Although I’m sworn to be Peter Pan, I did accidentally grow older one day. I won’t say grow up because, HA, that hasn’t happened yet. But I am old. I’m twenty-one. Does this in any way lessen my affection for YA? NO IT DOES NOT. In fact, I tried to challenge myself to move onto Adult fiction and…it didn’t work. Adult books are…ugh. Okay, fine, not all of them are. I even blogged, yesterday, about my luck with an adult fantasy.
But there are GOOD reasons I like YA. Such as:
- It’s easy to read. My brain struggles with complex writing.
- It (usually) keeps romance low key. This is a personal preference, okay? I just don’t…want…to read about intense steamy romances or sex.
- I think I’m still a teenager at heart. I look like one at any rate.
- It’s (usually) exciting and raw and heartfelt. And I just love reading that.
But, I will humbly admit…as I grow older and continue chewing my way through the gargantuan stacks of YA books, I find myself occasionally struggling. Maybe I accidentally eye-roll at Stupid Love Sick Teen. Maybe I groan at cliche absent-parents-so-teen-can-have-‘fun’. THESE THINGS HAPPEN. I’m not ashamed. It doesn’t spoil YA for me.
But it reminds me I’m officially an ADULT reading YA now. And that feels weird, okay?!
1. YOU ACCIDENTALLY AGREE WITH THE PARENTS INSTEAD OF THE HEADSTRONG LOVE SICK TEENAGER.
A lot of time (but definitely not always), teens in YA books view their parents as Problems. The parents break up parties (cause, you know, they don’t want their kids drinking and doing drugs) and tell their kid “NO” to that boy/girlfriend (because said attractive youth is a bad apple) or give curfews (so their kid is alive for school tomorrow). After a while this stuff makes SENSE. And the whiny teen is just…no. Stop. Go to sleep, you have a test tomorrow.
2. YOU THINK THE STAR-CROSSED-LOVERS AREN’T GONNA LAST.
For starters, their both, like TWELVE YEARS OLD. Okay, hahaha ha, heh, sorry. But everyone starts to look twelve after a while. But how can you be sure the creepy dude with wings/halo/devil horns is your One True Love? YOU’RE JUST A CHILD. Go drink your apple juice and shut up.
I’m gonna make a great parent.
3. YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THEY’RE NOT GETTING A FULL EDUCATION. (BYE, BYE, UNIVERSITY.)
All those little “let’s save the world” excursions are going to HURT when finales come. What is it with kids and not studying in YA books? Sure they just found out their parents are serial killers and they’ve inherited the family business, but what about school? Hmm??
4. THE TEENS ARGUING ABOUT THEIR MIDNIGHT CURFEW FEELS RIDICULOUS SINCE YOU ARE ASLEEP BY 9PM.
But I’m probably the only one who falls asleep like a little old granny at 9pm with a book over my face, right? RIGHT? Oh the agony. I’ve bypassed middle age and gone straight to retirement.
5. YOU GET FRUSTRATED BECAUSE THE TEENS DON’T DO CHORES OR HOMEWORK OR WALK THE POODLE.
Maaaaybe I’m alone in this. BUT BACK IN MY DAY, I helped out around the house. I hardly see how most of the teens in contemporaries can even fit in a bit of dusting around their hectic social/partying life.
6. YOU WANT TO GIVE THE 12-YEAR-OLD ADVENTURER CAKE AND WARM MILK AND A BED TIME STORY INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM GO KILL DRAGONS AND GET THEIR EYEBROWS BURNT OFF.
DON’T LET THE LITTLE BABY GO ON AN ADVENTURE. Whenever I read contemporaries and everyone is cruel to the homeless child…and then they get That Quest and go Be Awesome. Meanwhile, I sit there with the book thinking, “Gosh darnit, why are they giving the child pointy knives? Take him home and ADOPT the little darling.”
7. PEOPLE ASK YOU WHEN YOU’RE GOING TO START READING “REAL BOOKS” AND YOU HAVE TO REMIND YOURSELF YOU’RE NON-VIOLENT.
Because punching people in the face is not socially acceptable. (But seriously, how dare they.) It’s really belittling when people assume YA is not “real literature”. IT IS SO REAL. You know how complex and emotional it is to be a teenager?! HMM?? Try summing that up in a 300-page novel. It’s hard work. It’s no less REAL than any other book out there.
8. YOU GET AN INTENSE CRUSH ON THE LOVE-INTEREST UNTIL…YOU REALISE HE’S 16 AND YOU’RE LIKE 10+ YEARS HIS SENIOR.
9. THE LINE BETWEEN YA AND MG IS BLURRY BECAUSE…THEY’RE ALL LITTLE KIDS, TRULY.
Everyone is little. Everyone should calm down and shut up for a while and be logical. Everyone is exhausting to look at. Agh, my aching old bones. Did I turn 21 or 201?
10. WHEN THE 16-YEAR-OLD HAS EXPERIENCED MORE AND IS MORE ACCOMPLISHED IN LIFE THAN YOU ARE.
It doesn’t get more awkward than this. Sure, we’ve read a dozen books this month, BUT THEY JUST STOPPED A ZOMBIE PLAGUE. After, you know, falling in love, finding their long-lost sister, discovering a sword, embracing their inner magical abilities, oh and probably have a really cool hobby — like building model cities out of pistachio shells.
And here we…had pizza for lunch and updated tumblr. Anyone feeling inadequate? No. Good, okay, just me then.