Today I’m grateful for Young Adult Literature.
It occurs to me, looking at my bookshelf now, that YA lit has brought me countless hours of entertainment. How many times have I escaped to the world of Harry Potter, in book or movie form? How often did I scan the pages of Mugglenet.com, dissecting every word J.K. Rowling ever wrote? How many tears has John Green stolen from me? How many laughs from Maureen Johnson? And now, Stephanie Meyer, whose Twilight series has been my recent literary obsession (and probably soon-to-be cinematic obsession as well). How many times has her narrative made my heart skip a beat, taken my breath away, broken my heart, literally had me sobbing from behind the pages and then euphorically happy?
I’ll argue as long as the day that YA lit is not just kids’ stuff. I’m almost 25 years old, and these are some of the best books I’ve ever read. The aforementioned authors are the only ones to ever have elicited such physical emotional reactions from me, and I think that’s really saying something on the subject of their caliber. Not to mention the symbolism that runs rampant through so many of these books, most notably J.K. Rowling’s, John Green’s and Yann Martel’s works. I also think that YA books are so spectacularly filled with messages of hope. With the world as it is today, it’s highly commendable, in my opinion, that something geared toward the youth can carry such an optimistic outlook.
So I’m thankful for the talents of these authors and for this genre of literature. I’m thankful for being introduced to this niche that is so adept at allowing me to escape the real world for a little bit of each day, that’s given me characters for whom I care so much, afforded me some really fantastic conversations with my friends and continued to add fuel to the fire that is my love of reading.