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Guest Blog: Hey, Adults Love YA Too!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Today's guest blog is by Sandra Coleman, who's on twitter here, and who is working on her first novel and getting ready to graduate with a masters in counseling!

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I've read young adult books for as far back as I can remember. In fact, every book that I remember reading from when I was a kid, and then a teenager, are books in this genre. I’m sure that at some point, at least when I was a teen, I did read books from other genres. However, those are not the books that have stuck with me, and they aren’t the books that I have fond memories of staying up all night to finish. They aren’t the books that I remember wanting to go to the library to get.

The books that I remember, the ones that really resonated with me, the ones that made me love reading were all young adult books. And now at 32 years old, they still are.

When I was around 17 or 18, I began to wonder when I was going to start showing an interest in “adult books”. At the time, I assumed it was a natural progression that everyone went through. You hit a certain age and go from being interested in books aimed at teenagers to books aimed at adults.

The funny thing is, at the time, it never occurred to me that the authors of the books I loved so much weren’t young adults themselves, and they obviously still loved the genre.

As the years passed, I still found myself reaching for the young adult books. The problem was, by this point I was embarrassed about my choice in books. I even got caught reading a Sweet Valley University book by the dean of my college. I can’t even imagine how red my face was when he came up to me, asked what I was reading, and I had to show him the book. I immediately started babbling and trying to make a joke about how I was an adult in college and still reading books aimed at pre-teens and teens. He just smiled and said, “Hey, at least you like to read.”

After that I tried to keep his words in mind when I was the only adult in the young adult section at the library or bookstore, but I still hid the covers of my books from those around me.

I am, however, happy to say that I'm finally over being embarrassed about my obsession with YA. I no longer feel silly when someone walks by and asks me what my book is about and I have to explain, "Well, see, Sarah has a crush on her best friend's boyfriend and...” And, if I get an odd look, (and I sometimes do) that’s okay.

This reasoning didn’t come easily, though. First, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at writing. And, of course, I would be writing the kind of books that I loved and knew the most about. I then realized that if I planned on writing YA books, I couldn’t continue to feel silly about reading them.

The biggest wake-up call though, was when I started reading the blogs of my favorite YA authors, as well as following them on Twitter. Finally, it hit me. If these awesome women, all of whom are adults, can write (and read) YA, then what is there for me to be embarrassed about??

I hope that those adults who read this and have had similar feelings about YA books will be able to come to the same conclusion.

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YAY! for such a great guest blog and, of course, for being a proud adult reader of YA!

For those of you who read YA--teenager or adult--what book got *you* hooked on YA? Let me know in the comments by midnight EST this Friday, September 10th--and win yourself an ARC of Andrea Cremer's Nighshade! (US mailing addys only, please, and don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you!)

10 Comments:

Blogger Miranda said...

I'm not sure this technically counts as young adult, but Harry Potter is the first book that got me into reading. I had a book report in first grade and all the girls in my class were reading Joonie B. Jones, but I wanted something else. That's when my mom suggested Harry Potter, it had recently come out and she'd heard great things about it. So, I gave it a try. And, I haven't looked back since. Ever since that first Harry Potter book I have devoured every young adult book I can get my hands on.
-Miranda
miranda.lyons09@yahoo.com

September 09, 2010 9:49 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

the book YA book that kept me coming back for more was twilight books then on from there NIGHT WORLD books! what sealed my fate as a fan of YA books is Fallen by Lauren Kate. I was in love after that! Now I can't seem to read anything else. LOL!!

stacedog01@yahoo.com

September 09, 2010 1:39 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

That's awesome Sandra! I loved the Sweet Valley High books too and probably always will. This is a good blog girl. You go!!! =)

September 09, 2010 2:18 PM  
Blogger Alatariel said...

I think what got me hooked on YA (I’m 23, by the way) is partially because I honestly believe that authors for young adults have to produce better fiction than those for adults. By the time you’re an adult, you’ve been through enough in your life that you have been forced to do, or forced to read things that you don’t necessarily want to read. You’re possibly at a stage in your life where you live for the idea of completion, just getting things done, and that’s what matters most. Teenagers want you to hook them, keep them going, and give them something worth it. That’s what I love about YA, and that’s what I love about American literature in general… there isn’t much wasted on fluff. They’re gripping and thought- provoking; (most of the time) and while I understand the importance of literature focused on the aesthetic, that’s not what I’m interested in reading for entertainment.

Dawn
Alatarielsunrise (at) gmail.com

September 09, 2010 4:09 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

great blog,I,laughed at your red face, because I been there every time I've read a Harry Potter book and been caught. My first YA book was a Christmas present from a boy in my fourth grade class. It was Black Beauty on one side and Call of the Wild on the other.Our town Library was walking distance from our school so I spent all my lunch hours there reading YA books. I'm fifty-eight now and guess what, I still read them and love them.

September 09, 2010 4:58 PM  
Blogger Haley said...

I'm 17 and in that phase you described where I'm wondering if I should be into adult books by now. Sure, I like some, but I have to say that Holly Black's Tithe totally left a mark on me when I read it back in eighth grade or so, and I don't think I could ever stop reading YA books as long as she's writing them. I've always loved writing, but her books really influenced me into wanting to write YA books, and I hope that I'll be able to someday.

September 09, 2010 9:47 PM  
Blogger dreaming days away said...

Twilight, of course. =)
I'm 22. And a proud reader of all things YA.

faithfulbrowneyes at yahoo.com

September 10, 2010 12:00 AM  
Blogger Pretty said...

I would say Judy Blume's books because I found them interesting and funny. I can still read her books today and not get tired of them.

Lalivex@hotmail.com

September 10, 2010 12:50 AM  
Blogger Jesirah said...

Hehe, I grew up reading the Sweet Valley books too. And now I've read Twilight and the House of Night series by PC and Kristen Cast. So guess that makes me an adult that loves YA too. ^_^

September 10, 2010 11:56 AM  
Blogger Hannah S. said...

I know that I'll never quit reading YA books. :)

I think it might've been the Kiki Strike series by Kirsten Miller that first got me hooked on the YA genre; I'm so glad that it did!

Love, Hannah
xoxosweeet at yahoo dot com

September 10, 2010 9:31 PM  

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