For those that don't know, I'm a senior in college, getting ready to enter the real world (yikes!). And to this day, I still struggle sometimes in the library or bookstore because I'm in the YA section. Sometimes I rock it. Sometimes I pray to anything that's listening that I won't run into anyone I know. And it makes me sad that I feel this way. Because guys?
YA is AWESOME
It's some of the most innovative, creative literature out there. It's not "young" and "naive" and "immature." It's brave for taking bold risks with plots and characters and doing what regular fiction doesn't do. It invents worlds, but not just fantasy worlds, it creates young characters who are struggling in one of the hardest moments of their lives. If you're older than teenagers, like me, take a minute to think about all the crazy hard things young people are asked to do.
College, majors, where to live, who to like, who to be friends with, first heartbreak, successes and failures, grief and loss.
All these things are things young people are experiencing for the first time, and it's a difficult thing to come to terms with. These books are not just lighthearted reads meant for teens and then when you grow up you read "real" literature. These are books for helping people figure out how to do that or to help people remember what that time of their life was like.
Young people are brand-new on the planet, and it's a hard thing to figure out — how to be a person — and suddenly, they are thrown into this chaotic place and expected to handle it all with grace and poise. It's simply not going to happen.
So for all the non-YA YA readers out there, be proud of sticking to the young adult section. Tell others why they should put down the generic mystery book they're holding and try something new. Something brave. Something daring.
Because YA is AWESOME.
In the comments, does anyone else feel this way in bookstores and libraries, etc? How do you get over that?