Ever since I began reading YA novels at the ripe age of fifteen, I completely fell in love with books. I can’t imagine myself not being an avid reader or a crazed fan girl (believe me that title comes along with loving books so much). Reading has become a part of me and it’s also one of the reasons why I love writing so much as well.
If I had to choose one word to describe YA authors it would be INSPIRATIONAL. Why? Because it’s exactly what they do through the novels they write. There is a book for everyone in this widely vast genre. I’ve read books from Meg Cabot’s Mediator series (which happened to be some of the first books I picked up) to The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan. Whoever knew that books about post-apocalyptic zombies could be so darn BRILLIANT? Ryan’s series was the first ever zombie books I ever read and I just fell in love with the story and the characters she created. The story is about strength, survival, and faith. Not faith in a religious sort of way, but faith in believing that there is something more – like the ocean. Mary holds onto her belief that it still exists outside the small, confined village, that lies in the middle of a forest surrounded by zombies (or as Ryan calls them Unconsecrated). Of course, there is also romance that can wrench your heart out. But it wouldn’t be a classic YA novel if it wasn’t for that. I always say that if a book cannot arise any sort of emotional response then it wasn’t a very good book at all.
Beth Revis’ Across the Universe series is another example about challenging believes. The main two protagonists Amy and Elder have to find out the secrets surrounding the ship Godspeed in A Million Suns. Elder is torn between what he’s been taught from an early age while Amy challenges him and shows him how wrong the mechanics and government of the ship really are. They both have tough decisions to make, which in part is very relatable to us teens. The decisions aren’t as heavy as choosing to stay on board a ship, traveling for years to come without a stop or going forth with the original plan to land on an unknown planet that show sign of danger – but they are life altering decisions and that is how we (teens and even adults) feel when we are met with a hard choice to make.
I think that’s the reason why YA appeals to a wide range of ages. It reaches everyone, gnawing at our hearts or like me, seizing my heart and never letting go. There have been times where I’ve literally wanted to throw a book across the room because of how angry or mad the ending made me feel. But I thought better of it because I wouldn’t want to ruin my poor baby! Yes, I’m quite mad, but everyone is mad in their own way. There have been times where I’ve been smiling like a little kid on Christmas because of what I’ve been reading. Michelle Hodkin’s The Evolution of Mara Dyer has been the most recent one to had made me grin like a complete fool. I am completely in love with Noah Shaw. Pure and simple.
I love that YA books make me feel things. If it wasn’t for books I think that I would be cold, distant, and hard-hearted. What I read seems to be the only thing that brings me joy and agony at the same time like Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices series. Clockwork Prince especially had my feelings all in a jumble. One moment I was happy as a clam and the next my heart was just heavy and I was crying my eyes out because of Will Herondale.
Last, but certainly not least, I love how I can just completely lose myself within the pages of a book, forgetting reality all together. I thank the wonderful authors who creative unique, imaginative, and compelling worlds and characters. It’s an escape from what I go through…the ugly, unfair, and hard side of life. To quote Will Herondale, “It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”
YA books have been a constant in my life for five years now. I couldn’t imagine my life without them because in truth they are the only things that have been there through the heartache, despair, and happiness in my life. I’m very thankful for all the books I’ve read and will read because in some way or another they have and will shape me to be who I am. I’ve learned that beauty is only skin deep and have found strength in myself that I never knew I had. I’ve learned about love and loss. Both tearing my heart open and laying it out to bleed. Okay, so not to that extent, but very close.
There is so much more to say, so many more authors to mention, but if I keep on going I’m afraid I will never stop. As I write this, I’m also aware that my thoughts may be all jumbled and not make sense…but that’s because there is SO MUCH TO SAY. Just know that I could never fully convey how much I love reading, how much I love YA novels. Thank you never seems enough to fully show my appreciation to all the YA authors out there who have made a difference in my life, not to mention countless of other readers in the world.
If you aren’t a YA reader I highly recommend it! There is honestly a book for everyone and if you ever need recommendations I have plenty! Feel free to ask me 🙂 Beth Revis is holding a contest to win over 50 YA signed novels, so if you have never read them and are curious you should totally enter! If you click on the banner on the right you will be directed to the information to enter the contest.
May the odds be ever in your favor.