I have read my entire life. There were a good chunk of years there that I can honestly say in which I didn’t lay my hands on a single book. But for a majority of my life I have read.
By the age of fourteen, I was done with children’s novels. I supposed nowadays they would be called middle grade. Animorphs? Goosebumps? You know the type.
Well, as I said, I was done. They were too childish. I was too grown up. I ditched the Animorph series before it ended (I found out only a few months back I was like 6 books from the end) and Harry Potter? Forget it! That was kids stuff. I was twenty-two before I read those books. (And loved them btw)
By fourteen I was reading mum’s historical romance novels (let’s just say I learnt A LOT from those books) and by sixteen I was really into the classics as well as the romance. Jane Austen, The Bronte Sisters, Oscar Wilde, I even waded my way through Alexandre Dumas’ Count Of Monte Christo.
It took me until two years ago to pick up a young adult novel. Ok, I may have read Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, but other than that, I simply was just not on board with reading young adult fiction. How could it possibly give me what I wanted from a book? I love romance, there was no way a YA novel was going to give me the kind of love that I just adore reading about right? That I got from old school romance novels. How could they when the characters we sixteen years old?
How could they really get me invested in a world where the people telling the story are basically children? Teenage kings, warriors, pirates? There’s no way right?
Well I am happy to say I was very WRONG in my thinking. And I dont think I have ever been so happy to be wrong before.
It all came about when my sister came to visit me one day. She had been visiting my mum and watched The City of Bones movie. She loved it so much that she wanted to read the books. Obviously she found out very quickly that the book was way better and spent her whole visit with me trying to convince me to read it.
I was adamant I was not going to read it. At this point I hadn’t read a book in a good number of years (YA fiction actually got me back into reading…) and I was certain I was not going to read it. But, she left it at my house when she went home… just left it sitting there on my kitchen table…
I resisted, for a good few weeks. But she had never steered me wrong with a book/TV/movie recommendation before… So I picked up and started reading the first couple of pages…
Annnnnddd I couldn’t put it down. I devoured The Mortal Instruments series (Cassandra Clare is a genius) Teenage warriors who fought against the demon threat? YES. A romance that had me absolutely dying with frustration and angst? (Jace, you slay me with your brooding!) YES. Everything I doubted it would be, it was!
And now? Now I absolutely adore the YA genre. It still has to have a certain criteria to interest me. Epic story, great angst riddled romance, brooding heroes… a pretty cover… But I have to say, I am so happy I finally got on board. Especially since the YA novel seems to have the formula for epic fantasy stories perfected.
Nailed it! And now I just love them, almost as much as my historicals…maybe more…