This is a question I’ve been trying to answer for myself for a while now. The less I’ve been reading, the more apparent my tastes are becoming, however strange that may seem. But this question came to light again when I heard about Leigh Bardugo’s upcoming book, Ninth House.
I don’t know much about the book, but from what I can tell it follows a college-aged protagonist and confronts some heavier and darker issues than YA often does.
My busy schedule has made me be much more choosey with the books I decide to pick up for pleasure, and I’ve noticed a lot of influences from school coursework and my surroundings being integrated into my new interests. I’ve been reading a lot more non-fiction lately, which I never thought I’d ever say. I’ve also been discovering an interest in philosophy, politics, and bigger (maybe even existential) issues than I had before.
Not that YA doesn’t have its share of books about these topics, but as I’ve grown into an adult, I’m starting to become more interested in books that deal with characters, or perspectives, that I can relate to on a more one to one basis.
Books set in high school just don’t seem to interest me as much anymore. I went through that part of my life and have since moved on — not to say that I’ll never want to return to that time through a book. There are plenty of high school rooted books that I will still rave about today. But I think it’s because of the complexity of their stories — they aren’t just about the age.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m maturing. And I’m looking for books that will do that with me. Although I’ve been MIA from the book community for a while, I have heard murmurings that many new releases being marketed as YA are actually more in line with New Adult or Adult fiction. While the marketing strategy itself is problematic (that’s a conversation for a different post), I’m happy to learn that this college age group is finally getting recognition in books, and more than just raunchy romances.
When I got to college, I started looking for more relatable situations in the New Adult genre but was sad to find it quite limited to explicit romances. College is so much more than that, and I hope that more writing about characters in their very late teens and early twenties (whether in college or not) will be released. Just like high school, this age is a crucial part of shaping who people become and definitely needs to be written about more.
I’m writing this post not only as a conversation starter but also as a sort of announcement that this blog, as it has always been, but maybe more so now, will be featuring more titles that fall outside of the range of YA.
YA will probably always be my favorite genre, but I’m expanding my horizons and I want to share that with you! I feel like a lot of my readers are in the same position as I am, and I hope that we can venture into these new genres and stories together! Don’t take this as me not reading YA anymore — that’s for sure not the case. But I can see more of a balance happening between YA and other genres, and I want to cover that here on the blog as well.
So with all that being said…
Does anyone have suggestions about books that could fill this void for me? What are your thoughts on the expansion of the YA genre to cover more ages and situations? Are you feeling similarly about maturing out of the YA genre?