Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adult Adults and Young Adult

A reporter covering the upcoming Printer's Row Lit Fest asked me why I read YA, because I'm not technically young anymore. This is a popular topic as YA fiction continues to be hot. One theory is that a lot of us "old" people are reading it, which must be true. I also think it's so popular because the category is clearly defined and is marketed like crazy. But obviously there's more to it than that. Adults don't turn to YA because it's lighter fare, as anyone who reads YA knows. So much of it deals with difficult issues, like death or addiction or broken families. Perhaps adults turn to it as an escape to an earlier life, one viewed through younger eyes, and revisiting these difficult topics with the perspective of years can help us to assimilate them. The formative years shape people, and issues that are important during that time will likely continue to be important. So reading YA might open the door to a better understanding of the adult self. Adults reading YA is so popular... there's a blog about it. Forever Young Adult contains book reviews and fun discussions and pictures of "adult" adults drinking martinis while reading "The Hunger Games." Glad to be in good company.

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