Bookish posts

Why I Dislike Most Young Adult Books: A Discussion on Reading Taste And How it Changes

reading less YA

I’ve contemplated blogging about this subject because I know how loved Young Adult fiction* is in the book blogging community and BookTube. And for good reason.

The Young Adult genre (books written for a target audience between 12 and 18 years old) is loved by many people of all ages, and there is nothing wrong with that. I have loved Young Adult books ever since I was a kid and even now, some of my all-time favorite series and standalone’s belong to the Young Adult genre – I’m rereading the Lunar Chronicles as we speak!

But picking up new Young Adult books, they rarely speak to me in the way they used to. I recently picked up  They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera, and although I liked it, I didn’t love it.  This is happening with a lot of Young Adult novels I read these days. I do not enjoy them the way I used.

This doesn’t mean that YA novels have gotten worse – it’s actually the other way around in my opinion, they only get better and better! More diverse, dealing with more serious issues and focusing on all parts of teenage life. But I don’t connect to them the way I used to. When I finish a Young Adult novel, I’m often left wanting more of the story. More world building, more complex prose and multi-layered plots. That’s something I don’t often find in Young Adult novels. The Young Adult books that I love, are all books I read when I was a few years younger.

Looking at the books I loved in the past year or so, there is not one Young Adult novel included. I got older, and naturally I’ve kind of drifted away from Young Adult books, because I wasn’t enjoying them in the same way I was before. Looking at the 29 unread books I currently have on my TBR shelf, there are not YA books on it. I haven’t bought any in a while now.

My reading taste is changing. That’s a little bit scary, especially because many of the book discussed in the book community online are YA, and that might mean that I won’t ‘fit in’ as much. But at the same time it can open doors, both in my reading life and on my blog!

I will definitely still enjoy the occasional Young Adult book, but it hasn’t been that big of a part of my reading for a while now. I’ve discovered Adult fiction, memoirs, nonfiction  and more. And I’m really excited to tell you more about all the books I’m loving. 🙂

*I know there has been a lot of discussion about if Young Adult fiction is really a genre in itself or more just an age bracket. In my opinion, lots of Young Adult books have similar plot points, writing style and recurring themes, which is why I’m discussing it as a genre here. 
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16 thoughts on “Why I Dislike Most Young Adult Books: A Discussion on Reading Taste And How it Changes

  1. TBDATE didn’t really speak to me either, but not because it was YA – it was just too dark and sad. I do avoid a lot of YA books though, mostly because of the bantery tone. It’s too much for me. And then, I also HATED BEING A TEEN. I just.. I don’t want to go back to those times 😀 which also makes me not want to read YA books much – especially contemporaries. I feel like that’s a pretty valid reason, probably 🙂

    While there are definitely great YA books out there, I am wary of them, the community seems to read mostly them, which (keeping in mind my hype resistance :D) makes it even harder for me to pick them up 🙂 but there are just so many more books to choose from! Sometimes I would like to show some really great non-YA books to a lot of the bloggers I know, because I think they’d enjoy it, but they’re blindly following the trend and not even giving something else a chance.

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    1. I agree that TBDATE is dark and sad! I’m a heartless bitch tho, and I kinda like dark and sad books sometimes, haha. I know what you mean, I HATED being a teen too. The insecurity, the angst. UGH, no thank you. I’m turning 22 soon and I love this phase in life a lot more.

      I love your hype resistance thing you got going on, lol. I need to get on that bandwagon. I have this annoying habit of getting hyped books from the library and then DNFing them or rating them low. I got The Cruel Prince recently, sooo… but I’m also CURIOUS.

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  2. There is a growing market of YA that has characters ages 17-20 that I feel I relate to better. If the ages are 14-16 I can’t relate at all. I still enjoy a lot of YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, but I’ve noticed I’ve grown pickier. I HATE that I’m growing up. I also think a lot of YA has forced romance and the older I get, the less appealing the romance subplot appeals to me. The less romance the better. Oddly enough, I read more “Adult” books than YA in my early teen years. Mainly because Adult books were just “books” to me back then.

    I’m slowly discovering fantasy and sci-fi in the non-YA section that isn’t too fancy, but close enough to my place in life. Red Rising, A Darker Shade of Magic, and The Bone Season follow 18-20 year old characters with complex worlds but it doesn’t feel too out of reach to read!

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    1. This is a really interesting point you’re making and something I’ve been thinking about a lot ever since I posted this. I’m actually reading the Darker Shade of Magic series and I LOVE it. I think it’s ‘officially’ classified as adult but it reads more like Young Adult on the ‘older’ side of the spectrum? I guess that just depends on what you classify as adult and young adult. I think I’m going to try and find more books that are more on the older side of the YA spectrum, because I feel like I might enjoy those books still. If you have any other recs I would loooove to hear them!

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  3. I only just started reading YA last year at the age of 28. There’s a whole lot that doesn’t appeal to me (i.e. contemporary), but there is a lot that I like. Science fiction and fantasy appeal to me most because the characters have to have more going on than just typical teenage problems. That being said, my favourite books still tend to lean toward the adult age range.

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  4. I think that’s fair if they’re not appealing to you anymore. A lot of YA is less interesting to me now. And while I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of it all, I think it’s fine either way. I think it’s just good you’re enjoying what you’re reading 🙂

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  5. I have found myself reading more adult books recently. I still love YA, but you’re totally right, I can feel this happening to me in the future as well. I don’ think I’ll ever give up reading YA though because it holds such a special place in my heart and I do love YA books.

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  6. I agree. I still can’t get enough YA fantasy, but the contemporaries don’t really do it for me anymore. I can see how people enjoy them, but I can’t connect as much. There have been a couple exceptions, but overall I am not drawn to them the way I used to be.

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