I am currently 22 years and 7 months old. Yes, I am that specific. But in spite of that, I still enjoy reading teen/ young adult fiction over the traditional ‘adult’ literature.
Why should you read teen/ young adult literature?
The connection and relatability to issues brought up in the stories is personally that much stronger in literature aimed at my age group or younger. Below are a few aspects of teen/ young adult literature which are reasons why you should consider reading it more:
- The Ability To Balance Life and Academia: As I’m still in education (and university doesn’t feel that different to secondary school), I relate to the plights of characters navigating education. The balance between academics and a social/ romantic life is another aspect of teen/ young adult literature that I recognise with. While this is also covered in the work/social balance covered in adult literature, I feel that this is discussed in a more mature point of life than where I’m currently at.
- The Ability To Discuss Culturally Relevant Topics: This isn’t to say that relevant issues are not discussed; saying that would be preposterous! But looking at issues directly relatable to young adults and teens? That’s a much more niche target audience, making it potentially less marketable yet still so important. Topics I’ve come across in my reading and trawling of Amazon for teen/ young adult literature include:
- Social media use and its impacts
- Mass shootings in schools
- LGBT awareness
- Sickness and health
Undoubtedly there are probably many more topics here that I haven’t listed, but these are just a few that I have personally come across.
- The Choice of Perspective Used: When it comes to reading I think we all have a favourite ‘person’ that we like to read in. In my case, I love literature that is written in the first person, as I want to be personally involved in the story. I like being deep in the protagonist’s mind, as this means I can imagine the scenarios playing out in much greater depth than what I may be capable of in the third person.
- The Opportunity To Gradually Transition Into Adult Literature: For me, this is the most important aspect of literature. There’s a rush during childhood to grow up, but I don’t think that’s necessary for reading; learning is an individual adventure after all. I’m grateful for the opportunity to slowly ease my way into growing up, as despite my age I still don’t feel like an adult (although this could be because I get asked for ID ALL THE TIME -_-), and I think that it’s okay to reach that stage in learning and in your personal life at your own pace.
Recommended Teen/ Young Adult Literature
Below is a current series of books written by UK YouTuber Zoella (as seen in this handy picture above) which to my knowledge were aimed at a teen audience. Covering the recent popularity of blogging and vlogging, along with the focus on creative expression greatly appealed to me as a reader in that it brought back the nostalgia of who I was as a teen. In fact, I felt quite similarly placed in life to the protagonist Penny, especially with her gradual discovery of her identity. I’m still learning who I am both as a person and as a writer, and through this book it made it seem acceptable to not have all of the answers just yet.
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Another author that I’d recommend for teen/ young adult literature is Rainbow Rowell. It’s thanks to her books that I even re-applied to start university for the second time back in 2015 after a mental health break, and I truly loved reading Fangirl enough to want to re-read it.
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Is it nostalgia that’s keeping me in this target age group of literature? Maybe. One thing’s for sure; I’m not ready to fully tackle ‘adult’ literature just yet!