11 Things All True YA Fans Know

by Alex Weiss

You’re a YA fan and you’re proud of it. You crave fast-paced stories and intricate plot lines. You admire the complicated lifestyle every teenager goes through in her own unique way. Maybe you’d go as far as getting your favorite young adult quote tattooed on your body. Or maybe you’d rather just read all the books and show your affection that way. You’re a YA fan till the very end.

I am, too. My first crush was The Giver, and it quickly escalated to The Catcher and the Rye, then to the Harry Potter boks and The Hunger Games . I noticed that with YA, I was always taking away a certain lesson or moral. As the characters on the pages grew up, so did I. That’s why I never want to stop reading YA. To stop growing, to stop learning, to stop wondering, for me, is to stop living.

Maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But hey, YA is all about the drama sometimes. However you came to love the genre, it has stuck with you. You know not to listen to the people who think a genre is for a certain age group. Heck, there are children’s books with important life lessons everyone could still benefit from. That being said, here are some all too real facts every YA fans know to be true.

Teenagers Are Not The Only Ones Who Benefit From YA

It doesn't matter what age you are, reading a book of any genre is good for you, especially YA! YA centers around identity, self-discovery, and growth. Those three things are completely necessary to work on your entire life. You don’t just figure it all out in one day. It’s a long journey, and while it does begin when you’re a teenager, it certainly doesn’t end there.

YA Has It All

Young adult is a genre in itself, but that doesn’t limit what there is to read about. Realistic, historical, sci-fi, fantasy, romance... YA can have it all. Very often YA is full of dark subject matter like death and deep fears. Other times it's whimsical and bright. It also touches on some of the most diverse topics like culture, gender, politics, race, and so much more.

You’re Constantly Learning About Yourself

Following a character through an incredibly tough circumstance, even if it is Katniss taking down Panem or Q being rejected by Margo Roth Spiegelman, allows you to sympathize with the characters and work through their problems as if they were your own. YA is loved for so many reasons, but most of all, it’s easy to relate to and learn from. Emotions are high, choices must be made, and resolutions will happen. Watching a loved character survive through something big and scary makes getting through your own problems a little bit easier.

Friendship Is Everything

No matter what journey a YA character is on, there’s always friends to back her up. Making and retaining friends is a big part of being a young adult, and it’s often not an easy task. It’s even more difficult as an “adult.” You’ll lose and gain better friends as life goes on. After all, you know that it’s not about having a million friends, it’s about having a couple of close ones you can open up with and depend on.

First Love, On The Other Hand, Is Not

If there's one thing John Green and Sarah Dessen taught you, it’s that every relationship doesn’t work out, and it's usually for the best. YA books often theme around first love and all around “first experiences,” but they go beyond that to show what happens after the firsts are no longer firsts. Speaking of first loves... heartbreak is always right around the corner. Reading about heartache, when done right, can feel as if you've actually just been dumped yourself. Through it all, YA characters still manage to stand up, move on, and learn from the experience. Getting through a break up or two will always make you stronger, and if you ever need extra help, you know you can always reach for your favorite YA book.

Women Are Strong As Hell

With numerous YA heroines rising off the pages, it’s no secret that you’ve become one strong feminist after reading numerous novels that include independent female protagonists and antagonists. Who run the world? Girls. Obviously.

You Know How To Fight Your Enemies

Bullies, illness, the corrupt government system... whatever it is, you’ve seen some of the most kick-ass young adults stand up for what they believe in without letting anything stop them. They somehow always have to face the enemy head on. YA characters give great examples on how to (and how not to) defend yourself and the people you love. All you need is a little courage and a pocket full of witty comebacks.

Fandoms Are Your Family

After a YA book is over, or worse — a series, there’s a community of fans waiting to hug you and talk non-stop about every tiny detail. You meet a lot of people from around the world who share the same love for books and that’s amazing. Sometimes the authors jump in to say hi every now and then, too! You wouldn’t have it any other way.

You're Always Ready for a Surprise

Well, maybe not always. But you have read enough YA books with shocking twists and crazy turns of events that you’re pretty much prepared for anything that life throws at you. You know that adventure is always right around the corner, and that conflict is, unfortunately, inevitable. Nevertheless, you’re more than ready to take on any challenge after watching your favorite character take over the world — or get through her last year of high school.

Life Is Magical, Even If You Didn't Get Your Hogwarts Letter

There is extraordinary within the ordinary, and you know this because of YA stories like Eleanor & Park and Anna and the French Kiss. There's magic in every laugh, tear, and the millions of emotions young adults encounter everyday. Young adult books remind you to remain optimistic, because life has only just begun.

You Know Happily-Ever-Afters Don’t Exist... and That’s OK

Even if a young adult book has castles and princesses, it never means a fairytale ending awaits. Nearly every YA novel ends with a conclusion to satisfy the reader while opening a new window of opportunity. It tells you that there’s more to come, and now more than ever, you're prepared for it.

"A YA novel ends not with happily ever after but at a new beginning with a sense of a lot of life yet to be lived." —Richard Peck

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