The benefits of young adult books
December 14, 2011 in Apocalypse World
As a society on the brink of becoming an apocalypse world, you’re probably wondering who has time for young adult books? Or why would we bother when there are life and death circumstances looming over our heads?
In actuality, young adult books aka YA fiction, offer more than just a respite from reality. For example, young adult fantasy is one of the most evolving genres in existence. While the demographic is ages 12-18, the readership is actually much wider, including middle aged men and women. The themes that young adult books revolve around are relatable to readers of all ages—relationships, sexuality, drug abuse, change, and transition. The content tends to be edgier than other genres—at times, even controversial due to mature content.
While young adult books are often criticized for a lack of structure and moral content, there are myriad benefits to this type of fiction. The stories and characters can teach readers important life lessons and positively influence them during difficult times of transition. When you feel that an author or their characters have shared similar challenges and emotions, it helps you to understand that you’re not alone and that others empathize with your situation.
While the young adult fantasy novels that we’ve seen catapult to success over the last few years have paranormal and supernatural elements that make them unrealistic, they are still relatable and can help readers evolve. While there aren’t really wizards, vampires and werewolves among us, we can still understand the need to fit in, recover from a lost love or find a mate. Readers of all ages, but especially teenagers, face difficulties with self discovery and social issues—when they follow young adult fantasy characters through similar circumstances, they experience a sense of comfort.
As we all try to navigate the issues of an imminent apocalypse world and fulfill our need to find a mate, we can gain important insight from the protagonists in young adult books. Whether they’re also trying to save the pearls or are simply escaping issues in their own minds, readers everywhere can stand to benefit from books from this time-tested genre.