{Discussion+Giveaway} Why Young Adult Books are so Addictive: Then and Now @vinspire2004

December 3, 2015 Blog Tours, Giveaways 31

{Discussion+Giveaway} Why Young Adult Books are so Addictive: Then and Now @vinspire2004

Why Young Adult Books are so Addictive: Then and Now

By Christine Bailey

If you haven’t read J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, you’re missing out. Arguably the first young adult novel, Catcher sets the stage for other teen protagonists dealing with the adolescent angst we’ve come to love in today’s novels. Or maybe the first YA novel was Maureen Daly’s Seventeenth Summer. Either way, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by taking a trip back in time—with either book. You might even realize, like I did, that these teen worlds are not so different from ours today. Okay, so they didn’t have cell phones and social media back then, but they did have love and heartbreak.

I recently had the chance to sit down with a few teens and discuss this book with them. Here’s a comment from Lauren about the protagonist Holden Caulfield as an outsider: “Holden, though likeable, isn’t always tolerated well by the people in his life such as his roommates and the kids at school. Along with his occasionally annoying personality, Holden is set apart because he doesn’t put forth effort in school. He has attended and flunked out of multiple schools, and he spends most of his time talking about how phony everyone is. Why does Holden act like this? Why not study hard and prepare for the future? He fears the future. He fears growing up. He remembers childhood and the innocence that came with it, unwilling to accept change and move forward with his life.”

Relevant? Relatable? Absolutely! So while Catcher was published in 1951, the themes throughout the novel still speak to audiences today. Plus, it has a great plot, suspense, and a main character you’ll be pulling for until the very last page—much like the good YA books we’re reading today. If you get the chance, read it and compare it to a more recent YA book—let us know what you think. What’s stayed the same? What’s changed? Thanks for stopping by!

About the Author

Christine H. Bailey teaches creative writing and written composition at a private university in west Tennessee. Before teaching English, Christine worked as a journalist, a marketing/public relations writer, and a freelance editor. She’s written two book for Vinspire Publishing (Girl in the Middle and Waking Under Water). To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website at www.cibailey.com.

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To enter, comment on this post with why you think YA books are so addicting. (or what you love about YA) Ends December 7th

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31 Responses to “{Discussion+Giveaway} Why Young Adult Books are so Addictive: Then and Now @vinspire2004”

  1. JK Bovi

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Even without cell phones and the internet, a teen enters a rights-of-passage that helps mold them into the adults they become. We are all looking for a place to belong.

    • Christine Bailey

      I can’t agree more, J.K. People ask me all the time, “Isn’t it hard to write for teens these days?” Sure, but as long as you write about relevant, universal things—love, hurt, and a desire for something more—I think the writing comes easier (I didn’t say easily!). We just have to tap into those deep human emotions that have been with us from the beginning of time. Think Will Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet…love, hurt, desire, longing, misunderstanding…these are the things that move us–then and now!

  2. kindlemom1

    *hides in shame* I’ve never read Catcher but I am a huge YA fan, in all sub genres so I totally get this post. Thanks for sharing this and what a fun post today!

    • Christine Bailey

      Thanks! I’m glad you stopped by. If you get the chance, check out Catcher. It’s not for everyone, but it’s worth the read! It’s interesting to fall into Holden’s world, which is not that different from ours today.

  3. Dawn Carrington

    Don’t be ashamed, Kindlemom1. If I read it, I don’t remember it. I think it was a required school project, but I much preferred to read books I wasn’t supposed to be reading rather than books I was required to read!

    • Christine Bailey

      Thanks for the comment, Dawn. I think the first time I read Catcher I was in middle school, and I read it because we weren’t supposed to (for its language content, mostly). I read it again as an adult–totally different experience!

  4. Meredith Miller

    I love YA because it reminds of when I was younger, the possibilities were endless, and dreams were just beginning to develop!

