Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why YA appeals to adults, my take...and OS teaser #42

So, here is my little girl graduating junior high school.

I'm still trying to figure out how that happened. She was a baby just last week. It's totally crazy how fast time goes. I sort of wonder if there's something to those time travel stories, cuz I feel like I must have jumped forward at least ten years. And, the thing about time is, once it's gone, you can't get it back. Makes me think that all the time I wasted waiting for things was...well...wasted.

I'm one of those people who are always looking forward. When I was little, I wanted to be bigger. When I was bigger, I wanted to be old enough to drive. Then I wanted to be old enough to drink. Then I wanted to be out on my own. Then I wanted my graduate degree. Then I wanted to travel. Then I wanted kids. And, with every new goal I forgot to pay attention to the moment. Instead, when I accomplished one goal, I'd just set another and keep looking forward.

I recently heard an young author friend of mine (who I love dearly and am not criticizing) say that she thought the reason that adults were drawn to YA literature is that their lives were boring and they wanted some excitement. I worked really hard not to burst out laughing. I see it totally the opposite. My life is so nuts most of the time with three jobs and two kids that I just want to go back to the simplicity of childhood, even if for a short time. Many young adult books deal with the coming of age issues we all remember from our youth (because, really, it wasn't that long ago). And, as much as most of us wouldn't want to go through all of that again, it's a nice diversion from our crazy existences to remember how it felt.

As a writer, I've taken it one step farther. I've found my escape from my crazy life in my characters. They take me for some wild rides. Maybe my friend had it a little backward, but she was right in that I get to relive some of my misspent youth through my characters.

So, if you're a "grown-up," why do you read YA? (If you do.) Is it for the characters? The kick-ass plots? What draws you to the genre.

And now, Original Sin teaser #42. Once again, here is Matt. And he's not happy. I'll leave it at that and let you figure out what's going on. ;p

#OriginalSin p113 Matt: Finally, I slip back through Luc’s wall. But the first thing I see—a flash of skin in the tangled sheets—feels like a punch to the gut. I push back into the hall and sit with my head in my hands again, forcing myself not to storm in there and pull him off her. It’s too late. I got distracted and forgot where the real danger was.

Don't forget to enter for a signed set of Personal Demons and Original Sin if you haven't already!


  1. Congratulations! I always loved American graduations. I was kinda bummed that I didn't have a cap and gown for mine :-)

  2. Well, I don't think your friend was exactly wrong. I mean, just because you're busy doesn't mean that your life is exciting or interesting. I feel so busy sometimes I'd give anything to have a clone to help out, but the lives that characters have in books is definitely more exciting than mine.

    However, You can get just as much excitement from an adult novel as you can a YA. So, I don't think that's the reason. I'm 25, so I considered myself to be on the last leg of being a 'young adult'. I think the reason I often prefer YA over Adult is because of the diversity. It seems like the general population of adult novels are about a cop or reporter who gets into something bad while falling in love with someone mysterious at the same time. That seems to span just about ever adult genre. I don't want to read about a cop or a reporter. That doesn't sound exciting at all.

    I also think that adult novels seem to focus a lot on detail and mundane things, while YA novels are more plot driven. Keep it flowing, keep it going, and excite me!

    And lastly, YA reflects my interests more. I love supernatural, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic stories. I think those are what interests the youth today, so there is more of that in the YA section than seems to be in the adult.

    That's just my take on it. I'm sure a lot of people wont agree with me and that's fine. Those just seem to be the reasons that I gravitate toward the YA shelves.

  3. Congrats on your daughters graduation! I too got into YA novels when my life got busy with a career, home, bills, marriage and new baby. I LOVE my life but I also LOVED being a teen, in spite of all the melodrama, haha. It's nice to relive that time of my life through YA characters. Plus, boys in YA books seem much more...passionate...than the boys I knew in my youth :P

  4. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation.
    As for why I read YA at 48 yrs old:
    1. very good storyline
    2. interesting characters
    3. get away from my life for a while and remember WAY back when.

    I read mostly adult but like to throw in a good YA every couple books. Besides, YA means young adult, not kid. The ones I read are generally dealing with mature themes. The characters just happen to be teenagers.

  5. Yay for your daughter!! Graduation is such a major life milestone. As for YA, I love everything about it. I find it more interesting and "real" than a lot of adult fiction, but I'm not entirely sure why. I guess I never fully grew up! :-)

  6. I am the mother of two teens and part of the reason that I read YA is to know what they are reading. I also read a book based on the story. If it is a good book, it will appeal to any generation. There are some great YA books and Adult books.(There are also some not so great ones out there.) I try to choose the best of both!

  7. I have to agree with you that we're wanting to go back and relive the quieter times. At least part way. Also, I think that's the meanest teaser EVER!!! LOL.

  8. *Shrugs.* I just love reading YA books. Yeah, not much of a reason, huh? :p

  9. I work at a public library and some of my co-workers got me hooked on YA. I think the reason that I love it so much are all the great series out there. Every week I am finding a new one to follow.

  10. Adding one more to my goodreads list. I think I've been hooked by one tease!

    I'm 26 and I read YA for the same almost for the same reason I still shop in the junior's section in the clothing store--because that's where I find the stuff that fit me best.

    Having adult responsibilites and running a household has not affected the sort of books I like to escape to in my free time.
    I'm married to my first love, and so the YA romances resonate with me more than the stories featuring couples who carry baggage from old relationships.

  11. I live in Japan. My adult life is definitely cooler than my YA life.

    I read YA because of the possibilities. Adults (and adult novels) feel so locked into stuff. People don't do jobs, they have careers. They don't move around, they buy a house.

    It's like all the decisions have already been made.

    I'm not that person. I don't think I ever will be. My job, my outlook, even the country I live in keeps changing.