Next to be reviewed:

Growing out of YA?

A few weeks ago, one of my good friends told me something that threw me for a loop. This friend used to run her own YA book blog and was the one to actually get me into blogging. Most of my early followers came directly from her recommendation. So when she told me she was 'growing out of YA' I was more than a little confused and shocked.

At the time we were wandering Barnes & Noble, one of the things we love to do together, when I started heading for the YA shelves. My friend wandered off into a different direction and she then told me how she believed she grew out of YA. "I've moved on, now I know better books." She said this in a sort of haughty tone. I didn't say anything in response, but now I've thought about what she said and decided I need to blog about it.

Young Adult is obviously written for a general audience of adults who are young. Of course everyone grows out of that classification eventually, but can one ever grow out of loving to read the books produced under that label? After thinking on it, I believe it's possible. As we grow, tastes change and we fall in and out of love with tons of different things, books being one of them. But 'growing out of YA' makes the entire Young Adult community sound childish and something one needs to move on from once they've reached adulthood. This is the issue I have with what my friend said: YA is something I love and insinuating that it's childish of me to love those books obviously rubbed me the wrong way.

My reaction was a little like this:

Quite a few articles have been written about YA lately, most of them negative. A common factor in some of these articles is the generalization that all YA is fluff, not serious literature. I've been reading tons of these articles lately {masochism, eh?} and I've deduced that many writers of said articles haven't read much YA. If theses writers, my friend, and others who seem to think YA is all rainbow-unicorn-sparkle-glitter-sunshine actually read more YA they might understand why so many readers, many of them years past being a young adult themselves, are so dedicated to the genre. Surely anyone who's read THE BOOK THIEF can't argue it has many literary gems buried in its pages? Or how about SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson and CRASH by Ellen Hopkins, both of which have helped thousands of people become aware of certain issues or even deal with similar situations in their own lives?

My point? YA has many fluffy light reads, there's no doubt about it, but there are also tons of truly brilliant works of fiction being put out every year under the Young Adult label. As in all literature, there are hits and misses within the genre, but the less-than-genius works shouldn't be used in general terms to taint the entire YA community. But alas, as long as there are people who want to bitch about things, they will find something to bitch about, like YA being the bane of al books.

So I've decided to take a lesson from Ben Barnes and ignore the haters:

"Jack and Jill"-Katie Herzig,