Michelle

For those who avoid YA

11 posts in this topic

For those of you who tend to avoid YA, is there a particular reason? Do you class it the same as children's books, have you had bad experiences in the past, or is there another reason?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, i avoid most YA books now days mainly because I remember when it was all about fun. I grew up in a time when sex, drugs and alcohol were things adults did, and we didn't have to read about them in YA books. It was a time when we only worried about the next goosebumps, or Andy Griffiths book was coming. I guess what i am trying to say is, its the subject matter that puts me off most of the YA books.

 

Though i am still open to trying one now and then. i hope all that makes sense, my head is rather painful at the moment and i am struggling with my words of late.

Edited by Devi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have , up until recently ,avoided YA books mainly because of my age . I feel sort of too old to read YA books. It's been several decades since I was a teen and the world has changed in so many ways ,when life was much more innocent.

Teens today grow up too quickly and become involved in adult situations ,which can dramatically change their life and chances for a happy ,fulfilled future .

I also have no interest in a lot of the subject matter that is now popular in YA. Sci-fi, fantasy, world ending stories have no interest to me . I'd enjoy reading about school .friends, funny things and acting silly like I hope teens still do in real life. Are they all out there preparing for Doomsday ?

I'd be an extremely picker reader of YA subjects Their issues of teen pregnancy ,drug and alcohol use ,date rapes ,single parent families when life is a daily struggle : None of those things happened to me or any of my friends, so none of those things would be interesting to me to read about . I'm WAY past the time when I was in that age group and as an older adult, I have "older people" problems, so I just can't relate to a pregnant teen who is a drug addict and lives on another planet and fights dragons . 

If there were YA books that were funny , that maybe included an older person in the story, I might relate better to them that way .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a pregnant teen who is a drug addict and lives on another planet and fights dragons . .

 

Now THAT'S a book just waiting to be written. :giggle2:

 

Personally I love fantasy, and the only YA books I really remember reading as a 'young adult' were 'The Abhorsen Chronicles' (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) by Garth Nix (which were awesome, by the way). I think I generally avoid it because I sort of skipped that stage when I was growing up, and pretty much went straight from Roald Dahl to Stephen King and Tolkien. Since I got used to reading 'adult' fiction pretty early on - especially fantasy, which can be really deep and complex - I suppose YA just seems a bit simplistic and lacking the depth I'm used to. I have read the Hunger Games trilogy and all the Twilight books fairly recently - I WANTED to like them but didn't really enjoy either of them. Perhaps because of the love triangles. Why all the love triangles, people?!

 

The only YA books I've always enjoyed and probably always will are the Harry Potter books. :D

 

I agree with Julie and Devi about how YA books seem to be much darker and more serious than they used to be; they're more about the 'adult' than the 'young', and while this does reflect the fact that kids grow up very fast these days I still think there should be more books out there that are just for fun. Let's face it: if Roald Dahl were writing nowadays, Fantastic Mr Fox would have become a martyr to the animal rights movement, George would be in rehab/prison due to the illegal production of his Marvellous Medicine, Willy Wonka would be on the sex offenders register, and The Twits would probably have just gone and got a divorce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I avoided YA before it became really popular, because I'd read all the teenagers books I was interested in at the time. Around 15-16 I became very interested in fantasy books and that was all I read for a while. There weren't a lot of fantasy YA novels (in our book shops), so I didn't really read a lot of YA. I also felt that because I was grown up, I should read adult books (although now and then I re-read my old YA books that I love). A while later I started to branch out my genres of adult books (ie. discovering science-fiction and rediscovering contemporary fiction, among many others) and a while after that I started to read more YA because people told me about these books that they liked (mainly to do with BookTube, YouTube where people talk about books. Most of them are young adults and most of them read a lot of YA). It became more acceptable to read YA when you're older than a teenager.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I avoid most YA books because they seem to be targeted at someone else.  I don't a different age, because I can read books that are targeted at a younger audience, I mean so much of the young adult category seems more targeted at young adult girls rather then young adult boys.  Nearly all the titles I see seem to be trying to ride the Twilight wave.

 

When I take my son, who is a young adult himself at 12 years old to the book store, we look at the young adult section but he looks at all the new books there, reads the cover jacket / back cover blurb, sometimes flips through a few pages to see what it is like, and puts it back saying "this is a girls book".  Sure you have some titles like the stuff from Michael Scott about Nicholas Flamel or the Percy Jackson books, but going to a lot of book stores with a kid and seeing the YA section a lot, those are in the minority.

