Adults Who Love YA: What’s the Lure?
One day not so long ago, I was wandering down the YA aisle of Barnes & Noble with my niece who was then 17. This was a common occurrence for the two of us, even though I was and am well beyond my teen years. As we perused titles, judging books by their covers and picking up only the prettiest ones, two women were debating whether a particular series was worth buying. I glanced in their direction, noting they were both somewhere north of my age by about a decade. Before I could poke my nose in their business, having firsthand knowledge and strong opinions about the series, another young woman butted in. She appeared to be in her late 20s. Instantly, the five of us were engaged in a heated conversation that included things like: “She must stay true to herself.” “Yes, but if she fails, there will be dire consequences.” “It won’t matter when he gets a hold of her.” After several minutes of discussion, we went on our merry ways. I remember giggling to myself about our age-range, considering our passionate opinions about teen fiction. I turned to my niece, saying, “That was kind of crazy.” But, was it?
Because I’ve heard so many YA-lovers getting a bad rap, I wanted to offer my theories on why adults love this category of fiction:
1) Nostalgia. Maybe we miss high school? NOT. You couldn’t pay me any sum of money to go back to that place. But, I can tell you that I enjoy reminiscing with old friends that feeling of being in high school—carefree, no responsibilities, and hanging with friends who were the center of my universe. Perhaps one draw for us over-mortgaged, overscheduled, and overworked adults is that YA brings us back to a simpler time and place.
2) PG-13. While I love my super-dark, super-sexy novels, sometimes I want to read something that I know won’t make me face the harsh reality of the adult world. It’s like watching a PG-13 movie; I know I’m going to get a thrill ride without the gratuitous (or necessary) heavy content that often accompany R-rated movies. There will definitely be a hero facing imminent danger, but there won’t be any gory or salacious details that bring us to that gritty place.
3) Anyone Can Win. There is a fantastic feeling when our YA hero or heroine, typically an odd outcast, surmounts all obstacles and wins the day. He or she undoubtedly has flaws and weaknesses, yet still prevails over the evils of the world. As someone who sometimes feels odd, has flaws and weaknesses, I like these literary reminders that we all can win—even young, inexperienced, unworldly teenagers.
When I think back to that day in the bookstore where women in their 50s, 30s, 20s, and teens became kindred spirits for a moment, age was insignificant. No matter our station in life, we all long for stories that can take us to a place of nostalgia and excitement with hopeful, happy endings.
In a world divided by prejudice and hatred, only love can bridge the chasm.
Tensions are rising in the Gladium Province. The boundary between humans and Morgons has begun to blur. While the human aristocracy strives to maintain distance between their daughters and the dragon-hybrid race, fate has other plans.
As the daughter of the corporate king, Jessen Cade is duty-bound to honor her arranged marriage to a man she detests. Feeling trapped by family duty and a loveless future, she longs for more, straying to the Morgon side of the city.
Lucius Nightwing is the eldest son of the powerful Morgon clan, and the greatest enemy of Jessen’s father. When a bar-room brawl thrusts Jessen into his arms, his dragon roars to the surface, craving to sate his carnal hunger in the brown-eyed beauty. The beast in Lucius recognizes her as his own, even if the man refuses to admit the truth.
Juliette's offering one (1) lucky commenter an ecopy of SOULFIRE. YA's, yes, no, or does it depend on the topic? We're all ears....I have a couple but they aren't romance. Good luck y'all!
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