This post is part of my week-long participation in Armchair BEA 2013.
As an avid reader of YA, I tend to read a lot of different genres. YA is fabulous because it’s a category filled with books that are so different from one another. This is great because it tends to mean that YA is more open to cross-genre reads. Things aren’t put into genre boxes quite the way they are in adult reads, and this means that when I go looking for a great YA read I could end up with something contemporary, dystopian, paranormal, historical, or even some combination of those (not to mention fantasy, sci-fi, etc).
I know a lot of people hate the fact that YA books are so romance heavy. Personally I’m a big fan of romance, and that element of romance can keep me into a book where I might lose interest otherwise. That being said, I’m not a fan of romance just for the sake of saying your book has a romance. There are books that suffer from the inclusion of romance. If your love interest doesn’t tell you anything about the heroine or move the plot forward in any way, that subplot probably doesn't belong. There are tons of fabulous books about friendship and family that don’t involve romance (Code Name Verity, anyone?).
Within YA I read a lot of contemporary/realistic books. These are the types of novels I read almost exclusively when I was a teenager, and I still continue to enjoy them. I’ve also been reading a lot of adult contemp romances this year, as well as New Adult books (the quality and uniqueness of NA is a whole other post, but there are some good ones out there). Surprisingly I’m also a big fan of paranormal books. I say surprisingly, because up until a couple of years ago I basically wouldn’t read anything paranormal. Now if I’m going to read any adult books outside of contemp romance, I’m likely to pick up a paranormal romance or an urban fantasy title. I also enjoy YA series that are paranormal in nature.
I love how YA has opened me up to so many genres that I never really thought about before. Books like Graceling and Poison Study introduced me to the world of fantasy. Series like Vampire Academy and Morganville Vampires showed me that not only could I enjoy paranormal books, but I could actually love vampire books as well. The Agency books reminded me what I love about historical settings.
I’m planning on writing a post in the future of “Must Read YA Titles” so I’ll save my favourites list for then, but I do have a Favourites Shelf on Goodreads that you can check out.
Can't wait to see which genres are your must-reads and which titles you might want to recommend.