 

Young Adult at some point became Young Adult Female.  So neither I nor my son are the audience for the category in general.

 

But maybe that is just my impression and things aren't quite like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think their are alot of YA books aimed at girls (do teen girls read more, I wonder?) but they certainly are out there. From the top of my head, I would recommend Geekhood by Andy Robb, Shift by Kim Curran, and Katya's War by Jonathan L Howard - but of course it all depends on what you like. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I can appreciate that a lot of YA does seem to be aimed at girls, I'd also say that there is plenty out there for the boys too, such as Patrick Ness, Charlie Higson, Anthony Horowitz and Robert Muchamore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is, to a certain extent, some snobbery about adults reading children's books.  Some people seem to think this type of book to be beneath them - I'm guessing often without even trying them! 

 

I've heard people being quite rude about adults who read, for example, the Harry Potter books or watch the films. One friend in particular was quite disparaging about adults reading them - but then he watches X-Factor avidly which I think is a terrible show, so I guess we all have our own standards.  :P

 

I wouldn't wish to read YA books exclusively, but I do think there are some great ones out there, which many people will miss due to their prejudices. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now THAT'S a book just waiting to be written. :giggle2:

 

Personally I love fantasy, and the only YA books I really remember reading as a 'young adult' were 'The Abhorsen Chronicles' (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) by Garth Nix (which were awesome, by the way). I think I generally avoid it because I sort of skipped that stage when I was growing up, and pretty much went straight from Roald Dahl to Stephen King and Tolkien. Since I got used to reading 'adult' fiction pretty early on - especially fantasy, which can be really deep and complex - I suppose YA just seems a bit simplistic and lacking the depth I'm used to. I have read the Hunger Games trilogy and all the Twilight books fairly recently - I WANTED to like them but didn't really enjoy either of them. Perhaps because of the love triangles. Why all the love triangles, people?!

 

The only YA books I've always enjoyed and probably always will are the Harry Potter books. :D

 

I agree with Julie and Devi about how YA books seem to be much darker and more serious than they used to be; they're more about the 'adult' than the 'young', and while this does reflect the fact that kids grow up very fast these days I still think there should be more books out there that are just for fun. Let's face it: if Roald Dahl were writing nowadays, Fantastic Mr Fox would have become a martyr to the animal rights movement, George would be in rehab/prison due to the illegal production of his Marvellous Medicine, Willy Wonka would be on the sex offenders register, and The Twits would probably have just gone and got a divorce.

I'm okay with YA being darker.  Infact I think its an improvement to be able to have some books like this, the more variety the better it is to find something that many will like.  I suppose its because I grew up knowing that serious issues are part of many people's lives regardless of their ages or where they may live.  I also know from history that what many regard as an ideal childhood today didn't exist in the past.  I'd have had fun reading Roald Dahl's work as he wrote it or with Fantastic Mr Fox as a martyr etc :rolol: .  Its all about balance, sometimes I want to read about a light subject then I'll pick such a book other times when I want something darker I'll choose a book to fit :smile:  :readingtwo: .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I avoid most YA books because they seem to be targeted at someone else.  I don't a different age, because I can read books that are targeted at a younger audience, I mean so much of the young adult category seems more targeted at young adult girls rather then young adult boys.  Nearly all the titles I see seem to be trying to ride the Twilight wave.

 

When I take my son, who is a young adult himself at 12 years old to the book store, we look at the young adult section but he looks at all the new books there, reads the cover jacket / back cover blurb, sometimes flips through a few pages to see what it is like, and puts it back saying "this is a girls book".  Sure you have some titles like the stuff from Michael Scott about Nicholas Flamel or the Percy Jackson books, but going to a lot of book stores with a kid and seeing the YA section a lot, those are in the minority.

 

Young Adult at some point became Young Adult Female.  So neither I nor my son are the audience for the category in general.

 

But maybe that is just my impression and things aren't quite like that.

The Twilight wave is now largely over, actually. The "new" wave is the Hunger Games, though that's been around for a couple of years now too.

 

If you need recommendations for more boysy YA books, I'm more than happy to help. I read a whole ton of books which aren't Twilighty.

 

Though you're right - a lot of books are marketed at girls because they tend to read more. Don't let that put you off though; some of them aren't really girls books. Some of the best YA I've read has female protagonists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites