Young adult literature is under appreciated


Megan Tao

One of my personal favorites, “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart, allows readers to see the inner turmoil of a seemingly perfect American family. This book also shows the still present issues between different economic social classes and races.

Megan Tao, Scot Scoop Editor-in-Chief

The biggest reason for young adult (YA) literature’s bad reputation is within the name itself: young adult.

For a book to be labeled YA is to degrade the book of its literacy value and makes it not good enough for anybody but teens. The title of YA literature is associated with the stereotype of bad literature and the unrealistic “happily ever after” ending.

According to The Daily Dot, YA literature is looked down upon for being simplistic, shallow, and “girly.”

Although there are some YA books that do fit those descriptions, many are considered great works of literature. Some people are hesitant to read them because of the YA label.

YA books have been getting more sophisticated and meaningful, with discussing topics such as rape, suicide, racism, and discovering one’s sexual orientation, rather than the exhausted topics of unrequited love and petty high school drama.

“The Perks of Being A Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, a YA book, follows a shy high school freshmen that has to deal with suicidal thoughts, that we learn throughout the book are repercussions from being molested as a child. He learns to value and really live his life by becoming more outgoing with the help of his new friends, whom themselves are judged throughout the book for being different.

Another reason this book and so many other YA books break the stereotype of this genre, are the realistic endings. Many books with realistic endings convey the importance that life isn’t perfect, but that it goes on and we just have to live life to the fullest, hoping that’s enough.

“Allegiant” by Veronica Roth has a powerful and realistic ending, despite it being about a futuristic society. The book ends with one of the main characters still overcoming a hardship, but still continuing to try to live a better life each day. From this, the main character learns that people can be mended, especially with the help of others.

Even adults are starting to see through the label, by reading and enjoying YA literature.

According to Publishers Weekly, a study done in 2012 showed that 55 percent of YA books are bought by adults.

Many would place the Harry Potter series in the YA genre because it’s centered around an adolescent boy who still goes through regular teen problems, even though he is a wizard.

Harry Potter is a popular series that has been enjoyed by all ages because of its universal theme of good conquers evil.

People, especially adults, shouldn’t be discouraged to read YA literature just because of its label, but read it and appreciate it for the good literature it is.