At this point, basically everyone in the world has read The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars. Anyone who tries to deny it is probably lying.
That’s because even though they’re typically written for 12 to 18 year-olds, nothing’s better than sitting down with a good young adult novel. (No matter how old you are) An emotionally satisfying plot, characters you can’t help but root for, an antagonist you love to hate, and – inevitably – a little bit of romance sprinkled in to keep you guessing. What more can you want?
Nearly every young adult novel features a teenager as the main character. While reading about a whiny teenager going through puberty as he or she goes off to prove themselves/save their family/fight dragons may not initially seem like a pleasant experience, a lot of people find young adult fiction extremely relatable for this exact reason. Not every reader knows what it’s like to have to battle a minotaur or find out that you’re a vampire, but they probably all know what it’s like to have a crush on someone who doesn’t like them back, or to feel abandoned by his or her friends.
What young adult authors do so well is integrate the fantastical with the believable. All readers – even adults – are able to feel a genuine emotional connection to the characters in the young adult novels they read because amidst all the mythical creatures and supernatural occurrences is a story that they can apply to their own lives.
Young adult novels also often remove adult characters entirely, which can fascinate teenage and adult readers for different reasons. Mad at your parents for not letting you stay out until midnight? Read a book where you can pretend they don’t even exist. Frustrated with your co-worker for handing in their paperwork late? Travel to a universe where you can (figuratively) erase them from existence. Experiencing a world where not a lot of adult characters are there to make and enforce rules is a perfect escape for teenagers and adults alike who are experiencing stress and anxiety.
And as satisfying as the Divergent series can be, it isn’t exactly War and Peace. Young adult novels, even the longer ones, are usually quick, easy reads – perfect for living in the busy, hectic world of today.
Another great thing about young adult novels is that they often combine a variety of genres into one story. Harry Potter contains elements of fantasy, mystery, and romance. Thirteen Reasons Why is inspirational, yet mysterious. Both fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephen King could probably pick up The Book Thief and find something that they enjoy.
What’s your favourite Young Adult novel? Why do you like it?
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