Saturday, August 15, 2015

Why Are So Many Adults Reading Young Adult Fiction?

 What is the allure these days of young adult books and their crossover appeal to the adult crowd the world over?  Many YA books, in fact, are standouts with the adult community.  This industry has grown astronomically to become worth millions of dollars worldwide, with authors such as JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins.  In fact, (55%, according to a 2012 study), are actually adults. So what's the reason?
Perhaps the real mystery, then, is not why the works of the authors above have been so successful commercially, but why they, and other books like them, have appealed to so many people beyond their target audience. This in itself creates a sub-mystery, too: why do these books remain popular years after they are first published, and what is it about society today that means that their messages and values are still applicable to us?

One reason is that adults have discovered this: that young adult authors are doing some of the most daring work out there. Authors who write for young adults are taking creative risks -- with narrative structure, voice and social commentary -- that you don’t see as often in the more rarefied world of adult fiction.
YA books can be a vehicle for evoking nostalgia; they can often remind older readers of their childhoods and teenage years.  Society nowadays is so intricately and overwhelmingly critical of YA, and yet it is its simplicity that often provides the most pleasure for young people and adults alike.
Their universal appeal is palpable New generations of young people grow up, and they are often found reading the same books as their predecessors due to the sheer quality and sense of purpose behind the writing, making them applicable to anyone, at any time.

So to all of my adult readers out there:  Check out a few young adult books.  See if you feel nostalgic, or excited, or better for having read your choice.  You may be surprised!

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