Reading has always been something I’ve really loved and I’ve always dedicated a lot of time to it. Over a lot of years, I’ve owned and read an immeasurable amount of books and with every book I purchase or finish reading, I already have the next one lined up. I’ve never really stuck to just one or two genres either and I’ve mostly tried to read all kinds of books. Despite this, the genre I’ve probably read the most of is YA. And I think its because YA can be so diverse. It has romance, crime, mystery, unbearable sap and a weird kind of realism. Its definitely been the genre that has been a huge part of most of my teenage years. SO many YA books have been my absolute favourites over the years (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited, An Abundance of Katherines), and I’ve always been really glad for the genre.
Last month, I was reading a book called Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Cassandra Clare is the author of the famous The Mortal Instruments books (that got made into a TV show called Shadowhunters) and I read all six of them last year. Lady Midnight also follows this world introduced in the earlier books and is the story of Emma and Julian – two Shadowhunters in Los Angeles who are also best friends and then are tasked with the mission of investigating certain murders that have been happening for a while.
I love a good fantasy book. Fantasy YA can be a really good break from regular fictional books. But something really surprising happened when I was reading Lady Midnight. One of the sub-plots of the book was that Emma and Julian are in love with each other but because laws in their world don’t allow it, none of them really acknowledge it. What was a sub-plot felt more like the main plot because all either of the two think about throughout the book is each other – and not in the fun, adorable, romantic way that most YA I loved has had.
As I went on reading, I soon realized that the problem wasn’t the content. The problem was me. I could barely see past this weird little love story because this weird little love story was really annoying me. Everytime Julian thought about Emma’s perfect hair, or Emma gushed over literally any skill Julian possessed, all I did was cringe. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and what I really couldn’t understand was why it was getting to me. Slowly, I thought maybe I’m growing out of this. That maybe I’m getting over reading YA content.
When I first had I thought, I was pretty terrified. YA books have been a huge part of my life for so long. I’ve done everything while reading them – cried, thrown it in frustration, memorized quotes, finished them in a day, re-read them. So how could it even be possible that I could grow out of it? And if I could grow out of it, did that mean I would grow out of everything it has made me into? I sat on this for a while actually, wondering what it would really mean for me. Would I never read them again? Or would I cringe everytime a stupid teenager went out with someone they liked? I certainly didn’t want that. I didn’t want to become one of those people who started disliking something that made them into who they are right now. Then I thought, maybe its for the best.
Maybe growing out of YA content didn’t have to mean that I’d never read them again. Maybe it just meant that I was growing into something else, maybe growing faster than I thought, but growing.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you a huge YA buff?