I am a thirty-something, mom of two that is addicted to Young Adult fiction.  If the protagonist is over the age of 18, then forget it, my interest is gone.

Why am I confessing this guilty secret of mine? Because I believe that it is a wonderful insight to a world that I, as an adult, probably disconnected from a long time ago.

Ever wonder why you have lost touch and cannot understand teenagers? You have forgotten how it was to think the world is going to end because of an unruly pimple or when that hot guy in math was ever going to notice you.

I know that some wish to forget that part of your life, perhaps it wasn’t like how it’s depicted on TV, but that is the beauty of fiction: especially, super outlandish, fantastical, paranormal type fiction.

Why do I find YA fiction better than books for people my age? These are my top five reasons:

  1. I find the storylines to be more original. With many current works of fiction targeted for adults, I feel it tries to tap into the mundane of life.  It’s depressing. I like intense emotional outlook a young adult gives the world, even with vampires and werewolves in the mix.

  1. I am a sucker for a coming of age story. It happens to us all once, but I am able to experience it over and over again every time I pick up a new YA book. The first crush, the intensity of that first kiss, and the heartbreak of the first breakup.

  1. Young people accept bizarre situations better. If an alien armada decides to attack Earth, as an adult and a parent, it is my job to freak out on the inside, gather my family and run like hell. The young deal with change better; alien and/or governmental.

  1. It is more digestible for a young adult to be irresponsible. When they screw-up it’s forgivable because of immaturity. It’s hard to stomach a thirty-something staying out all night partying and regretting it the next day.

  2. The final reason I love YA fiction? The longing. It never ends. The longing to fit in, figuring out how to be accepted, and all that emotional longing called adolescence. What a beautiful mess.

I do not read YA fiction to try to recapture my long lost youth, I read it because it provides some of the boldest and most compelling stories out there in the fiction world. Teens are brave because they haven’t developed that sensible trait that makes them think before they do. That is the beauty of a young adult protagonist: hormones and work-in-progress brain. You have to love the combo!

So, you think that YA fiction is just sappy love, teenage angst? Try reading Libba Bray, Rick Yancey, Veronica Roth, or Patrick Ness. The teens in their novels are smart, brave, and kick butt. I guarantee once you sink your teeth into one of these books, you’ll be a YA fiction convert.

The Fifth Wave by Rick YanceyCredit: Rick Yancey