Let’s Talk Bookish: The Popularity of YA

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. I’ve not participated in this for a few weeks as I was ill earlier this month but I’m planning on getting back into blogging more again now I’m feeling better!

This week’s topic is ‘The Popularity of YA’. There is a lot to talk about here and there are some interesting questions in the prompt so this week I’m going to structure my post around some of those questions.

Do you like reading YA? Why or why not? What do you love/hate about YA books?

At the moment I do read mostly YA. I think some of the reason for that is I know what I’m going to get with a YA book. I can go into the bookshop and browse the shelves in that section and I can pick out books I think I’ll like. The Adult section is so much bigger and whenever I look there, I just feel a bit overwhelmed and don’t really know what to choose.

I mostly read YA fantasy and science fiction. What I love about YA fantasy and science fiction is that it usually has a pretty fast pace. I’ve not read as much Adult fantasy, but the ones I have read have been a lot longer and slower paced. I don’t mind a slower pace from time to time, but I find most of the time the faster pace and style of writing in YA books is more engaging for me. There are also a lot of white, male fantasy authors out there dominating those Adult shelves. This does seem to be changing and I intend to seek out more female and diverse Adult fantasy authors.

Another reason that I read a lot of YA is because I write it too. I love writing YA fantasy and sci fi so of course I want to read it as well. I’ve done so much more reading this last year and I feel it’s really helped my writing and also makes me feel more inspired.

What do you think is the most popular genre in YA and why?

YA does seem to move in trends. At one point paranormal was super popular, especially paranormal romance, vampires, werewolves and so on. Then dystopia exploded and was everywhere. That seems to have died down now and I’m not sure which genre is most popular at the moment. There do seem to have been a lot of popular fantasy series out in the last few years.

Should YA take up most of our reading (if it indeed does)? Do you think YA transcends the age barrier?

I don’t think there’s a problem with reading a lot of YA. While I mostly read YA, I do read other kinds of books too and I do like having a break from reading YA sometimes for some variety. The most important thing really is that people should read what they enjoy.  

One thing that does irritate me about attitudes to YA is that people can be condescending to adults who read YA. I’m in my 20s and I enjoy reading YA and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think some of that comes from misunderstanding what YA is and people seeing it as inferior, which is not the case. True, not all YA books are great, but neither are all Adult books.

I think YA can be enjoyed by people of all ages (well, teens and up!). People can relate to the way YA characters are trying to discover who they are and find their place in the world.

How do you feel about YA? Do you enjoy reading it? I’d love to know your thoughts, so discuss with me in the comments!

18 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: The Popularity of YA

  1. As a teenager myself, I love reading YA! I love the point you made about not all YA books being good, just like not all adult books are good. YA is a genre in itself, with its own flaws and valuable contributions to the reading community. It seems unfair that people judge books by their target audience and potentially miss out on a new favorite. Great discussion! 💛

    • I wish I’d read more YA as a teenager, I feel like I didn’t find as much time for reading as I’d have liked to back then. I’ve read more and more each year. Thanks for reading!

  2. I totally feel you on being overwhelmed by the amount of adult books out there!
    Great discussion!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

  3. This is a really interesting discussion! I agree that people shouldn’t be condescending towards adults who enjoy YA – I don’t think there’s any difference in quality. The books I read as a teen had such a big impact on my life, and there’s no reason this can’t be true in adulthood too! Your post has made me nostalgic to reread some YA faves! 📚❤️ X

  4. I really enjoy reading YA maybe because it’s so easy too lose yourself in the problems and story of the characters. Also I love the highschool setting but that’s just a preference. I also think much of my love for YA literature is because im a teenager myself so it’s easy to relate and connect too the characters. But that being said there is nothing wrong with adults reading YA either! Also a lot of YA books tend to be pretty straightforward in terms of themes and lessons while adult books tend to be so philosophical if you get what I mean, hahaha. Anyways thanks for the discussion I enjoyed reading your posts!

    • I love diving into a good YA book and getting lost in the story! I do get what you mean, Adult books can be more complex and sometimes I’m just not in the mood for it! Thanks for reading!

  5. I completely agree with you on all of that! I do love a good YA book, but I don’t necessarily love how much it moves in trends. If you don’t like the current trend it makes it a little difficult to find a new release that you’ll enjoy.

  6. YA Fantasy novels are my favourite, I’m not gonna lie. But lately, I found myself craving more NA novels, books with protagonists in their late teens or early to mid-twenties. And I think that the time for NA has finally come.

    • Yes I’d love to see more books with characters in their late teens / early twenties. I feel like I’m a bit too old to relate to the characters in YA sometimes, but often don’t relate to characters in Adult books that much either.

  7. Not only is the adult section in most stores bigger and more intimidating, I also feel like it’s usually not faced as well. When I think of the adult section in my local Chapters it’s just spines and spines of books with few engaging displays or out facing covers. It makes the YA section feel much more inviting and open!

    I also agree that adult fantasy on the whole tends to feel like it’s a lot slower than YA fantasy. That’s one of the reasons I’m more hesitant to pick it up than I am when I reach for young adult fantasy.

    There’s no reason for YA to be looked down on as a genre! I reminds me of when people look down on Disney enjoying adults because it’s “for children” when so many stories can transcend any age barrier!

    • That’s true, I feel like the adult section is much less inviting in a lot of bookshops!

      I wish people would just let other people enjoy what they like and not judge them! Stories can be enjoyed by so many people, regardless of how old they are.

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