Question: Are You Still Into YA?

Posted April 11, 2012 by Carmel in / 42 Comments

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by Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

My short answer is: no.

Before I started blogging I’d read the odd Young Adult novel here and there but generally wouldn’t go out of my way to pick one up. That all changed when I started Rabid Reads. Once I joined the bloggosphere I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of YA blogs and I felt like I had to compete so I started reading more and more YA books. Not only that, but review copies are generally easier to come by too. I know NetGalley has become a haven for Young Adult books and they’re not the only site. Plus, I receive double the number of YA author review requests in my inbox compared to Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance combined. So, it’s hard to say no when these books are everywhere.

After reading one too many stories about either poor parental figures, high school drama or incomplete endings I reached my limit. I actually had an inner conversation with myself when I hit this point. Why oh why do I keep reading YA books when almost 99.99% of the time I feel unsatisfied after finishing one? I’m going to be 30 in a week; do I really need to reminisce about high school? Probably not. Also, it’s hard to connect with a 15 year old character when you’re twice as old as they are.

Other than the occasional werewolf YA book I decline any and all Young Adult review requests. It took me a while to realize that I was reading books that I didn’t enjoy but once I did there was no going back. There are so many amazing books out there, why waste your time on a genre you can’t stand? For a while, I was so knee deep in YA review commitments that book blogging felt like a chore. When reading starts to no longer be fun it’s time to figure out why. In my case it was due to the Young Adult genre.

What about you?

Are You Still Into YA?

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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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42 responses to “Question: Are You Still Into YA?

  1. I’m way past the YA stage in my life. I think that about 25% of the books I read are YA. The reason I read YA is that I have teenagers and I want to be able to help them find interesting reads. It also makes an interesting starting point for conversations with your kids.

    I’ve also discovered a “new” category – YA literature that straddles the adult books category. Books like Angelfall fit here. It would be a shame for someone to miss the awesomeness of that book simply because it was shelved as YA.

  2. @ahz1 Admittedly, not all books are categorized correctly. Kelley Armstrong’s books are shelved under “horror” at my local Chapters which doesn’t make sense to me. But I can definitely see how reading YA could be beneficial to anyone with kids.

  3. It depends on the genre. If it’s too much high school drama I don’t bother. I tend more towards paranormal/dystopian/ historical YAs

  4. Carmel, I love your honesty. If reading just becomes another job, then it defeats the whole purpose! I stopped reading certain genres for that very reason. Gosh, I thought I was the only who felt this way.

  5. I’ve never really been into YA that much. I’ll only touch at YA book if it’s paranormal in nature. I do have a few on my TBR list but they always take the back seat to my more “adult” books. I did just pick up a YA on audio from the library this week. Cinder by Marissa Meyer that I plan to listen to soon.

  6. I do still like reading YA, but I’m not fond of what’s really popular right now. I’ll read whatever I like whether it’s categorized as this or that. If it’s YA and I like it, I’ll read it.

  7. YA, yes if it is a series already started and am enjoying like Rachel Vincents Soul Screamers or Andrea Cremers take on Werewolves in her Nightshade series. I love Rachel Caines Morganville Vampires books still, even though at times feel a little bit like it is going on a bit long without wrapping up. I feel that way about several Adult PNR and UF series as well so am not picking on YA.

    Luckily for me my reading taste has always been eclectic, my blog reflects that (as much as possible) and since my review requests are varied genres as well that keeps my hobby just that. The only time it overwhelms me is when I overburden myself by saying yes to too many books or setting up guest posts/interviews/giveaways/promise on a deadline and then my Internet fails and I panic! (Happens every week since no longer have access to High Speed connection, makes blogging interesting if not downright challenging at times.

    Jackie B Central Texas

  8. Carmel,

    I agree with you in so many levels. I have never been a fan of YA, however I don’t refuse a story if it is interesting and it catches my eye. I prefer reading books with an “adult” theme, however not necessarily a sexual theme. A lot of the YA stories I have read leave me frustrated and with the need to scream LOL.

    Great post!

  9. I looked back to the books I’ve read so far this year and about 50% of them are YA. Which is a much smaller % than last year. I find that I have reading phases. I can read 5-6 adult books in a row than 4 YA books and so on. It just depends of my mood, but most YA books I read are either Dystopian or High Fantasy. I have to say that I’m not much into highschool drama and with a couple of exceptions (see Richelle Mead!) I avoid those.
    I really think there are two boxes in the YA genre. YA books that are really into teenage drama, and YA books that are classified that way because the main character is a teen, but could’ve been 25 and the story wouldn’t have been different. Does that make any sense?

  10. I haven’t stopped reading YA, but I’ve started to be far more picky in which ones I choose to read and always make sure I break it up with ‘adult’ reads in my preferred genres so it doesn’t start feeling like a chore to read.

