Why I Will Always Defend YA Books | Tea Time Talk

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Hello all! Hopefully you’ve got your tea (or drink of your choice) and ready for another discussion post. Just by looking at my blog for a few minutes, it’s obvious that I love and read mostly YA books. Throughout my time of talking about books on the internet, I’ve discovered that some people seem to have a stigma against the YA subsection. It’s terrible to have a stigma against any book without a valid reason, but today I want to discuss why I will always defend young adult books.

WHAT IS THE “YA” SUBSECTION?

Ah, I’m so glad you asked. Let’s take a moment to discuss what makes a book fall into the YA category. I have never felt that it is the targeted age of the audience, even though that’s what many people appear to believe. For example, my mother still actively buys and reads picture books, and adores them (even though both her children will soon be adults).

I have always believed that books are separated into MG vs. YA vs. Adult based on the age of the protagonist. For something to be considered a young adult book, I like to think ages 17-20 are the sweet spot. Although, there is no official age range that I’m aware of.

THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST

YA Books Aren’t As Developed As Other Books

Let me stop you right there. This argument is so annoying, because it is so far from the truth. I have read young adult books that are a million times more developed than adult counterparts. Yes, not every single book in the subsection is without flaws, but that applies to every single subsection or genre of books.

I Don’t Want To Read From the Perspective of a Teenager

Yeah, that’s a you problem. Don’t be so close minded, and expand your world. You’ll thank me for it eventually.

They Don’t Deal With “Real World” Issues

I have read countless amounts of YA books that have a fictional world working WAY better than Earth. Also, young adult books most definitely tackle real world issues head on. Take a look at For Today I Am A Boy by Kim Fu which tackles stigma against the trans community, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas which highlights the Black Lives Matter movement,Β A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas which shines the light on the issues of abusive relationships, and evenΒ Harry Potter which shows the true power of love and friendship.

Books like these give teenagers a voice so their opinions may be heard, and it also allows them to educated themselves on various topics in an entertaining method.

WHY I WILL FIGHT TO MY DEATH FOR YA BOOKS

Why would I not want to fight for YA books to get the respect they deserve? There are so many fantastic books out there in the YA subsection that are well developed, have amazing characters, work towards spreading more diversity, send powerful messages, and entertain someone. I don’t care how old you are, every single person should be able to enjoy whatever type of book they want to read without judgement.

I won’t lie, sometimes I will avoid reading my current young adult book out in public, because I don’t anyone to judge me on what I’m reading. Isn’t that terrible? I absolutely despise the fact that this even occurs to me, but this is something that has always bothered me. It took me a while to actually come up with the reason why I didn’t read much in public, and now that I have… I hate the reason.

I don’t know why this stigma developed against YA books, but I truly hope it will dissipate over time. This subsection gives voices to those who may not other be heard, it creates relatable stories for people in their awkward “not-a-teen-not-an-adult” stage, and it could allow for older readers to reflect on those years. For some it doesn’t even have to relate to age, it just creates a bunch of new fantastic books to read.

So even if I do move past my love for YA in the future, I will never stop defending the books themselves because there is always another person in my current position.

I hope that you will continue (or start) to defend them with me!

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LET’S DISCUSS

Why do you think a stigma against young adult books developed? What do the words “young adult” mean to you in terms of books? Any other thoughts? Please d0 share them with me, I love talking with you all!

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36 thoughts on “Why I Will Always Defend YA Books | Tea Time Talk

  1. I think the stigma of young adult books was built simply from the name young adult and also because it is relatively new as a genre compared to other genres that aim at a older audience. I also think it’s partly because a lot of adults look at teens and think about them as being naive, childish, and maybe a bit stupid. Many can’t get past that thought process and apply that to what they think about ya. It’s sad, but it’s something to think about and advocate to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh that’s a great point! I totally forgot that YA as a genre is still a relatively new idea. That definitely plays into it also, and I hope if more adults started reading YA books that could help change their point of view. Thanks for your awesome ideas! πŸ˜€

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  2. Ugh I hate when people make fun of me for reading Young Adult books. I actually prefer to read from the point of a teenager, I have no idea why. I guess I can relate to teenagers because I was one once? Lol who knows! But there is that stigma around YA that it’s inferior to adult books because it is for kids…which is stupid. There are plenty of adult books out there that are absolutely terrible and not even suitable for adults! For me, I love YA because it is almost always about the main character finding their feet and growing stronger as a person despite all the evil things going on in the world. It gives me hope and makes me look at my life in a different light. Great discussion post! Sorry I rambled haha.

