I Love Writing Young Adult Books Because I Love Reading Young Adult Books by Allie Burton

The first column I wrote for YA Outside the Lines talked about why writing young adult books is my home. (See November 16, 2021) Since this month’s topic is similar, I decided to write about why I read Young Adult books.

I’m not a young adult. Far from it. But I love reading young adult books, watching young adult movies and shows, following young adult Tiktokers, young adult YouTubers, and young adult influencers on other social media.

When and where I grew up in the world was small. Young adult books are big and getting bigger. You can travel to another world, another continent, or just across a state line. Seeing the world or a small town through a teen’s eyes is enlightening. It opens up an entirely different viewpoint. It’s similar to taking your kids to Disneyland after you’ve been a bunch of times on your own. You’re seeing it in a different light. And loving it more.

Young adult books run the gamut of adult genres. Romance, fantasy, mystery, adventure, dystopian, and usually one is combined with another. The books are a smorgasbord of delight. While the world I’m reading might be dystopian, the one thing the characters always have is hope for the future.

The protagonists in young adult books are growing into themselves and I love to watch the experience. They’re discovering who they really are beneath the façade they present to their family, friends, and community. And each of those facades might be different. They’re finding their people and their families, even if not biological. They’re finding their place in the world.

Young adult books are a way to talk about real problems in a different light, a different perspective, or a different world. A character on a quest for a pot of gold? It could be an analogy of how a teen pays for college. A battle between different alien races? It could be a metaphor for the current racial injustices. A romance between a small-town girl and a rich, big city guy? Could highlight the social and economic differences in the world.

Even though a book is categorized as young adult, all readers can appreciate and enjoy the stories. So try reading a young adult book. A great place to start is a book by any of the bloggers at YA Outside the Lines.


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