Why I Love YA

It’s not a secret that I wasn’t always a huge fan of YA. I read very little actual young adult literature when I was a teenager myself. Mostly because I didn’t have any good teachers or librarians putting YA books in my hands And I read a lot of nonfiction; I was a debater.

I was also an elitist who thought I was “too smart” for “kids books.” (A notable exception is the book Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger. The cover caught my eye in my HS library while I was doing depressing research about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and turns out it was about a boy who falls in love with a lesbian. I had fallen hopelessly in love with a boy who was gay, so it did really resonate with me.)

I’ve discovered as an adult what I was missing out on during my teen years. There are great novels in the young adult category. Now that I’ve gotten over my snobbishness about literature, 3 out of 4 books I read are YA. My love for young adult literature led me to switch career paths and become a teen librarian. Crazy, right?

So in addition to all the great stories being told in young adult literature, what I love is the community surrounding it. I love how accessible young adult authors are. I love how they band together for good causes. I love how it’s cool to be a nerd. I love the other librarians, book bloggers, teens, agents and editors who share this love of literature. Because even though a lot of us aren’t teens anymore, we still carry the scars and memories of our teen experience. We can still relate to these stories.

Speaking of awesome cool things that YA authors do, Beth Revis is giving away a library of signed YA books.

Because I could never get any adults to form a book club with me, I started one at the library. So once a month I meet with a dozen teens who love to geek out over our favorite books. The hardest part is picking a book that one of us hasn’t read yet! These girls LOVE books so much, and a couple of them even want to be writers. They think signed books are the coolest things ever. I brought back 5 from YALSA’s Lit Symposium, and I’m doing a drawing for them at our next meeting. I’m sad I don’t have something for all of them! So, I’m posting this for extra entries to win, not because I want these for myself (Mister BS teaches English, I’m work at the library…our apartment couldn’t hold 50 more books) but to give to teens at my library.

So yeah. This post is just to share news of the cool contest, and to reiterate why I love YA (which I’ve actually written about before).

If you read YA, why do you love it? What’s the best young adult novel you’ve read this year?

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