Young adult literature is my favorite to read, regardless of how old I am. While I in no way eschew literature written specifically for adults, YA is at the top of my list for these reasons:
1) So much drama!
I think of myself when I was in high school and college, and it’s true that I was a Drama Queen. While I am not proud of it, I do think that drama in literature keeps things exciting! Love triangles, deaths, adventures, secrets, fights … and that’s just at Hogwarts!
2) Incredible characters.
Teenagers are fascinating, opinionated, and passionate. When we write about them, we end up with characters who are full of energy and who often haven’t found a rhythm or routine to life yet. Hence, Augustus Waters, Anne Shirley, Stargirl Carraway.
3) So much life ahead of them = so many options!
Not to mention, so many lessons to learn. I love watching young characters take on the world and grow so much from the beginning to the end of a story. Anything is possible when you’re seventeen! Everything is shiny and new and full of wonder, which we see as we watch Liesel Meminger learn to read or Edmund Pevensie discover who he truly is.
Don’t get me wrong; I find literary fiction to be gorgeous. But I side with C.S. Lewis who encouraged writers to always choose the shorter word. YA lit is like the ESV version of the Bible– dead-on accuracy but also very readable, nothing sacrificed.
And believe me, I don’t think that YA writers need to (or should) sacrifice any of the beauty or imagery or depth. John Green is a pioneer in this, and I love that he writes for very intelligent teenagers who love to think. They are out there, he says, and we ought not insult them. Agreed.
Do you like YA lit? How come?