Friday, 6 June 2014

REPLY: Adult's Shouldn't Read YA

Recently, there was an article that went up that basically slammed adults for reading YA books, or at least told them they should be embarrassed about it. Now, I haven’t read the article as it’s just going to waste my time, but I still feel the need to address this topic in some way. The term ‘YA’ means young adult, so obviously the author is directing that to the main audience of around 13 to 18, but those are just guidelines. As a fourteen year old I may not have the same point of view as an actual adult but I still have a strong opinion.

Using terms like MG, YA, and Adult, doesn’t mean these are tangible boundaries that one cannot cross, if anything these age categories on the book are more for booksellers than readers. Reading is such a wonderful thing that I don’t think anything should confine it. Hell, I’m nearly 15 and I still read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, classed as MG, or more specifically 9+, and I still enjoy it.

If an adult wants to read a YA book, they shouldn’t be criticized; there are some damn good books in our YA category, and everyone should have the chance to experience them. Since when did someone get so fixated on the age aspect? I understand if you want to protect your children e.g. 10/11 year olds and have them read MG, but adults are their own beings, they can make their own choices. It’s like telling someone they shouldn’t eat Happy Meals after they pass the age of ten.

Furthermore, in general, an adult has written these YA books so you are actually insulting them by insinuating that their writing isn’t mature enough to be read by adults due to the target audience, which I believe is complete bull. I’ve read a lot of YA books, a lot, and I can recognize a book (and have on many occasions) with amazing literary qualities that could match Adult books. Secondly, to write YA an adult has to read YA in order to write well, or do you disagree?

One of the biggest examples I can think of is the Harry Potter series, now whilst this series deals with all manners of themes and dark topics, I would generally say the writing style isn’t too complicated, a nine or ten year old would have no issue reading it. And yet this hasn’t stopped so many adults from reading the books and enjoying them just as much as you or I (young adults) would, and have.

In conclusion, I believe this is another occasion where someone has written something before they thought about it, and before researching. Disregarding this article, I have to say, read what you want – no one should dictate what you read just because it says it’s for someone younger. I’m friends with a lot of adult bloggers who read YA - mentionable bloggers include Jim, YA Contemporary, and Debbie, Snuggling on the Sofa, who are constantly talking about brilliant YA books, and they’re adults, fully grown adults who can make responsible decisions.

Lauren DeStefano, YA author of The Chemical Garden trilogy and Perfect Ruin - book one in the Internment Chronicles - took this matter into her own hands over Twitter using that hashtag #promteaYAinstead, which trended in the US very shortly after it started.

*This was an unplanned post so I apologize about interrupting the Hunger Games/Divergent event but everything will carry on as normal tomorrow.*

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