Reading YA Books As An Adult: Why is it Important?

1F01C17C-61E5-4893-9945-FC1D8A8CAB7B.jpegYoung Adult literature is typically marketed to those who are between the ages of 13 and 18. I read and loved YA during these years, but now I am nearly 20 and in college. And while I’m no longer in that targeted age range, YA is still my absolute favorite genre. 

To be fair, I’m still a younger adult, but I know readers of all ages enjoy YA. And there’s nothing wrong with that; yet, sometimes, society seems to think so.

For example, I’ve had friends who claim they are more “mature” now that they are reading adult level books and are no longer reading YA. To be honest, this makes me incredibly sad. Just because there’s a general targeted audience doesn’t mean that adults can’t read and love YA.

In fact, I think it’s extremely important for adults to continue reading YA (as long as it’s enjoyable to them). 

Here’s a few reasons why:

1. YA Helps Adults Understand Teenagers and Their Lives

Teenagers get discredited constantly in society because many adults refuse to understand what life is like from their point of view. Times change, and while adults can claim they know what it’s like for teenagers today, there are topics and issues only the younger generation has experienced. By reading YA, we get a glimpse of what it’s like to be growing up and becoming an adult in the world today.

2. It’s More Fun

In my own experiences, I’ve found that YA books are generally much more fun to read. If I’m looking for entertainment, I can turn to YA; there’s adventures, fantasy, humor, creative plot lines. This isn’t to say other genres don’t include that, and this is more of an opinion, but I have generally found more excitement and intrigue in YA stories.

3. It Can Still Be Relatable

Just because the characters in YA are younger doesn’t mean they aren’t relatable. They have challenges and obstacles to face that can feel relevant to you, no matter what your age. Often, I’ll even find myself reflecting back on how I felt the same way as a character in high school, for example, and it makes me feel very connected to the story.

4. Real issues are Addressed

There are topics covered in YA that are relevant and critical to understanding, and improving, our society. Many serious issues are brought up in YA books such as mental illness, xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, sexual assault, violence, and much more. Valuable lessons can be learned about ourselves and others when reading about these real life issues in YA. 

5. It’s enjoyable

Simply put, YA is enjoyable for many readers; even adults. If it’s a genre adults like to read, and is important to them, then there shouldn’t be any shame or judgement. Reading YA is a preference that many adults gravitate towards just because they enjoy it, and that’s more than okay.

YA literature is often looked down upon in our society when in reality it has the potential to teach us valuable lessons, is relatable, covers important issues, and can be completely enjoyable for all ages. Adults who read YA should never feel ashamed for the genre they like to read. You’re never “too old” to enjoy YA, or any book for that matter. 

But my general conclusion is this: read what you love. If you’re an adult who likes to read YA, you shouldn’t have to justify it. If you don’t like YA, or any other genre, that’s okay too. What’s most important is that you’re reading what you want to read. There’s absolutely no reason to feel bad about any genre that you like or dislike.

I hope that YA literature will continue to grow and there will be a better understanding of how important it can be to the readers and our world in general. And no matter what age you are, I hope that you always choose to read what you love despite what anyone else thinks. You know what you like, and continuing to read genres that are important to you is what matters the most.

What is your opinion on adults who read YA? If you’re an adult, do you still read YA? If you’re younger, do you think you will continue to read YA when you are older? Let me know!

Thank you for reading!


19 thoughts on “Reading YA Books As An Adult: Why is it Important?

  1. I agree, YA books are so awesome! They are interesting to read and usually have amazing characters and plots. Also, I completely agree, good YA books also have such positive messages and give readers of all ages role models! They talk about important topics and teaches/informs readers, especially teens, on a wide range of topics including ones that may be misunderstood, stereotyped, or not represented well in other media. There’s so many genres in YA I’m sure all readers can find YA books they love! Awesome post ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 And yes, exactly! YA books can be important for readers of all ages. I think that they teach us a lot about ourselves and others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post so much! I’m teetering on the whole late teen/young adult line and seeing this really took me aback to realize just how important YA can be for non-young adult readers. I totally agree with every point you made! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it!! I’ve definitely had moments in recent years where I’ve questioned if I’m getting “too old” for YA, but I still love it and I’m still being impacted by it. And it made me realize that there’s nothing wrong with continuing to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m 24 years old, and I still read young adult novels, but not exclusively. I think some people just need to feel like they’re smarter than everybody else, hence the contempt for adults who read YA. I recently read “Turtles All the Way Down” (my first John Green novel) and I started “Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” last night. I don’t think people should be ashamed of what they like to read, and even though some people think YA is trashy it’s not like all the books written for adults are pinnacles of high quality literature! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true!! Just because a book is marketed to a younger audience doesn’t mean it is any better or worse than the one’s written for adults.

      By the way, the two books you mentioned are some of my favorites. I think John Green did an excellent job with Turtles All the Way Down. Also, I hope you enjoy Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda 🙂 It’s a cute one!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally agree! I am 24 and YA is still one of my favorite genres! No matter what I do I keep going back. I am also an 8th grade teacher and I love being up to date with the newest YA releases so I can talk to my students about those books. There are just a ton of benefits, hahaha. I’m definitely going to share this with some of my friends who are YA naysayers. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This made me smile! Thank you. I’m very glad to hear you still enjoy YA, and that you’re able to have conversations about the books with your students. I’m sure they appreciate that so much! There are definitely lots of benefits of reading YA. Also, thanks for sharing with your friends and I hope they like this post too!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yyyyeesssss!! I’m
    an English teacher and my love for YA is 9/10 what breaks the ice and allows my students to make references they might not be able to make otherwise. I openly share what I am reading and my favorite books, in turn my students often recommend books to me. It is a great reading relationship. I wish more adults would give YA a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this! It makes my heart happy knowing there are teachers out there who continue to read YA. I’m sure your students are so grateful that you do and that you talk about books with them. It will only inspire them to keep reading, and that is so important! You sound like a wonderful teacher 🙂 And I agree, I wish adults would be more open to reading YA as well. It’s such a great genre!

      Liked by 1 person

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