Hello. My name is Zahia. I am 22 years old and I read young adult and children’s fiction.
There. How’s that for a big literary confession?
It’s true though. I am a big fan of young adult (YA) and children’s fiction! I always have been, and I probably always will be. Oh, and I don’t care who knows about it either. I find the stories easy to read, entertaining, and exciting. Often, when I’m in a bit of a reading slump, picking up a YA or children’s book quickly puts me back on the reading track.
It seems, though, that after you hit a certain age dictated by some weird societal construct (I’m still not sure what age this is exactly), you, as a reader, need to move on from YA/children’s fiction and stick to more adult stuff, whatever that is. I call bullshit! Sure, YA/children’s fiction is targeted towards a certain age group, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t read them if you don’t fall into that particular age category.
I feel like YA/children’s fiction is often freer to explore dystopian/fantasy/humorous story lines. Even as I experience them as an adult, these novels can still show me an imaginative, open-minded way of looking at the world. I have to admit, when I was younger I did enjoy reading the soppy love triangles (think Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent) that seems to be incorporated in nearly every YA novel nowadays. Now though, I find these sorts of novels to be a bit sickly and so I tend to stay away from them. Last year I read Legend by Marie Lu and I loved the main plot! It was so exciting and the characters were so bad ass (I’m a sucker for a strong female protagonist). But, the romantic aspect of the story didn’t appeal to me at all and I found it all extremely unnecessary (the main characters literally start making out in the middle of an exciting chase scene…what?!). Some of my favourite YA/children’s novels and series involve strong characters and thrilling plot lines. These novels tend to be written in slightly simplified, yet slick, prose. Ultimately, I experience pure joy when I am sucked into a story that I don’t have to force myself to get through!
Here’s just a few of the YA/children’s novels and series that I continue to go back to, time and time again:
Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer
Alex Rider – Anthony Horowitz
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket
The Giver Quartet – Lois Lowry
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures – Michael Hoeye
Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
Shade’s Children – Garth Nix
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (one of my all time favourite books…I am 100% unapologetic about it!)
I think everyone should be able to read what they want. The fact that you’re reading something in the first place is awesome! Reading should be an enjoyable experience, so don’t waste any time thinking about books that you ‘should’ be reading, read books that you ‘want’ to read! Trust me, you’ll be a lot happier that way.
Do you read any YA and/or children’s fiction? What’s your favourite YA/children’s novel/series?