Tweeters are twitting and authors are arguing again. It’s a topic that has been hashed and re-hashed since the dawn of ‘Twilight’. Should adults be reading young adult or new adult fiction?
The arguments for and against are numerous and bear resemblance to the age-old war of fiction versus non-fiction. I’m not going to re-play these philosophical points again. I think we’ve heard them all and as a young adult fiction author, it’s probably pretty obvious on which side of the battle-field I place my sword.
Instead, I’m going to tell you why I love to read and write young adult fiction.
- We don’t age.
Well, at least not on the inside anyway. How many times has your grand-mother told you: ‘I feel the same as I did when I was eighteen’? Whilst I may still have a long way to go to say that, I heartily agree. The heart does not age, so why should the books I read?
- Firsts are fun.
Remember how your heart pounded out of your chest at the mere thought of your first kiss? How excited you were to get your first cellular phone? How scared but exhilarating it was to sneak out of the house for your first night-club visit? Firsts are fun, no matter how you look at it and the teenage years are brimming with first opportunities. Seconds and thirds might also be great, but they don’t have that same shiny new penny feeling and repeat episodes eventually lose their appeal. Who doesn’t want to relive a fantastic first?
- Passionate, vibrant youth.
The young are passionate. Nothing is done half measure. Emotions are raw and untainted by experience; arguments are sometimes irrational but uninhibited. Nobody wants to live a dull life, and even less people want to read about one. Give me a passionate, vibrant, living novel any day!
- Dream and believe.
Before you enter the working world and learn words like ‘responsibility’ and ‘stability’, the teenage vocabulary is full of words like ‘me’, ‘want’, ‘believe’. No dream is unattainable. It’s the one lesson I wish we could all take with us into adulthood and I’ll take every chance to remind myself and others of it.
These are some of the most compelling reasons why I choose to read a young adult novel over an adult work of fiction (or non-fiction) most days. I guess the question you need to ask yourself, when you’re surfing the virtual book-shelves of Amazon is: why do I want to read, or better yet, why do I want to read today, because if you’re anything like me, your motives will change from day to day. If your answer includes any of the words above like: ‘dream’, ‘passion’, ‘vibrant’, ‘first’, ‘believe’ or ‘living’, then I suggest you head on over to the young adult section and browse alongside me.