Featured image by Lidyanne Aquino.
We all know that the teenage years of our life are not easy. Around 15 we suddenly realize that the world is not all that we thought it could be, that the world is a much darkest place than we ever thought it could be. There are constant floods of emotions that are hard to deal with, as well as social pressure and academic pressure. It’s around 15 that we realize we need to understand who we are in this world that we do not understand.
Young Adult literature can help teenagers to understand what role they play in this world. Growing up in Nebraska, I never saw a lot of diversity. Nebraska simply does not have that wide of a variety of people (we all know this). Personally, I believe YA books opened my mind to the fact that every person has their own story, their own feelings, and their own struggles.
Shannon Hale states in The Young Adult Book Tropes that Ate the World that many adults have problems with YA books due to the amount of love triangles and emotional protagonists. I hate to break it to you guys, but teenagers and young adults are emotional people. Meaning, we are going to relate to the whiny girl who falls in love with the vampire instantly. YA books are good for teenagers because these whiny protagonists show them that they are not the only ones who have troubles controlling their emotions or they are not the only ones who do not get along with their parents.
I spent a lot of my teenage years escaping my problems by delving into a YA fantasy world. The YA books I read usually ended up teaching me something about the world or about myself or about how to solve my problems. Teenagers need YA books about young protagonists finding themselves in order to find themselves.
I am hoping to read more nonfiction YA books this semester. I usually strictly read fantasy novels because I am a fantasy nerd, but I think nonfiction YA books will broaden my view on what YA books are. Of course, I am going to be reading some fantasy books since I love them! If I had to choose an area of expertise in YA books, then I would either choose fantasy YA books or romance YA books.