Thursday, February 25, 2016

FF Friday: In Which I Tell You Why I Read Books For Grown-Ups

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, TwitterBookLikes, 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. 


  1. Congrats on being the Feature! Old follower!

  2. Congrats, chick! I, too, get sick of YA books sometimes. It's definitely my favorite genre but I can totally relate to getting sick of the characters! Following you via Bloglovin'!

  3. Nice answers that you had there. Congrats on being Feature Friday.

    Old Follower.

    The Truth About Books
    My FF Answer Here

  4. Congrats on being featured! I agree with your observations buy my favourite genres are romance and mystery. :)
    Sent you a friend request on Goodreads.
    Here is my FF
    -Njkinny @Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff

  5. Congrats on being featured! I like your title of your answer and I am an old follower

  6. I think I've been reading more YA these days than adult, but when I was a teen there were no good books to read and I've really been enjoying the ones I've been reading lately. So I'm making up for lost time! But still reading adult books along the way!

    Here's my Follow Friday

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  7. I definitely do love YA books and sometimes I read adult books, but I always seem to float back to the YA ones :)

    Congrats on being featured!!

    Check out my answers here!

    Florentine @ Readiculously Peachy

  8. Congrats on being featured this week!

    I'm one of those people who can go either way on the whole adult fiction vs young adult fiction. While I agree with some of your reasons whole heartedly, I've read family saga YA (Dollanganger books by V.C. Andrews, for example) and I feel adult fiction can be just as limited as YA in their plot lines. But I must say, I really enjoyed your post.

    New follower via Bloglovin, Goodreads and Twitter.

    Have a great weekend! :D

    My Feature & #FF Post

  9. I definitely agree with you when you say that teenage characters can sometimes be annoying. I've read some really bad ones before.

    More themes is definitely a plus when comparing YA and adult. Sometimes YA themes get repetitive. I read both YA and adult and it's also a nice change of pace to switch between them.

    Congrats on being the feature! Old Bloglovin' follower, new Twitter follower.

    My F&F

  10. I read about equally in YA and adult fiction. I love them both for different reasons. YA is short and quick and easy to read most of the time. Adult books are more complex and I love the multi-generations of characters that are usually included. But sometimes adult fiction is too similar to my real life, so it's nice to alternate between the two age groups. Fun post!

  11. I only read adult books that are appropriate for teens (and there are a lot of good ones of those!) But, if you are looking for "Interesting narrative structures and experimental literature," you should check out Illuminae. There are lots of YA books that I would consider experimental. I pretty much agree with your other points. Here's My F&F.

  12. Hello! I rarely read books for grown-ups (mostly because I am still a Young Adult myself) but I have read a few. I really enjoy the Hannah Swenson mysteries by Joanne Fluke, which are really the only series I stick around for. I guess I just find YA and NA more fun than Adult.

    Congrats on being the feature! New Bloglovin' follower!
    -Kayl @ Kayl's Krazy Obsession

  13. Congrats on being feature! I love adult books for all of the reasons you have listed above. Most of my all-time favourite novels are adult fiction. But I tend to read fantasy a bit more often.

    Old follower :)

    Here's my FFF

    Obsessive Compulsive Reader

  14. I like YA but I think that I really like books for grown-ups more. I love a story that is character driven and there is a lot more variety. Great post!

  15. Congrats on being featured! I tend to stick with YA (I'm still a young adult myself!) because it's easier to relate to what I know. That said I do look forward to reading more Adult books and the few that I've read were brilliant for all the reasons you've listed! Wonderful post, I'm an old follower
    My FF Post

  16. Congrats, I found you from feed your fiction addiction...will be back, Jackie

  17. Very well put! New follower on Bloglovin' My FFF:

  18. I'm much the same as you I think. I love YA, but at the moment I'm getting a bit tired of the cliches and same old same old plots. I agree with the narrow scope too. It's hard sometimes to find a good balance, a more true to life adult story, with the fantasy aspects of a lot of YA.

  19. Great post and I agree with all of it! The more themes one is a biggie for me-YA plots seem so repetitive sometimes!

  20. Despite being 42 years old, I have to confess that I don't read much adult fiction. It's weird, I know, and I really have to change that. This goes along with my post about being intimidated by certain genres, though - literary fiction is definitely one of them!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction