My friend Cassi and I were talking recently about HIGH SCHOOL and how when we were there we both knew that it definitely wasn't "the best times of our lives", and how we knew there was so much better to come once we could finally get out of there.....
So at that point we looked at each other and were like:
Why Read YA??
It got me to thinking why exactly do I read almost exclusively Contemporary Young Adult books when most of them are set in high schools? Isn't that sort of odd given that I didn't really love my own high school experience?
I don't want to over-exaggerate I didn't have it bad in high school. I had friends and sure, I had some fun. But mostly, I had to go out of my way to make my own fun because the rebel inside of me wanted more than what I was being offered. I also have quite a few bad memories of high school. Girls being mean, boys being immature and heart-breaky, teachers not giving a shit, and me not knowing who the hell I was.
So why do I want to go back there when I'm escaping in a book?
1. I like the flow and feel of YA
- There's just something about the way typical YA is written that hooks me. Yes it's about high school, and sometimes YES I am reminded of things I'd rather not think about.... but mostly I get so into the characters and the plot that I'm not thinking about myself very much.
2. Maybe the pain is good??
- The most emotional reading moments for me are the moments when the character makes me feel understood. When something happens in the book that reminds me of something that happened to me or some feeling that I have had.... and I instantly feel this overwhelming sense that I'm not alone in this world. That those insecurities that I've had or that mistake that I made.... well, other people have and make them too.
3. Even though I hated high school, I still like reading about those formative years.
- It's so interesting to me to read about those years where things just MATTER so damn much. Things that happen to us as teens really have a big impact on making us who we are. I'm not saying people "figure out who they are" during those years because let's be honest, I'm still trying to figure it out, but I think those years are formative and important.
4. YA IS SO FUCKING COOL!!
- I look at Adult books sometimes when I'm at the bookstore and library and I get SO bored. Adult books just seem SO rigid. There's the Murder Mystery Detective books, the Sci-Fi, the Cozy Mysteries, the Romance. It all feels very formulatic. I'm not saying there's not those creative books in Adult, but I'm saying that YA books are about so much. Maybe I'm off on this, but the subjects and the way the stories are told in YA just feel a lot more free-er to be unique than Adult.
5. Adulting isn't very fun :(
- I really like my life, but UGHH working and being responsible for another human life, and bills, and animals, and marriage, and the harshness of the "real world"-- it really makes me want to escape. The last thing I want to read about is someone who has all those same responsibilities. I just don't wanna.
If you read and love YA, but didn't love your own high school experience-- why do you think that is?? Isn't it kind of odd that we would revisit those years time and time again when we really didn't love it ourselves????? What do you think about this?