During what I call the long hiatus when my kids were growing up and I had zero time to read for enjoyment. There were books that I did read. That I felt I had to read.
When my offspring picked up a new book, especially when they were very young I wanted to know it was age appropriate. I tried never to censor my children but to give them guidance, especially when the themes were mature. My oldest was such a fast and advanced reader I could never keep up, but we discussed what she was reading, what it meant, and how it affected her.
She would occasionally read aloud pieces of the more interesting, funny, or twisty parts. We bonded as a family over our shared love of story, books, and reading.
It was during this time, I found out that some of the best books being published were young adult novels. I think the secret is out in some cases the big name cross overs such as Harry Potter, The Maze Runner, Divergent, and the Hunger Games. But there are others like Scott Westerfield’s Uglies series, Kresley Cole’s Arcana books, and Sarah Maas’s Throne of Glass novels that make reading YA adventurous, fun, and compelling.
The protagonists of these stories are usually young people who are just out figuring life. It’s easy to identify with a main character who is struggling to find their place in the world. I think we all long to find something about ourselves that is extraordinary, or to feel motivated to follow a dream, or fight back against oppression, or find true love. All these universal themes are the life’s blood of YA fiction.
Some of the best writing today is in the YA arena. The books tend to be shorter, quicker, more intense reads. So even in my time-crunched life, I find intervals to consume them like cotton candy at a weekend carnival.
Family bonding, excellent writing, story telling about themes we all find compelling and motivating, quick and intense reads, these are just a few reason you should hop on over to Amazon and/or visit your local independent bookstore to widen your readerly horizons.
As beach season treads towards us with flip flops, beach towels, and books, I highly recommend you get out there and take a dip in the YA pool of literary awesome. It may be just what you need to cool off this summer.
Do you read YA? Do you have a favorite series, writer, or book? Or just say ‘hi’! Comment below!