Feature & Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This week, I’m supposed to tell you why I read my favorite genre, but that’s kind of a problem because I’m not entirely sure what my favorite genre is. I’m tempted to say that it’s YA contemporary, but sometimes I get really sick of YA. Also, I feel like I’ve already written a lot about YA on this blog. So, I’m going to list the reasons why I sometimes prefer adult books to young adult books. That’s close enough to this week’s prompt, right? *Is terrible at following directions.*
Why Books For Grown-Ups Are Awesome
Books for adults won’t make you feel like an old curmudgeon. Let’s face it: Teenage characters are sometimes annoying just because they’re teenagers. They often make stupid, emotional, hormone-soaked decisions that grate on your nerves because you’re past that stage of life.
Character-driven books. Most of the YA books I’ve read are plot-driven. They’re fast-paced and have a lot of stuff going on. Adult literary fiction is often slower-paced and focuses on the inner lives of the characters. There are some really complex and interesting characters in adult fiction.
Adulthood is a longer stage of life. Characters in YA books are usually between 15 and 19 years old. Adulthood goes on for a lot longer than young adulthood, so the characters are a wider range of ages and maturity levels. One of my favorite adult books last year was Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress. I love that book because many of the characters are retired people or elderly people in nursing homes. That isn’t a life stage that you get to read about very often in YA books.
More themes. This is related to the point above. Young adult books can sometimes feel repetitive because 15-19 year olds experience a lot of the same problems. In YA, you’ve got your “Coming of age story,” your “First love story,” and your “Making a difference in the world story.” Since adulthood goes on for so much longer than young adulthood, it feels like there are a wider variety of problems and themes.
Better quality of writing. There are some ridiculously well-written YA books out there, but most of the great writing I’ve seen has been in adult literary fiction and nonfiction.
Classics. YA seems to be a relatively recent invention. There are some classic children’s stories, but most of the really old classics seem to be for adults.
Family sagas. When family sagas are done well, they are phenomenal. Unfortunately, family sagas don’t really seem to exist in YA. The only really good one I can think of is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.
Interesting narrative structures and experimental literature. Since YA is aimed at a younger audience, authors who write in that genre don’t experiment very often. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a YA book that could be called “experimental.” This is probably because younger readers wouldn’t have the patience for books that are bizarre and possibly confusing.
Gritty realism. Many publishers have limits on the amount of sex, drugs, violence, swearing, bodily functions, etc. that they will allow in a YA book. As a result, adult books about certain topics can feel more realistic and honest than their YA counterparts.
Larger variety of short story collections. We need more good YA short story collections. I’m going to keep saying this in every single blog post until it happens.
Do you read books for grown-ups? What do you like about them?
The follow part of FF Friday: If you are a book blogger and you leave a link to your blog in the comments below, I will follow you on Bloglovin’. If you want to be friends on Goodreads, Twitter, BookLikes, or G+, that would be awesome, too. Click the links to go to my pages on those sites. I’m looking forward to “meeting” you.