I’d like to think of myself as an equal opportunity reader. You’ve got your classics, your mysteries, chic lit and even the occasional non-fiction page-turner. I love (and will devour) them all.
And as my bank account–and bookshelf ridden apartment–will tell you, I will buy them all.
My favorite genre of books however, my go-to when I’m looking for something to make me think all the thinks and feel all the feels is Young Adult (or YA). As an adulting (or attempting to adult) 28-year old woman, you may wonder and ask why my number one choice in books are those aimed for my much younger counter parts. Well I’m here to tell you that I read YA books because they’re awesome!
And apparently I’m not the only adulting person who thinks so. According to an article in the Denver Post, more adults than ever are picking up books like The Hunger Games and The Chronicles of Narnia. So why the sudden shift in reading dynamics? I believe it has to do with the thoughts one gets while immersed in a good story. Age or genre aside, a good story is a good story.
What makes YA books so adaptable is their wide range of thematic elements, all of which combine to make the reader learn from, sympathize with and relate to. Some of the lessons I’ve walked away with after reading a YA book are even greater now because I am at an age where I have experienced similar things and have had known or met people–friends, family, co-workers, etc. who have come into my life in some way that were similar to the characters in the story. I’ve felt the joy, the pain, the gratitude and the challenges that were expressed.
It may sound strange, but when I read YA books, I feel connected in a way to the person I was, and who I’m still becoming. It takes me back to a time when I was young, eager and hopeful, when I had the whole world at my fingertips–and it reminds me in many ways that I still am, that I still do.
If you haven’t yet dipped your toes in the YA waters, I’ve compiled a list of 10 awe-inspiring quotes from some of my favorite YA novels to prove that they’re not just for young adults.
1. “The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.” —Paper Towns by John Green
2. “So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” —The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
3. “She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” — Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
4. “When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. You’d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside—walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a Mack truck to come along and finish the job. It’s the saddest thing I know.” —Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
5. “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” —The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
6. “Dreams are only dreams until you wake up and make them real.” —It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
7. “I am coming to terms with the fact that loving someone requires a leap of faith, and that a soft landing is never guaranteed.” —This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
8. “You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.” —Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
9. “One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It’s all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can’t go all the way around.” —The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
10. “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, the most inexhaustible form of magic we have, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” —Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling