I'll occasionally go and check out like the PNR/UF adult section to see if I can find certain authors/books that I want.


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Happy Reading and Blogging, Ashley

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