Why YA fiction is huge?

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey # 3) by Julie Kagawa

Young-adult fiction (as Wikipedia would define it) is a fiction written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents and (of course) young adults, roughly ages 14 to 21.

I have encountered someone who has asked about my opinion to why YA novels are so in today. I totally did not know what to say as I am not an expert, until I gave it so much thought that I think (again, I think) I have the answer to that.

Most YA novels nowadays sells more than million copies. YA authors gain a lot of recognition from different award-winning bodies, and acquires a big amount of money from their works (but that’s if they did their works right). Also, every single time that I’d check what’s today’s bestsellers in different reputable websites, I find a lot of YA novels on their lists.

Should I be surprised? To be honest, no.

Even though YA novels are being marketed to young adults, its real audience encompasses to different age ranges. From middle-grades, to the adults. You know why?

After giving some thought about it, I finally figured out why. Here are some of them:

1) There are lots of movies and TV series nowadays which are based on YA books.

From Twilight to The Vampire Diaries, TV and film companies have jumped into the hype of YA lit. This one, I think, should be the last one on this list but it’s too obvious I thought I should mention it first. TV is the widest medium of all media that there is. You can never deny the fact that this is one of the biggest reason to why YA books, which have been adapted into a series, and which worked very well on its new home (meaning, the TV medium), have become successful. Everyone wants to know where the books and the series differ. Intrigue, that how it’s called.

2) Young people want to dive into the world of teenagers.

Young people are always the curious ones, aren’t they? They want to be out of their mini-clothing and be part of something new; something different. Somehow, these books help them satisfy their cravings to become older. These YA books are their guide to the growing up they wanted to experience. They try to visualize themselves being on the same position of the lead characters, few years away from their own ages. It could be considered as the modern kids’ first step to being a teenager.

3) Old people want to feel how it’s like to be teenager again.

Who wouldn’t miss anyone’s glory days? Teenage years are the best years of everyone’s life, so my high school teacher used to say before. You are not an adult yet but you’re no longer a child. It’s the kind of struggle every adults want to go through again. The kind of excitement a teenager’s being reckless gives is something that would only work for a teenager. Imagine an adult trying to make cute faces when she sees her crush? Is it going to be pleasant to look at? For me, not really. There are things that only teenagers can do which adults can’t as they would never be able to pull these actions really great. Somehow, the stereotypical characteristic of an adult is to act like an adult. Or probably, it’s the proper one to do. So in the end, they don’t act like teenagers. Through these YA books, they re-live the teenage lives they have long left behind.

4) Teenagers just want to be teenagers.

Why do we even have to wait for this one? This should be the first one on this list. Teenagers just wanna be teenagers. These years seems to pass by so quickly that after a lot of dilemmas (teenage dilemmas) they have faced, it still feels like it isn’t enough. There are things that they want to experience but they don’t get to because they may be afraid of dramas, or they just can’t get the drama they need and want. Either way, I think YA fiction gives them the idea of how it would turn out like to be in that kind of situation. It’s something that would satisfy your hunger for experience when you are yet to experience it.

I am not an expert when it comes to YA. But as I said, I just gave myself time to think about it, and these are the things that came through my mind.

So, what do you think? Do you agree, disagree, or is there something else missing?


Posted on 01/06/2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I love teen fiction, writing it AND reading.

    I have one YA FANTASY ADVENTURE in print and in eBook, THE TOONIES INVADE SILICON VALLEY. Amazon mislabeled the original print version as ages 4 up…so I must change that. I think it’s exciting because Steve Wozniak, Woz, of Apple Computer fame, let me use him as a character in the book. It was fun to write…

    This article is interesting and I agree with it 100%.

    Hugs – Betty Dravis

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