Discussion: Adults reading YA

Posted June 7, 2014 in Discussions / Leave a comment!


Many of you probably saw that article floating around about how adults should be embarrassed to read young adult books. I would link to it but I can’t find it and I don’t want to give them more views. Anyways, the article basically went on and on about how those books are for teenagers and adults shouldn’t be reading them. Blah blah blah.

So my question for you is:

How do you feel about young adult books? Should adults be reading them?

I am 20 years old and I still LOVE to read young adult books. Even better, I also will read some middle grade books once and a while too. Why should I be judged for that. I judge people for not reading in general. Who cares what you’re reading.

Another point I though of was how come we’re judged when we read young adult books, but when the movie comes out it’s perfectly acceptable? The article specifically picked on Twilight and Divergent. First of all them compared the two (who does that?). And why do they get judged but The Hunger Games is a huge series that everyone has seen? Harry Potter as well! Why is that ok but reading it isn’t?

Plus aren’t books put in the young adult category because the main character is a teenager? Same with middle grade and adult. That doesn’t mean the main target is for that age. There was a statistic floating around saying that the majority of young adult readers were over 30. Take that world!

I really just don’t understand people sometimes.

Question: What do you guys think? Should adults be embarrassed because they read ya? What about those who even read middle grade? Why do you think we’re being judged for it?


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22 responses to “Discussion: Adults reading YA

  1. I am much older than you and I will still read Young Adult books. If the story catches your eye and you enjoy it, who cares how old you are! Just because I am of a certain age, I don’t feel that I should only be allowed to read books about people my age, or a certain style of book. I love a variety of books. I would assume many of the authors of Young Adult books are older than “target age”, so why shouldn’t the readers be older also.

  2. Amy

    I’m going to be 40 next month and several of my friends and I all enjoy YA book. Those who criticize others for what they enjoy reading need to find something better to do with their time in my opinion.

  3. I agree with you, what does it matter as long as you read? Does that also mean then that teenagers are only allowed to read young adult? So no crime or anything which is usually based for older readers. That’s what I mainly read in my mid-late teens, didn’t really start YA until I was an adult, apart from few exceptions. Harry Potter being one of course. Some YA books deal with real issues too, I sometimes feel that shelving under YA is bad, because younger readers will want to read it, also might put some older readers off. I am trying not to judge a book by it’s genre 🙂

  4. I’m 21 and I love reading YA. I’ve had a couple of my friends make fun of me for it but honestly I couldn’t care less!

    John Green talks a bit about the reason he writes it which is that the beauty of writing about teenagers is the fact that they are experiencing these emotions and events for the first time and it’s really refreshing to write (and in my case, to read) from that point of view.

    • I like them because a lot of adults books are way older adults. Teenagers are closer to my age I guess. I think that the romance is better in them too. First time romances are cuter!

  5. I just wrote a blog post about this! (It’s much more rant-y than yours lol.) I’d be interested in your take.

    In answer to your question: I am in my early 30s, and I LOVE reading YA. I also write it. I think there is a lot to still be discovered in YA, and the possibilities are endless. So much happens in the teen and young adult years; so much about life is changing, and there are so many challenges to be faced and overcome. I find it more interesting than adult fiction in many cases, though I am particular about my reading of any genre.

    • I find that adult authors are so into writing nicely that it just isn’t as easy to read. They talk all proper and the vocabulary is so intense. Young adult is easy and quick to read I find.

  6. I think everyone is allowed to read any genre he or she likes. No one should be embarassed for reading any book. No matter what book someone is reading; they should be proud that they are actually reading something, be that YA or Erotic novels. I am 22 and I also enjoy YA, as well as children’s book 🙂

    • I think people should be a little embarrassed reading erotica novels haha. That’s just cuz I think it’s weird. But I wouldn’t ever judge someone for it.

      • I read erotica too and I’m not embarrassed about it- don’t write reviews about those books though, because my mom and grandma read my blog, and that would be a bit awkward, lol. But, really most of them aren’t that crazy, and its a good way to get some ideas to spice up my marriage 😉

      • Haha that’s true. I shouldn’t judge all erotica. I just hate that it only became popular recently because of 50 shades, which is a weird book.

  7. I was unaware of this article, but that’s ridiculous! And I always feel as if the people bashing YA are unfamiliar with YA books (besides one or two) and therefore aren’t qualified to comment on the subject anyway.

    First, YA is an age range, like children’s or adult books. So you cannot make the blanket statement “All YA books are trashy” or whatever. If someone said, “All adults books are trashy” or even “All adult books were good,” we’d rightly think they were insane because that’s a gross generalization.

    Second, YA as a book group is essentially a marketing tool, not a statement about quality, not even always a statement about content. As you mention, classifying a book as YA generally means the protagonist is a teenager. So…is The Catcher in the Rye YA? It isn’t sold that way, because the YA book field wasn’t really a “thing” when it was published, but, if it were published today, it would probably be in the YA section. And there there are a number of books–classics, bestsellers, etc.–that are sold in both the adult and YA book markets: The Golden Compass, Sabriel, Life of Pi, Mistborn, The Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre. I could go on.

    Finally, people need to stop judging what other people are reading in general. Let’s say we all did admit (inexplicably) that YA isn’t that good. Does it matter? Does one always have to read high literature for the sake of improving one’s mind? Or can we just sit down and read a “not so good” book for the sake of entertainment, just because it’s fun?

  8. No one should ever be embarrassed about what they read! It’s the fact that people enjoy reading that’s important. It’s definitely hypocritical to think it’s okay for adults to see a kid movie or watch a kid show (Spongebob anyone? I love that show) but not to read “kids books.” I’m 26 and have a ton of YA and middle grade fiction and I love it. Fortunately no one has ever said anything personally to me about reading them because I’d probably go off on a long rant.

  9. The original article is being discussed on CNN today (you can go on their website to read their article, on the article, lol 🙂 ). I’m a 35 year old mom of three kids, I have a BA in English, and I read YA all the time. I also read ‘adult’ books too. I like good books. Period.

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