thebook-addict talks: importance of YA lit.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

You see more people reading and buying The Hunger Games or Divergent than thumbing through a copy of The Catcher In The Rye or To Kill A Mockingbird, but why? Are such books simply outdated? Are we unable to get past the language barrier? Are Classics pretentious, or are they just not considered to be so great anymore?

YA fiction is clearly dominating the world of literature. With not only chart topping books, but blockbuster film adaptations grossing thousands, why are we all buying into the Young Adult Literature craze?

My Thoughts:

(Whilst you are entitled to your own views, ALL opinions mentioned are all valued and should be respected. Despite your own personal opinion, the opinions presented here are still valid.)

Young Adult, to me, is accessible. Usually the language used isn't too difficult to understand, and plot lines normally lack the complexity of Adult books, but still work to the same (or perhaps more?) effect.
Personally, I think Modern Adult Literature can sometimes be a little 'show-offy' there can be too many metaphorical themes and hidden meanings, and (quite often) unnecessarily advanced vocabulary which might frustrate some readers.

The thing is with YA lit, it doesn't need crazily detailed settings, or even an extensive plot. All we need is real developed characters who are loveable and relatable, characters that feel within our reach.

As teens, I think we're interested to read about people like us, with lives like us, who are going through the same issues as us. We want to be able to associate with the characters we read about, to teach us empathy, and most importantly, to know we're not alone.
But also, It's nice to read about people from other backgrounds who may had different experiences to us, and to almost 'investigate' how differently some others live to how we do, and broaden our knowledge through reading.

YA has breached serious issues that many teens deal wit daily. In a time when 'troubled teens' make the news weekly, it's important that we don't support the stigma around such severe problems.

(Eating Disorders are addressed in Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Depression and Suicide in All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and dealing with mental illness as a whole in It's Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.)

The kinds of books such as the ones listed above are increasing our understanding of each other, and really cementing our tolerance as a generation. Literature is a fantastic medium in getting messages across, and YA is great at making sure Young Adults are aware of the world around them, including considering problems such as Mental Health, Bullying, Racism and Abuse, etc.

So That's what I think, but what about everyone else?

I've gathered some thoughts from some YA Authors and Bloggers, and Tweeters on why they think YA is so important:

Melinda Sailsbury
 YA Author of The Sin Eater's Daughter

' It dares to explore issues and lifestyles outside of the norm. It embraces and celebrates diversity. It also has a raw honesty to it, where lives are stripped down to the core, and invites a reader to experience that. There's no pretension, or pretense in YA. Whether it's fantasy or contemporary, it's always relatable and relevant.'

YA fan

'Because it lets us be the heroes and warriors while telling us there's nothing wrong with obsessing over crushes &homework.'

Lisa Heathfield
YA Author of Seed

'It's often quite adrenaline-based. It's unpretentious. It's literature stripped bare and doesn't hide behind anything.'

Michelle Toy
YA Blogger at Tales of Yesterday
'It's full of fun, diversity and is not afraid to push boundaries. Also the whole YA community is amazing,supportive and so welcoming and enthusiastic about YA! It's so exciting and makes me love YA even more!' 
YA Blogger at Dark Readers 
'Because its so accessible, everyone can take something, see something, enjoy something from it. Its opens discussions and gets people talking about issues that people shouldn't be afraid to talk about and need to talk about! But its also fun &evocative and takes you to amazing imaginative places.'

Why do YOU think YA is important? 
Let me know in the comments!


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