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Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Many Faces of YA

I've noticed around that in the blogs I follow and in real life, there is a huge distinction made between adult and YA books. People have asked me why my blog is focused on paranormal books instead of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or young adult. After thinking about this question for a while, I decided to write a post on it. Since I seem to be in a huge minority regarding the subject, this is obviously just my own personal opinion.

I've read a lot of adult books. I've read a lot of young adult books. Whenever my family asks me what I'm reading and I tell them that it's something like young adult urban fantasy, all they hear is young adult. Oh, she's still reading baby books. That's stupid. I hear that word a lot, and considering it's coming from people who are lucky to read a book a year, I don't take it all that seriously. But it still pisses me off.

I don't know about any of you, but when I compare, for example, a YA paranormal romance and a YA historical fiction they aren't all that similar. An adult PNR and a YA PNR would be much closer, as would an adult historical and a YA historical. Just IMO, of course.

So to answer the question: why do I write about adult and YA paranormal books? Because I like the paranormal aspect, not the age of the characters it follows. I like werewolves and vampires and faeries, not 16-year-olds or 35-year-olds. Age has nothing to do with what I read. I don't have a YA book blog or a romance book blog or a fantasy book blog. I have a paranormal book blog, just like my header says.

Is there anyone out there who agrees that you can like a particular genre without caring how old the protagonist is? If you disagree with my opinion, then why? I'd love to get a discussion started about this topic.


Melissa said...

I think I'm with you for the most part, but I will say that if the protagonist's age distracts from the general plot elements of the story, I will tend to dislike it in that respect...if that makes sense haha :)

Savannah said...

I agree. Age is just a number. Whenever I say I'm reading a young adult book, they look at me weird. What? I'm 26, I'm considered a young adult, get off my case! UGH, I feel you.

Sniffly Kitty said...

I agree that the age of the protagonist shouldn't matter, but when the book is categorized as YA there tends to be a certain amount of sanitizing that goes on in the story. That being said, I still enjoy them ^.^

Screw the other people though. Read what you want to read. Reading is a pleasure activity for the most part. a pretty benign one at that, so they have no business judging you.

Sniffly Kitty
Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books
New Meme: Third Sentence Thursday!

Amber Riley said...

I agree!
It doesn't matter to me if the characters are in high school or not. As long as they are believable with the plot, any age is fine with me.
I admit I feel silly getting books from the Teen section at B&N sometimes when I'm with people - but it's them that will be missing out on a great story. Not me. Their loss -- just because of what it's labeled.

Cade Crowley said...

Melissa: I know what you mean about a protagonist's age being too important to the story, but I haven't seen that very often.

Sniffly Kitty: The amount of sanitizing really depends on what genre of YA you read an whether the book is aimed at the older or younger edge of the spectrum, I think. It varies from book to book.

Amber: I feel the same way when I go out with people, even though I'm sixteen and supposedly YA is what I "should" be reading at this age. It somehow feels less sophisticated when I have friends who mostly shop the romance and literary fiction sections, even though I know that it isn't. I hate that I feel that way, though!

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