Word Count: 37,116
Today I'd like to write about genres.
Not just any genre, no. I want to focus on the beloved YA.
I'll admit it, I'm young. But I'm in my mid-twenties, so I technically qualify as an adult. This is a great place to be, for me. But I am a HUGE SUCKER for YA books. Twilight? Check. Harry Potter? Check. Just about anything else YA? Check.
Which is backwards, because you know what books I was reading in my YA years? Mercedes Lackey. Piers Anthony. Terry Brooks. Ann McCaffrey. Agatha Christie. Michael Crichton.
So what happened? Did I just stop liking "adult" fiction and revert to my lost childhood of reading?
I don't think so. But--- I don't really know what I think, other than that YA is a really open genre. I think its success in recent years is pulling a lot of writers into it to start, and therefore stories that might otherwise have been "adult" fiction are able to access a broader audience by having a younger MC. Now, to be YA, I was told the major rule is that your protag is a YA. So that's a big difference right there. But other than the age(s) of the MC(s), what other differences are there? Why are a lot of adults so drawn to these stories, too, even though the protag is 17/18, etc.?
I can't puzzle it out. All I know is that YA is a genre I'll buy, and I actually feel sometimes like more adults buy them than actual YAs. But it's not a turn-off for me if a novel is YA, whereas sometimes when I think on some modern-day "adult" fiction, I think: boring.
Perhaps my tastes will change as I mature? Maybe I'm still close enough to my teens that I'm ok with a younger voice telling the story.
Or maybe this comes back to the story transcending all else, including genre. If the main character is compelling and I care about them and am interested in their world, maybe it doesn't matter how old they are.
Just some food for thought. What is YA, to you?