10 Reasons You Need to Read Young Adult Fiction NOW (Even If You’re an Adult)

As someone who both loves to write and read YA literature, I thought it might be fun to explain the reason why as adult I still love the genre. There may be a lot more reasons to check out the section than you originally thought!

YA Fiction Helps You Understand the YA Generation

Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, reading YA Fiction can help us understand each other better. YA Fiction usually revolves around issues that today’s teenagers are facing. Relationships, friendships, coming-of-age stories, family issues. All of these topics are saturating YA Fiction in all genres, making it a great read if you want to see someone else’s perspective on some of these issues.

The great thing about really good writers is that they not only know their audience, but they know what their audience needs. Many teens who read YA literature do so to see themselves reflected in the characters. Many authors, who are now putting in a diverse cast of characters and complex issues, are also introducing readers to people who might be different than their current perspective.

Both of these approaches can provide interest and relatability for all kinds of readers. Because publishers are looking for more diversity, you might be able to find a YA Fiction book relatable to you in a way that wasn’t available a few years ago.

For more information on the #ownvoices movement, check out this website explaining it a little more.

It’s an Easy, Enjoyable Read

Image by Kourosh Qaffari

We work really hard. Whether you’re in school reading classics and doing Pre-Calculus homework or you’re an “adult” working an 8-4 office job, we all need a little time to escape from this world we live in.

One great thing about YA lit is that it provides the perfect getaway. It’s easy to slip into, because it’s often in first person and gets right into the action. The plots are simple, the characters relatable. In just a few chapters you can become emotionally invested even if there’s a 20-year age gap between you and the main character.

I personally switch back and forth between a YA book and another book such as Self-help or Nonfiction. Rotating between these genres gives me more time to digest the denser reads as my mind relaxes with a nice, overly dramatic story with out-of-control magic and talking dogs. (Please someone make this?)

Way Less Stuffy Language and Overly Drawn-out Plots

I’m currently working my way through the Wheel of Time series, hoping to finish the fourteen books before the show comes out. But there’s like a million characters and sub-plots, sometimes the description of a single room rivals Hawthorne himself, and I just want more character drama dang it!

These complaints aren’t just for my current Adult Fantasy reads, but for most “Adult” books I’ve read. Sometimes adult writing just takes the fun out of everything in pursuit of sounding sophisticated. The writers sacrifice fun for fluff.

If you’ve ever felt this way about Adult lit, I encourage you to try Young Adult books. Reading is not always meant to be a chore, and you deserve to read something that makes you laugh until you cry, weep like you’ve lost your best friend, and feel like you’ve just fallen in love for the first time. I know there are adult books that can do this too, but YA books are basically this concept on DRUGS. Don’t tell the kids.

You’ll Be Prepared for the Next Blockbuster

Image by Road Trip with Raj

Using YA Lit in Hollywood is huge right now. Thinking over the past few years, I’m pretty sure that at least 75% of all the movies including teens were based off a book. Here’s just a few, and I’m sure you recognize some.

  • The Hunger Games
  • Everything, Everything
  • I Am Number Four
  • Vampire Academy
  • Divergent
  • The Fifth Wave
  • Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go
  • Twilight
  • The Giver
  • The Mortal Instruments
  • Artemis Fowl
  • The Mortal Engines
  • The Sun Is Also a Star
  • Five Feet Apart
  • The Maze Runner

So, if you’re a big movie goer or watcher, you might want to check out some of these books before or after you watch the movie. You might be surprised at what the adaptations changed! For even more books to read that were made into films and TV shows, check out this list.

It’s Good for Your…Health?

Image by Nicole Honeywill

According to a Standford University study, reading YA literature might help you relax before bed more easily, which is beneficial for your health in the long run. It’s a bit of a stretch, but any excuse to binge read the latest Mortal Instruments book is good enough for me.

It’s been long known that reading helps Alzheimer’s. And going to sleep by playing on our phone has worked when? Reading an easy-breezy YA book can be exactly what you need to relax before bedtime. So after picking up the latest YA book from your library or bookstore, get in the jammies and hit the hay!

You’ll Be on Top of the Latest Trends

Have you ever noticed on a trip to the bookstore that all the shelves are suddenly full of magic boarding school books or post-apocalyptic warriors? It seems like writers all get together and talk about what the next big thing will be for YA Fiction, especially in the Fantasy/Paranormal genre.

Whether there is a secret dark web page for the “in” writers to conspire against all other writers, YA literature trends take over the bookstores, movies, TV shows, and leak into all other age-groups. If you want to be on top of knowing what’s the latest monster of the week, you better stay on top of your YA Fiction game.

You Might Find Your Next Favorite Author

You may have been told that YA literature is full of bad writers who only want to take advantage of this generation. In all honesty, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While there is a lot of bad writing out there, there are also some amazing YA writers. You would be surprised at how many authors start out writing Adult literature and switch to Young Adult or vice versa.

One author that does this is James Patterson with his Maximum Ride series. Gosh these books were fun. Sassy, mutant angelic beings escaping mutant werewolf creatures? Heck yeah.

Some authors (me included) just love writing for the younger generation. That doesn’t mean that YA literature is lesser by any means. I’ve read some pretty awful “Adult” books in my lifetime. You might find yourself surprised at the complexity and yummy-language-poetry found in some YA books.

The Covers and Designs Are Always Better

We all judge books by their cover, and the publishing industry knows young adults are the worst culprits of this. But the result are amazing covers that cast shade on every other section in the bookstore. They’ve gotten pretty ingenious about the book designs, between coloring the edges of pages for a cool effect, shimmering covers that change with different folds, and crazy graphic design work.

Six of Crows Book Covers
Six of Crows // Image from Amazon
Dealing in Dreams Book Cover
Dealing in Dreams // Image from Simon Teen

For even more gorgeous covers, check out this list of 2019 YA Fiction covers. It’s like looking at a youth-centered art gallery. Ugh, so gorgeous and I want every last one.

There Are Way More Genres to Choose From

YA Fiction is just an overhead genre of a million different sub-genres you can choose from. Here are just a couple that are trendy and super fun to read.

  • Fantasy
  • Sci-fi
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Magical Realism
  • Romance
  • Urban
  • Mystery

Basically any genre you could ever want — there’s a section in YA for it. The best part is that a lot of YA books have cross-overs between genres. So you might have an Urban Paranormal Mystery. (Let me get on that right now). There’s something for everyone, which can’t be said about just any section in bookstores. There’s also something new for you to try, if you’re feeling brave enough. *Wink*

YA Fiction Is Not Just For Young Adults

In summary, YA Fiction is not just for people under the age of twenty. It’s for everyone. What separates a YA book from an Adult book is simply that the book contains young adult characters. But at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to live vicarious as a teenager in a magical or idealistic world? YA Fiction is pure fun, pure energy, and pure excitement. Think about it. This genre has to capture the attention of technology-driven teenagers. There has to be something to it. And there is.

Just give it a try.

What are some of your favorite YA books? Comment below to share!

6 Comments on “10 Reasons You Need to Read Young Adult Fiction NOW (Even If You’re an Adult)

  1. I totally agree with this list. I find that a YA book is a perfect respite from longer, tricker works of fiction. Many are lovely books and sometimes you can be surprised by the gems you can find.


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