Ever since I was little I have loved to read. Books were my television. I would imagine myself as one of the characters in the book, or sometimes I would make up a new character. Often times I would change the actions different characters would take, sometimes I would even change the ending of the story. Books allowed me to escape into a creative part of my mind that did not otherwise exist.
These imaginings would play over and over in my head, as I drifted to sleep at night, got bored in math class during the day, and while I played on the big-toy after lunch. They probably contributed a lot more than I currently realize when it comes to my love of creating worlds and stories within my own writing, and it really makes me wonder why such negative stigmas are attached to young adult fiction.
Young adult novels are stereotyped, often times, as junk; as books written by authors who weren’t good enough to be published for an “adult” audience so they had to settle for teenagers. These books are stereotyped as poorly written with undeveloped plots and stagnant characters, or, at least, that is what I often here from people who are writers themselves, I am in class with, or are professors. While these assumptions can prove to be true, personally, I love young adult books. I always have.
I have read “adult fiction” books in several genres, from nonfiction to romance to literary fiction to mystery novels, but none of them have ever gotten my imagination working like young adult books have. Sure, I enjoy them and read them over and over again, some of them have even inspired me to write, but I have never lay awake at night playing the plot over and over in my mind, inserting myself in the story. This could be chalked up to my growing up and being too old to play games like that anymore. But the thing is, I never stopped. When I have trouble sleeping, or am running on the treadmill, or am sitting on a monotonous el ride, I am in Harry Potter where Sirius doesn’t die, or Maximum Ride where she is still leader of the flock, or A Great and Terrible Beauty where Kartik didn’t have to be sacrificed. And, honestly, I love it there.