My daughter informed me this evening that it was the night before Valentine's Day. She was wondering if we got to do anything special to celebrate. That struck me as funny at first, but after a bit of reflection it seemed appropriate to write about love on Valentine's Eve. So here you go: 10 reasons why I love to read Y.A. Fiction. Please feel free to add your own reasons in the comments below!
1) Optimism! Y.A. protagonists are full of hope. They have so much life ahead of them that they are (usually) looking forward instead of backward.
2) Time-Travel! Reading a good Y.A. book is like stepping into a time machine. It's so much fun to "go back" to high school without actually having to do homework, eat cafeteria food, and stress about your peers.
3) Hobbies! I love when a book immerses you in some one else's expertise! Reading is a great way to gain insight to different hobbies and sports (Raku pottery, film making, wizardry, martial arts, mountain biking, poetry, etc.)
4) First person! The bulk of Y.A. fiction is written in first person and something about that makes me feel more connected to the main character than second or third.
5) Love! I enjoy reading about people falling in love for the first time. For those of us who have journals (embarrassing should-be-burned journals) this is a much less painful way to remember those early feelings and the humorous ways we tried (and failed) to navigate love.
6) Movies! There are so many Y.A. books being made into block-buster movies right now! ( have to say for the upcoming season I'm looking forward to Divergent (written by Veronica Roth) and The Fault in our Stars (written by John Green).
7) Perspective. Perhaps this is something that only a 30-something (or older) would say as a positive of Y.A. fiction, but I like reading these books with the perspective that I now have. It is interesting to think how much our teen years affect who we are and what we do with our lives. I like reading other people's "coming of age" stories. Everybody has a story, and the more we get to know, the more open minded I believe we become.
8) Cheap Travel. How else can I spend six months in India or a semester in Korea? My travel accounts are non-existent these days so I love reading stories set in new-to-me locations.
9) BFFs! While I love my husband and kiddos something fierce, there is something to be said for remembering all the awesome friends that you used to be inseparable with. Reading these books reminds me of a handful of great girls and guys that I hung out with in my adolescence. I wish I could still have lunch with them every day!
10) Inspiration. Reading makes you a better writer, period. I try to read as much as I write and I'm so full of gratitude for all the writers in the world who put the stories in their heads onto paper.
** Personal Bonus - I love that I can easily identify people I might have something in common with if I see on their Facebook or Goodreads Page that they are also a Y.A. fan :)
Happy Valentines Day to all you book lovers!