Sunday, October 16, 2022

Why YA Revisited

Ex Libra by Michael Parkes

In 2017, five years ago to the day, I asked you all for a show of hands - how many over 18'ers read YA (Young Adult) Fiction?


The stats then were clear: 55% of YA Fiction readers were over eighteen. Now, it's more like 70%. 

This expansion of the YA market boils down to the reasons stated before - YA Fiction tends to:

have a fast pace

undergo rigorous editing

deal with real-life issues

portray visceral emotions

be more affordable

- and five years later, with the help of researchers like Monica Hay,  we have additional reasons to consider.

More Reasons why Adults Love YA

1.  Escapism - This is where you get to leave your everyday life behind and experience a land of fantasy and adventure. Those over 18 may actually have more responsibilities to escape from, making the other benefits of YA especially enticing.

2.  Less Graphic Triggers - Even though YA immerses readers in real-life topics, the sex, violence, torture and profanity are not as overpowering as they are in some adult books of the same genre. If there are triggers, a warning is often given by the author about what kind of potentially triggering content is contained in the pages. Some readers really appreciate the heads-up.

3. Idealism - YA books tend to be hopeful in their philosophy. They have, if not 'happy endings' then an element of fulfilment and satisfaction not always seen in Adult fiction. 

4. Nostalgia - There are a lot of firsts in YA fiction, first love, first kiss, first conflict, first betrayal, first success... to remember what those moments were like, and how far we have come, can add a whole new level of fulfilment to the adult reader.

#5 Pushing the Edge
- YA as a whole was one of the first to embrace diversity in characters in writers. As well, YA books can bend the rules of genre, formatting and POV (point of view). 

We see genre blenders embracing crossovers between contemporary fantasy, SF thrillers, SF Fantasy, LGBT Historical, you name it. 

There are also YA books coming out in unique formatting such as verse, diaries, and social media instant messaging. 

And, talk about multiple point of view characters handled in unique ways. For example, in one story, the main protagonist is written in the first person: "I woke up with a knife to my throat." But all other POVs are written in the third person: "He waited for the right moment to speak." It's quite intriguing!

How about you? 

Are you reading YA for any of the above reasons, or perhaps one not mentioned yet? We at the sup would love to hear about it! 



Kim Falconer, currently writing as A K Wilder, has just released Crown of Bones, a YA Epic Fantasy with Curse of Shadows coming out December 6, 2022.

Kim can be found on  AKWilder TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Throw the bones, read your horoscopes or Raise Your Phantom on the site 

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