When Young Adult literature is mentioned, most people think of sappy love stories about two kids with cancer or a story where children fight to death for the country’s amusement. In reality, Young Adult literature can be both of those, but also so much more. The young adult range pertains to people aged 12-18, but young adult books can suit any age group with a certain level of maturity… or not.
The title of the genre “Young Adult” or “YA” is quite vague. While publishers may believe that the novels are more suitable for teenagers, that is just a suggestion. Anyone can read young adult novels, and most importantly, can enjoy them. The widely read Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was not only a bestselling trilogy, but the movie franchise was also a huge success. People of all ages read The Hunger Games and thoroughly enjoyed the tale of star-crossed lovers battling each other and rebelling against an oppressive government, inspiring excitement and melancholy in readers all over the world. While the books were categorized as “YA”, that did not stop children, teenagers, and even adults from relishing in this action-packed narrative. Other books such as John Green’s Paper Towns and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series were initially targeted toward young adult audience, but have achieved widespread popularity amongst individuals of all ages since their publications.
The Hunger Games, Paper Towns, and the Harry Potter series are all bestselling, yet very different stories, that are classified as YA literature. That is another wonderful aspect of YA literature: it encompasses many different sub-genres like Contemporary, Fiction, and Romance, to name a few. With YA literature, a reader can become virtually anyone and go anywhere his/her heart desires; readers can fulfill their fantasies and there are endless possibilities.
The genre offers stories of everything, characters of all backgrounds, and well-written novels. YA novels break down the barriers that society puts up. If someone can dream it, it can be written and when faced with Young Adult novels, this is often what you find: dreams that other people are too scared or too dull to write about. Of course, there are bad books out there, and of course, you may stumble upon stereotypes and tropes, but there are also books that will change your life and the way you think.
Don’t say no to Young Adult literature because of its name, and don’t say no because you think the stories will be childish- there’s nothing childish about children fighting to death. Young Adult literature is for everyone; it just takes a little open-mindedness and adventurous spirit to discover the hidden gems of YA literature.