    It’s difficult for me when a YA book is hyped up – then I want to know what everyone is talking about! But I’ve had to force myself through some books I just couldn’t stand and write less than glowing reviews, when it probably would have been kinder to both myself and the author just to not read the book in the first place.

    Great question! I’m glad I’m not the only one out there that’s nearly 30 (next week, argh!), wondering if I’m just too old for all that teen drama šŸ˜‰

  11. @Tynga Makes sense but I haven’t really come across many YA books where the character could be 25. Maybe I’m just reading the wrong type of YA?

  12. I do still read some, but really only if someone recommends one. I still like to read them so that I have something to discuss with my 13 year old. I wish he could read the books that I read, but they have way too much Adult content in it. šŸ™‚

  13. I’m enjoying this discussion. I thought I’d add some of my favorite young adult books just so you can see that they are not all about angst and prom dresses. 1)Philip Reeve – The Hungry City Chronicles – book 1 is called The Mortal Engines 2)Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (3 book series, alternate history of WWI 3)Patrick Ness – Chaos Walking trilogy book 1 is called The Knife of Never letting Go 4)Eon by Allison Goodman and the Sequel Eona 5) Angelfall by Susan Ee
    Some of these may change your opinion of young adult books.

  14. I think it is where you are in life and not just your age. I have always had eclectic or odd reading habits (read Shakespeare and Fairy Tales during 7th grade… yes I was that weird child who read everything and loved words). A lot of the YA I read now (and I’m 45) is because I have a 16 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. I try to read everything they do and a lot of what their friends are reading because I like to know what is influencing them outside the house. We have had great talks about why I prefer they don’t read some books and I can always recommend a good book or series to them and their friends. I don’t know that I would necessarily read as much YA (although I enjoy a lot of it if it isn’t too drama about stupid things) if I didn’t have kids that age, but then again I might. I read almost anything… almost.

  15. I have not read that many YA books but of the ones I have, apart from Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising series, I have generally not enjoyed them. I would have read these books anyway because I’ve been a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s adult fiction and I’ve even read her Nadia Stafford series, even though I tend to stick to Science Fiction and Fantasy when it comes to fiction. I think a lot of this has to do with the way they are written – I don’t think I would mind them as much if I came across an high fantasy series, because they lack the high-school drama! Or if they were like a Star Wars series by Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta I read when I was a teenager (I did go back to those a couple of years back and found that I didn’t enjoy them as much as I did when I was younger, but that is because I’ve read more complex books). I do read Buffy books occasionally and love those, maybe not as much as “original” series but I don’t mind them and I can still watch the show with the same enthusiasm as when it was first aired.

    I don’t think it is because I can’t relate to the characters in these books because of my age, I think that it’s more down to the skill of the author as a writer because I can still read some children’s books if they spark my interest. YA is big at the moment, so the genre is flooded with mediocre authors because the publishers think that they can make money on the tail end of Twilight. I don’t think that the genre itself is bad, though – it’s the badly written stuff that is being published at the moment that is the problem. I did notice that there was a YA edition of The Hobbit in the YA section of Waterstones the other day, so if we keep our fingers crossed, we might get some decent books in the near future. There are also some good YA books out there – I recently read Joanne Harris’s Runemarks and Runelight and they were good.

  16. Before I started blogging all I read was Historical Romance, Paranormal and Urban Fantasy but after reading twilight which I picked up due to they hype of the movie…I started picking up more YA but mainly the dystopian YA or parnormal/fantasy YA. The funny thing is I have caught myself getting a little bored with YA and going back to the genres I used to read. I was at B&N today and I completely skipped over the YA section while checking out adult fiction. Honestly I think for me I go through phases but in the end I go back to my original three genres.

  17. This is a great question. I am one who likes to read YA. I LOVE my adult books, but I like the balance of reading both. I usually will read a few adult books in a row and then switch to YA for a couple reads. I’m well into my 30’s, but I still really enjoy the YA. Although they are mostly paranormal ones. I occasionally will read a YA contemporary too.

  18. i feel like ya is a pretty new genre for me. i’ve really only started reading a lot of it in the past few years. i do tend to be pickier than i used to be on what i’ll read but i still find that i enjoy a lot of ya books. but i agree that if you don’t enjoy it, don’t read it. people have criticized me for reading so much romance and urban fantasy and my thing is always, why read what you don’t enjoy? life’s short and i don’t want to spend it reading what other people tell me to read. so i am glad you figured out that you didn’t love ya so you could concentrate on reading the things you love. thanks for sharing!

  19. @fishgirl182 Exactly! Why waste time reading something that you don’t enjoy? If I only like romance, so be it. At least I read, which is more than can be said of a lot of people!

  20. I remember you telling me that you were getting frustrated with YA at Linda’s party last year. I am glad that you talked yourself through it and that you are now really liking the books you read. Well, for the most part anyways. As you said, there are just too many books out there to get stuck feeling ‘forced’ to read a book/genre you really don’t want to bother with. Great answer Carmel!