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Why I Love YA Books as a Grown Adult by Aubry Parks-Fried

Chances are everyone reading this has had a brush with YA. Harry Potter made it important again, Twilight brought in to the forefront of pop culture and, most recently, Hunger Games (and Jennifer Lawrence) made it cool.

Many adults read “young adult” books. Still, they carry the stigma of a being guilty pleasure for the over-18 set. They are hidden deep in e-readers and bashfully talked about at water coolers.

I’m almost 30 and I’m not ashamed to say I love reading YA books.

Here’s why:

Characters worth rooting for

When I think of some of my favorite books in the cannon of literature most of the characters are extremely flawed and not entirely likeable.

The characters in YA are a refreshing change from that, you are invested in them, you want them to succeed and you may even encounter parts of yourself in their struggles and triumphs.

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It’s like reading your favorite TV series

If you watch and enjoy stuff like Dexter, Under the Dome, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica, LOST, The X-Files, etc., I can say with great authority there is a YA book out there you will enjoy.

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Cool stuff

I’ll admit I’m a sci-fi-leaning nerd, so the worlds built in YA books are right up my alley. Alien-ravaged landscapes, underground rebel armies, medieval towns plagued by dragons, post-apocalyptic communities…YES, PLEASE!

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I don’t have time to read Game of Thrones

I’m a commuter. I do 92% of my reading on the train.

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This means my reading is likely to be interrupted by a roving mariachi band / teens selling various candies / someone shouting about the rapture at any given moment.

The YA style is great reading for an adult’s hectic life. You can pop in and out of the story without having to re-read entire sections. The stories are paced well and they keep you easily moving through the text.

It can be surprising.

A lot of YA is reading candy. It’s short, sweet, and entertaining. But just like any other genre (that’s right…YA is a genre), there are works that move you and change how you look at life and the people around you (I’m looking at you The Fault in Our Stars and Tiger Lily).

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It made me a reader

I was an avid reader in high school, but somewhere a long the way I stopped. I picked up Divergent by Veronica Roth 3 years ago and I have been consistently reading (all types of books) since. But anytime I hit a slump, I can always trust a YA pick to refuel my love.

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In short, YA ain’t just for the kiddos.

You just have to find the right one for you.

And as part of Team Epic Reads, I’m happy to recommend some.

—Aubry Parks-Fried

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Tweet us @EpicReads

Filed under HarperCollins Epic Reads Aubry Parks-Fried YA YA books books Divergent lit

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Writing Tips from Jodi Lynn Anderson

Have Faith, Eat Snacks, Get a Cat

A biggie for me: Don’t give up on your story just because it’s not coming out in this amazing, creative burst. Keep working.

Also, don’t give up on your story because the first draft is embarrassing and self-indulgent. Ninety percent of writing, for me, is sloughing off the bad stuff that I would never want anyone to see!

Keep a snack handy. Something crunchy.

You might want to adopt a cat. A cat will let you talk to her about all of your writing worries. She will let you throw toys at her and not accuse you of procrastinating. She may often look at you like you are crazy. but at least she is stuck with you. Unless she’s an indoor-outdoor cat.

Learn more about Jodi Lynn Anderson, author of Tiger Lily and Love and Peaches!

Filed under Jodi Lynn Anderson YA Books writing HarperTeen