Monday, June 7, 2010

I Wanna Hear Yours: Why Do You Read/Write YA?

Weeeeeeelcome back for another fabulous round of Katie's infamous: I Wanna Hear Yours! In which you listen to my insane ramblings and I listen to yours.

Today's question on the board: Why do you read/write YA?

I especially want to hear from those of you who are no longer in the 12-18 catagory. Why do we still read YA? Why do we put up with bosses/friends/coworkers/family/estranged neighbours looking down their noses at us for reading the latest teen romance when we're so clearly (oh so very clearly) no longer in high school?

So what is it about this tantalizing (genre? Age group?) that keeps you coming back for more, more, more?

Personally, the reason I love YA so much is because of two main reasons:

1) Pacing


2) Firsts.

First, the pacing. (Haha!) Sometimes, (albiet, I will admit, not always) I find myself reading an adult book and I want to beat my head against the table because it's going SO GODDAMN SLOW. (Disclaimer: Katie is not stating that all adult books have slow pacing, or that all YA books have good pacing. Please refrain from throwing tomatoes as it will ruin my nice clean shirt.) So I'm drawn to the quick pacing, the quick wit and the inevitable: "WHY IS EVERYTHING HAPPENING ALL AT ONCE OMIGAWDZOMIBIES AND ISN'T THAT BOY SO CUTE AND OMIGAWDZOMBIES!"

2) Firsts. This is kind of a big one for me. The romance in YA is always so fresh because it's from the perspective of someone who has never experienced romance before. Everything is so raw and sharp because teenagers are experiencing these emotions for the first time. Of course, it doesn't always lead to a happy ending, but I just like how none of the teenagers have yet put up emotional walls like adults do. They don't know how to handle and so sometimes they react without considering the consequences, which makes for great conflict.

And this doesn't just apply to romance. First time having sex, first high school experience, first real world problems, first encounter with drugs and so on and so forth.

Those two catagories can be placed in any sub-genre of YA: fantasy, paranormal, historical, whatever. They almost always have a swift pace (which makes it usually shorter, which, what can you do?) and a series of firsts.

So, contestants, step right up to the mic and SHOW YOUR STUFF. Why are you reading YA? Why are you writing it? Is what you like about it something that applies to all genres of YA or just a few?

You heard my ramblings, now I WANNA HEAR YOURS!

I should get some cheesy theme music to go along with this.




  1. Simple. I never grew up. Old, yes. Up, no.

  2. Firsts and pacing are definitely big reasons why I read YA. Also, I guess I just never grew up ;)

  3. I write YA because of the honesty and the voice. YA novels are allowed to have this raw, honest, butterfly-coming-from-a-chrystalis feel to them, and the voices are sometimes kind of angsty, sometimes kind of quirky, but always...voicey, you know?

    Dangit. I feel like I just showed you a diary entry. :B

  4. I write YA because I read YA. I'm 24, and never, ever, ever, plan on growing up :)

  5. I like YA because it's a simpler, yet more complicated time of life. Like you said, it's full of firsts, and everything is still exciting. Teens are full of passion and idealism. I really want to capture that. It helps me feel sane when I'm paying bills and mopping up baby puke.

  6. In my case, the story chose me. I was just coming out a long illness, and it was there, waiting for me to find the time to write it. Now I'm almost there.

    I've added you to my blogroll. I'm interested in seeing where you headed.