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    1. Me too! I am a young adult right now so I can definitely relate to the point of view, so I’m sure that helps. I’ve read bunches of adult books that are terrible compared to some YA books, so the stigma is so misplaced. I love that viewpoint! It’s so hopeful and cheerful, and no worries about rambling (I do it too) 😁

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  3. I think a lot of people don’t actually know what YA is all about. If you say YA, some think they’re just books that are about girls crushing on unrealistic boys and only use words like “like”; “OMG” and “whatever”. They’ve probably only read a couple of YA books they had a bad experience with and then formed their opinion on the whole genre, which is ridiculous. There are so many bad books out there, no matter what the genre is.

    I also agree that a lot of adults look down on YA because they think teenagers can’t possibly deal with real problems or know something about the real world. Yes, they’re young, but that doesn’t mean they’re stupid. Honestly, I can’t stand adults belittling teenagers.

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    1. I totally agree, a lot of people who have a stigma against the genre either don’t have a good idea of what it is, or had one bad experience and formed their opinion. I absolutely hate it when adults bully teenagers as well, because they were teenagers once too and I’m sure they know how much it hurts to be treated differently by another adult just because of your age!

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  4. I completely agree with everything you’ve said! I love YA but I think there is a real stigma. I especially found it when I was doing my uni application and I had to talk about my favourite books I didn’t feel like YA was a respected answer. But The Hate U Give is a great example, I think it is one of the most needed and relevant books of our time. Great post😊

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    1. Thank you! I can totally relate to you on that, especially whenever someone who is older asks what my favorite book is. I almost don’t want to tell me because I’m embarrassed that I’m not reading classics, or adult deemed “good” books. It’s the dumbest feeling ever. Glad you enjoyed the post! πŸ˜„

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  5. This was a great discussion! I think tbh, there are a lot of genres which have their own stigmas attached to them. Making judgements about genres is so common amongst people. For eg, there is a bigger stigma against new adult books, and considered to be trash by many. There are stereotypes about classical literature being the only type of literature which is serious and knowledgeable enough. I think the best thing we can do is ignore them and concentrate on our reading, because these stigmas will continue unless some major change happens.

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    1. Thank you! That’s a fantastic point, like a lot of people also are quick to judge NA romance type books (I know I’m kinda guilty of this one). I totally agree, that’s a great thing to concentrate on. I don’t know why everyone can’t be happy that the world is still reading! 😊

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  6. Yes to all of these! I disagree when people say YA doesn’t reflect real problems, they do reflect teenagers’ problems because that’s who their protagonist are, teenagers. And let’s not forget the “YA isn’t a real literature” argument. It enrages me every time hahaha every book is literature and people shouldn’t shame each other for reading what they like. I always love YA but recently I feel like my preference has started to shift but it’s not at all because of these stereotypes. It’s because I feel like as I grow older my problems start to become irrelevant with those YA protagonists. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading YA, because I won’t haha great discussion! πŸ˜€

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    1. Yay! Ohhh how I absolutely hate the “YA isn’t real literature” argument. Whenever someone says that I just want to ask them what makes them think they have the right to decide what’s “real” or not. I’m kinda in the same boat as you, especially when it comes to contemporary novels. I find I now have difficulty relating to the protagonist, but I’ll keep trying it! Thanks for your awesome input! πŸ˜„

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  7. Yaaaaaas. I mean, no one has made fun of me for reading YA books (they just make fun of me for reading books in general argh) but I definitely agree. And how can they say it doesn’t tackle real life issues??? Do you see all the amazing contemporaries coming out right now addressing so many things??? And whoa. Not as developed as other books? I would think that THAT’S something to describe MG books. But that’s just me lol. I think YA books are so complex and so amazing, and I just don’t get how people don’t like them.

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    1. Me too! It’s the weirdest thing because when people ask me what I do outside of school for fun and I tell them I read, they’re always like “oh… Sounds fun…” and it leaves me so confused. Yes, it is fun, so bye! πŸ˜‚ I know, the publishing game is KILLING it with all the tough issue books coming out recently. YA books are definitely so complicated and can be AMAZING, and I don’t know why some people inherently dislike them either. πŸ˜€

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      1. I know! My friends and I went to the school library to get books to read over the break this week, and when we came back, there were boys like, “What are those for?” And we were like, “Um… to read?” And they were like, “Over the break???” Then they said something else, but I forgot. πŸ˜„ I KNOW! All the new releases look so amazing–I have yet to read them of course, but I’ve read their synopses and they sure address some real-life issues.

