Okay, so sometimes I feel a little odd as a 25-year-old reading novels meant for teenagers. I guess I could say, Yeah, I liked Twilight and so do a ton of other people at all ages, but then again when those books came out, I was still around 19 or 20. The more YA novels I’ve been reading, the more I realize that these authors have a very exceptional talent. They are able to create characters, settings, plots, etc that are universal and connect with readers at any age.
Most of the YA novels (okay almost all of them) that I’ve picked up are about a utopian/dystopian world which happen to feature fresh-faced youth as their main characters, and let me tell you, these are some of the most thought-provoking and gripping books I’ve read in the past couple years. Books like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Delirium, Matched, and The Giver have all really stuck with me long after reading them. A few of them I’ve even read twice which is a big statement considering I have a “to-read” list of more than 150 books and I own at least 50-100 (not entirely sure of the exact number, but it’s a ton) of books that are sitting in my apartment waiting to be read. Maybe it’s the dystopian worlds that just always pull me in and nowadays, a lot of those type of books just happen to be YA novels. Might I say, Bravo to those authors. They have incredibly creative minds and are genius to keep on with this trend (fad or not, I LOVE this genre).
Regardless of the age of the characters, I still find them incredibly relatable and real. Maybe it’s easier to identify with youth sometimes because their lives are a little less complicated. When tragedy strikes or they’re faced with a conflict, it’s almost more instinct vs thought taking over. The relationships and loves that these characters find within the story are so powerful because at times, these are the first loves they experience! No break-ups or jerks have tarnished their love life yet, so they throw themselves into it with all they’ve got. It’s refreshing and you really root for that character to have everything work out in the end.
For any adults who have been skeptical about reading YA novels, I say just give it a try. Borrow from the library so you’re not paying to read a book you might not like. They’ve become some of my favorite books and if I had stayed skeptical, I might not have ever found such great stories and I’d really be missing out. Here are my suggestions to start out:
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – With the movie just coming out and breaking all kinds of box office records, the book is no secret. I’d say it’s lightyears better than Twilight (which I really liked, so keep that in mind) and I think the book is much better than the move because it’s all in the first person and you get to follow the story more closely. This is your best bet! I haven’t known anyone who didn’t like this book.
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver – This is a book based on a society that has found a drug to “cure” love because too many people have gotten hurt/hurt other people (both emotionally and physically) do to love. They’ve coined it a disease and are eradicating it from every citizen once they are of age to handle the cure. Some strong emotions run deep in this book.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry – I actually first read this book in 8th grade and it stuck in my brain ever since then. Another utopian society that has many secrets lying behind the perfection that is the community. The main character Jonas is assigned the job to be the new Giver – the memory keeper of all worlds current and before and he finds himself with the challenge of acting like a boy to thinking like a man very quickly.