As I near the end of my teenage years, there’s a fear that keeps coming back to me. It might be an irrational fear, but also, it might be something very real. Something that changes who I am and what I love. And that fear is that I will fall out of love with YA.
You might think that it’s ridiculous to be scared of something like that. I mean, I love YA with all of my heart and it’s such a big part of who I am, but what if I wake up one day and suddenly that love for YA is gone? What if those stories become ones that I can no longer relate to? I’m scared that there’ll come a day when I don’t enjoy YA novels because I can’t connect with the characters, and that scares me. I know it won’t happen the day I turn 20, or maybe even in my late 20’s. But the fear that one day, YA won’t be enough for me, is something that keeps me up at night.
The scary thing is, I’ve already started to see it happen. I’ve reread some of the books that I enjoyed when I was thirteen or fourteen and they all seem so young to me now. So juvenile. Does that meant that my reading taste has changed, or that I’ve just read better books, or that I’m slowly falling out of love with YA? Sure, I do love middle-grade, but I feel like that love is different. It’s a different kind of love than I have for YA, because I see myself in so many of the YA characters I read about, whereas I see parts of who I used to be in the younger middle-grade characters. I relate to these characters in different ways, but I never want it to get to a point where I feel as though I can’t enjoy YA.
While there is no age limit on YA and everyone can enjoy it, that doesn’t mean everyone does. But as a smol child of 18, I don’t know what my reading life will be like when I’m 25, or even 30. I have friends in that age group who still love YA, but then again, I have friends who are of that age and only read adult fiction now. I don’t want to lose my passion for YA. Ever. And although I think back to all the books I’ve read and I think would be suitable for readers of all ages, is my opinion of the book tainted by the fact that the characters are my age? Would I feel the same if I were 30 and reading this book? Are the struggles and triumphs of the teen characters I read about truly universal?
Will I continue to love reading and writing YA for the rest of my life, or will there be a day when I fall out of love with YA? When will that day be, and how can I possibly prepare for it?
Do you worry that you might fall out of love with YA? Do you read a lot of adult fiction? If you’re no longer a teenager, do you still feel the same about YA as you did when you were the same age as the characters you read about? Help put my mind at ease!