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      2. It’s like reading is some kind of mythological creature! At least you have some friends who like to read for fun, a lot of my friends either don’t see the appeal or are too busy. Yeah, so many good releases that are just waiting to be read! 😁

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      3. I know! I just don’t know how people don’t like reading… πŸ˜„ I need to read them so bad! But 1) my library gets new books really late, and 2) I’m #broke and can’t get buy any books, so I end up reading them really late. πŸ˜„

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      4. Aww no that’s the only downside to libraries! You could always try e-books also, they tend to be cheaper than hardcover or paperbacks books. Book Depository sometimes will also have new releases for a little cheaper if e-books aren’t your thing. πŸ˜‰

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  8. I really hate the stigma for reading YA books. Although for me, I’ve never been able to describe what a YA book is. I don’t agree that it’s simply a book with a YA protagonist. There are books that fit that that I definitely don’t consider YA. For me there’s a certain….tone, I guess, in a YA book. I notice it when I’m reading it. That’s not to say it’s bad. I love reading YA books too. But it’s more to do with the writing for me.
    In general I love reading books with young protags. I think for me, everything seems to be more intense at that age and I read to feel what the characters are feeling so why wouldn’t that be good? I’ve read some adult books that are so boring!

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    1. Oooh I think that’s a great way to think of what a YA book is! There definitely does seem to be a distinct tone for the genre that fits well. I love reading them as well, and with all those hormones, I’m sure things do feel intense! πŸ˜‚

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  9. Sometimes I don’t even pay attention to whether a book I’m reading is YA or not. I look for great stories first, genre second (well, I seek out mostly fantasy, so maybe that might not be entirely true…). I will always be in pursuit of a good story (I don’t think there are many things in life that are better than a good story); it just so happens that a lot of good stories these days are sorted into YA. Although, maybe there is something a bit special about the genre; having a character around my own age, especially if it’s fantasy because that’s about as close as I’m going to get to fighting dragons and saving the world πŸ˜„

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  10. This is an excellent discussion topic! It’s quite frustrating to have to defend our positions as ardent supporters of the YA genre. Too often I feel a bit out of place in my English major classes. While everyone’s speaking about their favorite adult literary fiction pieces, I’m over in the corner thinking about all my favorite YA books and trying to think of a way to make my reasons sound legit. But you know what? They are! I find more than entertainment in YA books. I’ve read some amazing stories in the YA genre, stories that have touched on many important topics and themes such as love and friendships, abuse, mental illness, family dynamics, drugs, disabilities, and so much more.

    I think the term “young adult” throws some people off because in many cases, the term is associated with naivetΓ© or ignorance, which simply is not true. Eh, I’ll defend YA to my last breath, too! It’s an amazing genre that I can learn from AND relate to on a personal and emotional level. Also, I can transport myself to any world and any situation that I could possibly imagine. So there LOL

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    1. Thank you! It is quite frustrating, and thank you for sharing your experiences! The term definitely does seem to throw some people off, because of the terms associated with young adult. I think that’s so annoying, along with the fact that a whole subsection even NEEDS defending. The transportation aspect is so neat πŸ˜‰

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  11. Thank you so much for making this post! This is such a great topic of discussion. I really do not understand why people would make harsh statements against readers who choose to read from the YA genre. While it is true that the term “Young Adult” would cause people to think this is solely for teenagers and hence, completely disregard this genre, I think people fail to understand the vast important topics which are present in the novels: mental illnesses, female empowerment, friendships, diversity etc. It helped me to become more open-minded and try to understand and respect others for who they are. I honestly got out of my biggest holes in my life by reading YA. These are books which give a sense of hope, empowerment and how to pick yourself up when everything is going against you and messages like that are beneficial no matter what age you are.

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! YES empowerment is SO SO important, and young adult books do an absolute fantastic job of highlighting this. The coming of age message that’s present in a lot of ya books also can help many people through that part of their life. The messages totally are applicable throughout your whole life! πŸ˜†

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  12. I was thinking about this… And do you think it also has something to do with the fact that the majority (not all of course, but a large percentage) of YA readers are female? Because I was thinking about the impact that the Twilight movies had on the stigmas surrounding YA novels and from my experience many people think YA books are teen romances with hot, moody guys that girls can fangirl over (which is definitely true in some cases but YA books always have A LOT more than that). Anyway, just a thought haha πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm now that you mention it, I do think that may have an impact. Funnily enough not all teenage girls care for romance/contemporary πŸ˜‚ give me a dragon slaying queen over a stereotypical hot guy any day! Definitely an awesome thought, thanks for sharing!

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