  5. Autumn

    Holla to the YA love!! YA is so addicting because it relates to everyone ( whether they want to admit it or not!). YA is not contrived or pretentious unlike “adult” fiction. It is what it is, and it’s not ashamed of that. YA is what everyone has felt some time or other in their life.
    P.S. I named my son Holden 🙂

  6. Miranda Lewis

    I love YA because we were all that age once so it’s relatable. Also now I love how it’s this blissful time in ones life and you get to read about this young characters growing up and learning these valuable lessons in life.

  7. Mary Preston

    YA books seem to have fresh story lines. Stories that appeal to readers right across the board.

  8. Sam

    I started reading YA in order to stay a part of my daughter’s world (she is a YA blogger), but I continue to read YA, because the stories are good, the characters are compelling, and they transport me back to a different time in my life.

  9. Anne

    I think I’m one of the few Americans who didn’t have to read a Catcher in the Rye in school. Not sure I’ll ever get to it. The YA books I read tend to be urban fantasy and paranormal and I read a lot of those in non-YA as well. I don’t really see that big a difference except for less sex (certainly less descriptive sex when there is some).

  10. Cassie

    I love that my son is reading some of the books I had to read (& enjoyed) back in high school. It’s interesting to get his take on things being a different time and from a boy’s point of view. Have a great weekend!

  11. Cindy

    I love this post!
    I think YA is so addicting because it’s relatable and we all wished we were like the main characters, once upon a time.

  12. Cindy

    I love this post!
    I think that YA is so addicting, because it’s relatable (for the most part) and we all wish we were like the main characters, once upon the time (or at least most of us).

  13. Tammy V.

    I love to relive the good ole’ days. LOL. No really. I have too much current grown-up, real life in my life. It is nice to be engrossed in something different. My favorite movies are still John Hughes’ ones too.

  14. Jeanna Massman

    I am a retired teacher/librarian and I have worked with students, pre-K thru 12th grade at various times in my career. I think some books are classics and young adults will continue to relate to them. However, Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games were game changers. They opened the fantasy door a little wider to include a more mainstream audience of YA readers.

  15. Yunnuen Glez

    Because some books are full of sexual scenes. YA gives the possibility of mixing the first love with more story. Thanks for the chance.

  16. Laura Thomas

    I didn’t read YA until my boss told me to read the Twilight Series. Then I found out what I was missing. I love the connection to my younger days.

  17. Sam

    Reading YA helps me be a part of my daughter’s world (she’s a YA blogger) and it brings me back to a different time in my life

  18. Nadine

    YA books have to catch the attention of readers with short attention spans and challenge their growing sense of adventure, independence and morals. Too bad more adults will not read YA to remind them of the possibilities in life once they are in their adult rut and routine.

  19. Rhiannon

    I think YA books are so addictive because of how many great YA authors there are. I have read some phenomenal YA books that have moved me to tears. Perfect example-I was standing in line at the grocery store reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and I started crying. I couldn’t help it. I also feel that there are some amazing lessons that are taught in these books. I feel that I read more YA than anything else and it doesn’t bother me because I love what I am reading.

  20. Tia

    YA books are important! If you ever want to get an idea on what your teen is feeling, check out a YA book. Sure books in the past were different, but teens have been going through some of the same issues throughout history. All teens want to know where they fit in, what will happen to them, and how they are going to make it? Those situations do not change throughout time. Of course some things change about teen life throughout the ages, but some situations all teens will go through, no matter what time or place they come from!

  21. Holly Letson

    I think most people read YA, because they can relate to it, and picture themselves as part of the story.

    I haven’t read the *Original YA books* you mentioned. But, I did read alot of 80s YA romances while growing up. Even without the modern technology, the romances were always fun. But, I think that the *instant love* was more accepted in those times.

  22. Heather

    I think YA is so addicting because it captures a time and age when we grow and have so many memorable experiences. We can relate to the characters and escape into their own version of that precious age.

  23. Maranda Hymes

    For me right now it’s mostly relatability, not too much longer into my life that will probably change and it will probably fall more to reliving that “time” of my life.

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