I won’t be shamed

I read YA books.  Some people believe that I should be ashamed of this fact—that it is indicative of a childish mind, and I am “less” because of it.

I read (and write) YA because it tells me more about myself.  Teenagers are pushing their boundaries, learning their strengths as they become adults.

I am already an adult, but I still have plenty of weaknesses.  Self-doubt and anxiety are my daily companions.  I can feel helpless and overwhelmed.  I like to see a character grow, find her courage, find love, find herself.  I hope to continue to do the same in my life, and this makes Seraphina, Eleanor, and Katsa my kindred spirits, and very dear to my heart.

If YA readers are suspect, what does that say about YA writers?  Much as I enjoyed my adolescence, I don’t want to re-live it.  I just want to tell a good story.  A story that makes someone happy, that makes someone see something in a new light, that gives hope and understanding.

Being an adult is sometimes overrated.  Don’t you remember what it felt like to fall in love for the first time?  To feel a sense of wonder about the world, and about your place in it?  Why wouldn’t you want to go back and re-read The Westing Game?

I read comics, and I watch cartoons, and I will be this way for the rest of my life.  I also go to the orchestra frequently, perform technical scientific research, and recycle my newspapers and bottles (sometimes from alcohol!) every week.

I own that I sometimes read for nostalgia or escapism.  I also read to learn and improve my mind.  I also read to feel.

There is enough room in life for all these things.

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7 thoughts on “I won’t be shamed

  1. starwarsanon June 6, 2014 / 4:03 pm

    I love this post! I feel you. My husband is so grounded in reality and adult behavior that it’s frustrating sometimes. He can’t stand Disney movies (okay, not for everyone) and would never read a YA novel. I read too many.

    I guess the only problem I’ve been having with YA lately is how much they focus on romance. Even some great fantasy novels test my patience when they start off great…and gradually turn into the characters bickering but are secretly in love and then end up together at the end. It’s not a new thing that they focus on romance, I think I just have little patience for it now.

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    • Mei-Mei June 6, 2014 / 8:13 pm

      Yeah, my husband doesn’t read YA either. But he also doesn’t think it’s embarrassing that I do read it (I assume your husband is the same!)

      I definitely like some romance as part of a fantasy story, but it’s bad when it takes over the story. I hate the whole “Team Peeta/Gale” thing from Hunger Games, for example. Why is that even a question? Katniss’s relationship with her sister (and her mother) is much more driving. Not really the author’s fault though; I feel like some readers got sidetracked on that relatively unimportant part of the story.

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  2. NovEllaandBanannabelle June 7, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    I agree! You can never be too old for a good book 🙂 . In fact, I recently read The Secret Garden. It’s a classic, and just because I didn’t read it as a child, that shouldn’t mean I permanently missed my opportunity to read it with pride.

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    • Mei-Mei June 7, 2014 / 6:19 pm

      Oh, I love The Secret Garden. 🙂 You’re right, books don’t have a statute of limitations!

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  3. lilajune June 8, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    This is a fantastic response!! Thank you for sharing it with me! (Side note: I just re-read The Westing Game recently!) I couldn’t agree more that YA serves to help us examine ourselves and that we should never EVER stop “growing up” that would be the real shame wouldn’t it??

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    • Mei-Mei June 8, 2014 / 11:08 pm

      Glad you liked it! Now I feel like reading The Westing Game again…

      Like

      • lilajune June 8, 2014 / 11:10 pm

        Hahaha I LOVE that book! Read it!!

        Like

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