Am I Moving on from YA?


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?

11 thoughts on “Am I Moving on from YA?

  1. I totally agree with you. lately I just don’t feel like reading YA and more strangely I cannot related to it now. I’ve been looking for good book recommendations myself but I’ve been unsuccessful. I’m currently reading station eleven which is like not my cup of tea but let’s see! Great post ❤❤

  2. I agree with you. I mean I am way out of high school and even college at this point and I still read a lot of YA. I usually say that I do because of my job, and that is certainly a factor but what I am finding is that I am not really connecting with the books I am reading anymore, and the ones that leave more impact on me are tending more toward the adult fiction side.

    1. I would say this is probably a normal occurrence for YA readers my age, and I’m sure there’ll be a point when I’ll return to it with the enthusiasm I once did. But for now, I’m definitely enjoying expanding my reading horizons!

  3. This is a really great post, Emily! I’ve been feeling this way for a while too, especially lately. I feel like I’m moving on from YA too; I still read YA, but I find that I rarely enjoyed them anymore. Those that contains more serious topics appeal to me more, as well as adult or non-fiction. It’s really rare to read a YA book that still captivate me, even though the premise might be interesting, I find the execution and the characters in general do not appeal to me anymore :/

  4. I think that it is fantastic that you are reading from a variety of genres. I often find myself gravitating to more mature reads as well. It is sometimes hard to know where the YA aspect ends and begins. Read what makes you happy! 🙂

  5. I love this discussion! I’m 22, and while I still love and read a lot of YA, I’m also opening up to new things, as well. For instance, I’m interested in more adult, classical and even non-fiction (the last one, as you also mentioned about yourself, is so weird for me! I don’t read a lot of it, but some is still more than none before.) I kind of feel like YA Fantasy is still “for me” most of the time, as the age of the characters, or me having similar experiences with them is rarely an issue. YA Contemporary I’ve been struggling with for a while, and I think it’s time to more or less let it go – I’ll still read titles that really strike my interest, but yeah, I’m gravitating more towards Adult Contemporary… which is still imperfect, because a lot of times the adults are in their 30s and older, but *shrug*

    Anyhow, if you enjoy Historical Fiction/Mystery I’d wholeheartedly recommend Simone St. James, whose protagonist are (as far as I remember) in their 20s and 30s. If you’re looking for Rom-Com like novels I’d rec Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities, which feature characters in their 20s-30s from the world of the theater. I adored The Death of Mrs. Westaway, which has a 19 year old protagonist, but that only works if you like adult mystery/thriller. I feel like these recs are USELESS lol, but the best I could do rn. Also, sorry for the long comment.

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