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Beth Revis, brilliant author of the Across the Universe books, is doing something amazing this month. She is giving away FIFTY SIGNED YA BOOKS (I think she’s been listening to my dreams). And all you have to do to enter is spread the YA love.
(This is clearly way more awesome than my giveaway (lastchance!) but you should still enter that too, because I plan on WINNING Ms. Revis’ prize myself.)
This is hardly a tall order, since spreading the YA is kind of what this blog is all about.
There are a million reasons I love YA. At the ripe old age of 21, I’m technically aging out of it. But to me, YA is timeless. The themes that resonate with teens also resonate with older readers, because we all remember what it was like to be that age. We’re all still grappling with those ideas. To quote the inimitable John Green:
“I like teenagers. They are in the area of conflict between the person that they are, the one they want to be and the one they might be. I want to sit down at the table with them when they discuss true love, great loss, the big philosophical questions for the first time. And I want to be at least a small voice in their heads, when they experience these things for the first time.”
Teenagers are fascinating, real people. They’re straddling that gap between childhood and adulthood. They’re trying to tackle adult issues with a child’s experience. This means literature about them and for them is full of people struggling to do the right thing and find their place in a big, mess world.
That’s why the things I write and the things I read are YA. Books written for teenagers are sincere. They have to be, because otherwise readers will see right through it. There’s very little pretension. But they are just as advanced, complex, heartbreaking and fun as “adult” fare.
Actually, I think they’re more fun. There’s more freedom of imagination. Genres get crossed and mashed together and turned on their heads. A happy ending is not a sign of lesser intelligence on the author’s part. Some authors are unapologetically romantic, some wickedly funny, some painfully insightful.
But to me the absolute best part of reading YA is the characters you meet. Yes, meet. The fictional teenage people who live inside you like no other characters do. When I was a teenage girl, the heroes and heroines I read about actually helped shape who I am. There are great characters in mainstream fiction, but do they inhabit you the way Katniss, Harry, Tris, and even Bella do? Not really. Because you relate to those characters. Because they speak to you, as you are now, or as you were then. YA is for everyone who is a teenager or was a teenager (so… everyone).
So what about you? Why do YOU love YA? And don’t forget to enter the giveaways.