Why I Read YA Novels

And why you should be reading them, too.

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!

6 thoughts on “Why I Read YA Novels

  1. Jenni

    I luv YA books. I found a favorite YA author doing a pre-kid read through. I’ve read every book in Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series many times over. I think I felt already grown up as a kid, and now I feel still young as an adult. I plan on enjoying YA fiction forever!

  2. Pam Post author

    I feel the same way, Jenni! I’m still finding new things to squee about almost daily. YA puts me in touch with my excited, romantic, sassy, teenage side. 😀 Thanks for the comment.

  3. Xanthe

    As you know, I absolutely agree! YA books are reliably emotionally satisfying and exciting, with lovely writing and memorable characters. Now that you’ve finished the 1st Game of Thrones book, I am totally going to make suggestions as to what you can try!

    Second the love for the Tortall books! I read those as an actual pre-teen/teen and those books probably saved my life. They introduced me to the kinds of stories and heroines that I needed to read and inspired me to find more books that gave me the same thrills and satisfaction. Also have to namecheck Robin McKinley and LM Montgomery. So good. Oh, I could go on and on….

    1. Pam Post author

      Love the suggestions, Xanthe. And I too have had a book pull me out of darkness more than once when I was a kid. Susan Cooper The Dark is Rising series (I think they are shelved as childrens as there was no YA when I was a kid), C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, even Piers Anthony. All awakened my inner fantasy nerd. I will have to check out Tortall, and I’m pretty sure I have a McKinley on my TBR pile. 😀 If only I had more hours in the day! Thanks for stopping, and we have to get together IRL soon!!

      1. Xanthe

        I read the Dark is Rising too!!!! I found them at about the same time I read the Tortall books and they were also very important to me, but for different reasons. Did I ever tell you that I try to reread the Dark is Rising every year around Christmas (Midwinter)? It’s such a great book for the dark of December when I could really believe that dark forces were surging despite all the Christmas cheer. Not sure if it would really be categorized as YA these days, but definitely formative. Did you read the whole series? Loved Over Sea and Under Stone and Greenwitch and well, the whole series. It made me want to visit Cornwall and Wales. Someday…

        Yes, we much get together. Gonna email you tomorrow, I hope!

  4. Tina Gower

    YA is one of my favorite go to categories of books. It feels like some of the issues that writers in YA tackle are much more pertinent in todays world. And they really know what they’re doing with tension. I learn a lot about how to keep a readers interest!


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