Friday, November 9, 2012

Why I Love YA Literature



Hey, guys! Today I'm going to deviate from the norm and instead of posting a Friday Favorites, I'm going to get a little bit sappy for a pretty great reason. In case you're living under a rock and haven't heard, Beth Revis (the author of the Across the Universe Trilogy) is hosting a giveaway of pretty freaking epic proportions. You can get full deets over on her blog post about it, but for the sake of full disclosure (and also to get you excited about it) she's giving away nearly 50 signed YA novels. Yes, you read that correctly. Signed. FIFTY of them. As she mentions in her post, that has to potential to seriously alter someone's shelves and I am hoping to high heaven that it is me.

I very recently started collecting signed copies of YA books that I love because I now live in a city that values literature and that authors actually, you know, visit. In my home town, an author that I loved visiting was pretty much unheard of. Actually, no, it was unheard of. So, needless to say, my collection is very, very small. As in... I only have two.

Now, I will say that I do have duplicates of some of these books that are unsigned and if I am somehow lucky enough to win, I'll be hosting a few little giveaways of my own (and my books are in immaculate condition).

So lets get to the point of this whole post, shall we?

Why do I love YA?

My immediate, reflex response is: Why not?! But I think that the topic really does deserve a far more thought out, less defensive response, so here we go.

Lets be honest for a moment. There is a stigma surrounding YA literature, especially when you don't exactly qualify as a "young adult". I've spent a lot of time in bookstores and libraries and unfortunately, I've heard some not-so-nice things spoken offhandedly about readers of YA. Everything from "people who only read YA are immature and unintelligent" to "people who like YA are just plain weird" and while I won't deny that I'm pretty darn weird and occasionally like to dance around my apartment in my underwear singing the My Little Pony theme song, I will most definitely argue that I am an intelligent, well-adjusted woman (and immaturity strikes again, because lol at calling myself a woman).

For me, YA literature is an escape. I have day to day responsibilities that sometimes overwhelm me. With YA literature, I have the luxury of visiting whatever freaking world I want because it's such a broad genre. I can jump into a hyper-realistic, tugs-at-your-heartstrings, dark, gritty novel or I can be transported to a future society or alternate universe with an oppressive government (that isn't necessarily on Earth) that needs overthrowing. I can battle fantasical beasts along with the heroes and heroines or I can sail on a pirate ship and hold my breath as a heroine dressed as a hero is almost discovered. 

The imagination and creativity that goes into these novels is astounding to me. And sure, I know that there's adult fiction out there that is the same, but it seems like a lot of characters in adult fiction are in their late 20's or are 30+, married, have children, etc. and I just can't relate to that! I'm only 23! I still giggle when I have to call myself a lady instead of a girl! I like to giggle with my girlfriends about cute boys and talk about books and magic and fantasy! I love talking about who would play a fantastic Warner or Akiva or Alex or who would make the most bad ass Clary or Cinder or Juliet. And I know, I know you can do that with adult fiction as well because all of the Fifty Shades of Grey speculation going on, but it just isn't the same!

I do read in other genres. I'm a closet romance novel addict, I love Jane Austen, and I blew through the Wheel of Time series, but I just can't connect to those books like I can to YA and that's important to me. They're fun pastimes  but I never feel really as passionately about them as I do YA novels (Katie MacAlister's books and Pride and Prejudice, however, I am most definitely passionate about, so they're exceptions).

I hope that my little rant really answers the question. I feel like I may have gone off on a few different tangents, but I hope that my passion and absolute admiration of YA literature and the amazing people who create it shone through. So now it's your turn. Why do you love YA? Let me know in the comments below or link me to your own blog post about the subject. I would love to hear your thoughts, which I probably agree with, but got too carried away to think about!

Good luck to anyone entering this amazing giveaway!

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