Is Young Adult fiction all it’s cracked up to be?

2018 was the year I was going to experiment with my reading a little more. 2017 was full of non-fiction and thrillers so I wanted to branch out and test the waters with some Young Adult fiction.

I can’t tell a lie, I had a lot of preconceptions about Young Adult lit. Partly because I don’t think I’d read any since I was about thirteen and partly because I am was a bit of a literature snob. You’ll be glad to know that this year has opened my eyes to a whole new genre, so let’s get into the nitty gritty.

According to the holy grail of Wikipedia, YA fiction is aimed at 12-18 year olds, and is usually centred around coming-of-age storylines, friendships, romances etc.

What I Read

My year started with reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which truly couldn’t have been a better book to started. I loved the story and I realised that actually the book wasn’t that different to adult fiction, it literally just featured a younger protagonist. Hear me out, okay? It wasn’t that I thought YA was stupid, it’s just that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy reading about teenagers and I figured that there wouldn’t be all the twisty twists of the crime books I love. How wrong was I?

I was honestly surprised by the themes that the book tackled and was awed at how YA could be such a great gateway to opening younger readers eyes to more complex topics. But then I sat back for a second and realised that this book wasn’t just introducing teens to these topics but me too! And I continued to see this thread running through numerous YA books that I read over the year: Juno Dawson’s Clean tackles addiction, Muhammed Khan’s I Am Thunder is a powerful depiction of Islamophobia and radicalisation and The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker by Kerry Wilkinson, which definitely met my thriller criteria.

My goal for the year was to read more Young Adult fiction whether I enjoyed my first foray into it or not. I wanted to see what else was out there and I really liked it. Maybe 2019 will be my Sci-Fi year but I’m not convinced just yet…

Do you enjoy YA? What’s your favourite genre? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

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