Too Old for YA?

lifeofkitty bookshelf

At the weekend I finished re-reading Fangirl, and it had me thinking. At what age are you too old for young adult fiction? Are you ever too old? I’m 22 now, and to be honest, I still feel like a teenager (that is, until I’m doing my daily commute on the bus and surrounded by teens and schoolkids). I’m out of the target age range for these books, but that doesn’t really matter does it?

Embarrassed About Reading YA?

Don’t be! There’s no reason to be embarrassed about reading anything and here are some reasons why YA is great:

+1 Most of the books are so easy to relate to or emphasise with. Sure, most of the characters tend to be around 17/18, but I’ve generally had those experiences and it takes me back. I definitely feel old now, but YA makes me think about my teenage years and I like that.

+2 YA fiction often hits a lot of real life problems. Problems that many teenagers will encounter at some point in their life, whether that’s though themselves or through friends/family. The are so many YA books out there that deal with terminal illnesses, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar, general high school life, sex, drinking, drugs, pregnancy – you name it, there’s probably a YA book covering it. Uglies is a series that I read recently, and the world was completely centred around each person’s look, and the ideal face to have. It delved into how we shouldn’t feel pressured to look or act a certain way to be accepted. Of course, there was a lot more to the story, but I loved that part of it because it is a huge problem within media.

+3 They are relatively simple, quick paced and they make easy reads. I actually find that YA is what I turn to when I’m stuck in a reading rut. It’s not true for all YA obviously, but the stories aren’t particularly complex and don’t need a lot of thought. I like being thrown into a story, feeling every emotion under the sun and coming out the other side feeling ready to get onto another good book. I don’t always feel like that with adult contemporary/romance books.

+4 YA is filled with different genres. When you think about YA right now, teenage romance or a terminal ill teenager seems to be the most popular choice, but there are plenty of fantasy/dystopia, sci-fi, historical, comedy, coming-of-age style, paranormal and so much more. Most of the fantasy series that I’ve loved have been YA, and likewise with the dystopia.

+5 A book is a book. If you’re enjoying it, keep at it. Who’s to tell you what you should or shouldn’t read eh? I think YA gets a lot of mixed reactions, but I’m happy to say that I love it and I’m not going to stop reading any time soon!

  • Cat

    Really interesting post! I’ve never really been into my YA but both my boyfriend and my boss enjoy it – my boyfriend is 27 and my boss is 35, so I think it definitely appeals to those outside its “target audience”! x

    • admin

      Ooh, it’s nice to hear that your boyfriend loves it! I know there’s plenty of male relateable YA out there, but you mostly hear females saying they read it!

  • Such a good post, and it made me feel a lot better about reading YA. I always feel like i’m being judged whenever I’m at the book store and looking at YA, it’s not my fault it’s SO interesting!!! I agree though, you should read whatever interests you and not what society tells you to be reading in your age group. I’m 26 and I can’t relate to those “adult books” where they are married with children and are having a midlife crisis.

    Ree xx

    • admin

      Yeah that’s totally it! I do love reading about families, but it’s like being on the outside of a story, whereas in YA I can feel like I am right there!

  • I’m 26 and YA is still one of my favourite genres of books! I agree with you – reading is reading and reading can only be a good thing! I hate book snobbery – I don’t care if someone is reading romantic fiction, YA, sci-fi or any of the other genres which some people seem to stick their nose up at. If someone reads and loves a book then hooray – who cares if it’s considered ‘high-brow’ or not?! I studied English Literature at university and read a lot of books which won awards and are considered ‘books you should read’. While I do think these books have a place on your bookshelf, that doesn’t mean there isn’t also space for lighter material. Perhaps if more focus was put on other genres of reading while people were at school then more adults would enjoy reading – I often think an emphasis on weighty, old-fashioned texts turns some people off reading for life, which is such a shame.