The trend stats from Scholastic for 2010 show more adults reading YA fiction. Honestly, I’m not surprised.
I was about eighteen when I walked into my local library as usual, and went straight for the YA section like I always had. I felt guilty because at that point, I was supposed to be reading “adult” novels especially since I had been reading ahead of my grade level for years. I had tried adult novels when I was around sixteen, but in all honesty I found the quality of adult fiction horrific. I realized I would rather live in YA forever.
As an aspiring YA author, of course I’m going to be a bit biased toward YA. How did I get there though?
I wanted to grow up and move on to more adult books at that age, though I constantly found something lacking. There’s something about most adult books that got on my nerves the most — they were often far wordier than necessary and tended to drone on and on with drab details. I would have to dig my way out of that mess to find the story. With YA authors, they seem to understand how to get to the story and be more engaging overall. They can build their worlds better and give their characters more depth.
Another major difference between adult and YA fiction is character growth. YA literature takes into account the changing sensibilities and social dynamics of their demographic, whereas the adults seem stuck in some sort of rut and it’s more about things that happen to them than internal change. People don’t stop growing and changing. I forgot which YA author said this, but she said that she preferred YA because the characters were getting to see the world for the first time and unlike adult characters, YA characters actually have a lot more hope for the future and more adventures waiting for them.
So, I think it’s great that YA is opening up more, because I don’t wanna grow up either.