Confessions of a YA Blogger

Monday, 21 August 2017


A lot has changed for me in the last eight months since I started blogging and I think what has changed the most is the way I read and consume books. Not only has the variety of books I read grown significantly, but the whole experience of reviewing and recommending the books I read has made me a much more confident reader in general. Now, you might be wondering where the confession part of this post comes in… Here it goes. 

Prior to the start of 2017 I was very uneducated in the YA genre, I didn’t really know of it’s existence at all. This isn’t to say I’d never read YA books before, more that I didn’t know just how vast one genre could be. I’m writing this post for anyone else who has ever asked; what actually is YA? If that isn't you then feel free to laugh, but please remember that we all had to start somewhere.

First of all, let's take a little step back in my bookworm origin story. For a long time I believed that my favourite genre was crime as that was what gave me the biggest adrenaline rush when reading. My other go to genres were; thriller, sci-fi and fantasy, a good balance of contemporary and mythical. The only downside to a lot of the books I read was that they didn't particularly stick with me when I finished reading them. There were exceptions to the rule of course, but generally I would put a book down and forget about it. 

That was a part of what blogging was for me, a way to connect with books more and share my thoughts so I could look back at them over time. Then in March something magical happened; I read One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. By this point in my three months of book blogging I was very aware of the YA genre but I still didn't really know what it meant until I read this book. It was crime, but it was aimed at teenagers and about teenagers.

If you aren't already so done with my ignorance on the subject, then prepare for the worst. For the longest time I had resorted to reading about stuffy forty year old blokes who I had no connection to whatsoever, all because I liked the thrill that came with reading intense crime/thriller fiction. THE WHOLE TIME I COULD HAD BEEN READING ABOUT PEOPLE MY AGE?! Yeah okay I'm older now but I was sixteen once okay? 

Like I said, I'd read a lot of YA before this, The Princesses Diaries, every John Green novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 13 Reasons Why, Diary of a Wimpy Kid to name a few. 

I knew of middle grade/YA fiction but I didn’t know it had a name and even then I didn’t know it stretched beyond the realm of high school. That is what I think is the biggest misconception about YA, that it's all about high school kids doing high school things and having problems solely relating to high school. This is certainly what I believed at least. 

Really it's all John Green's fault (no hate I love you). I read The Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking For Alaska and decided that, while I liked these books, they weren't what I wanted to read all of the time -this is what I believed to be the extent of YA fiction at the time. 

So I moved onto more edgy reads, like the work of Stephen King, from a young age. From there I started reading a lot of local crime fiction, which gave me the thrill I was looking for. Unfortunately, the general rule still applied, I'd put the book down and forget about it -no tweeting people about it, no recommending it to my friends or anything.  

When I read One Of Us Is Lying I discovered the true meaning of YA, and it is that YA isn't really a genre at all, it's the centre of the mind map that branches out to crime, fantasy, thriller, horror, LGBTQ+ etc. All these sub genres just happen to be aimed at young adults. Apparently young adult means 12-18 year olds but hey if the books good add ten more years onto that, no one will care. 

Since my re-education it's become apparent that a lot of the books I've read would fall into this genre. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Mortal Instruments, The Maze Runner, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and so on -all of these books and series are some of my all time favourites, I just would have classified them differently before. So I guess I'm a YA connoisseur after all. Does that restore my credibility? I hope so at least. 

Despite being a newbie and an uneducated one at that, the YA community has accepted me with open arms and I couldn't be more grateful for that. For that reason among others that YA is now officially my favourite genre.

Thanks for reading! 

6 comments

  1. I'm so glad you found YA,you've been really welcoming to me since I joined blogging community and I love your posts. Amy xx

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    1. Thank you! You're the best that's why! So glad you started blogging this year too. xoxo

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  2. This is so random and I apologize but this: 'it's the centre of the mind map that branches out to crime, fantasy, thriller, horror, LGBTQ+ etc' is awesome. This is an interesting and beautiful sentiment/way to look at YA.

    I enjoyed this post. It was fun reading one's journey to a genre rather than just a book review (which are awesome too).

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    1. Thank you, I occasionally try to write serious things even if most of the time it comes across silly :P <3

      I'm glad you enjoyed it! I like to do posts like this to get as many people involved in my blog as possible, I know reviews aren't for everyone 0:) thanks for commenting xoxo

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  3. It feels like you've been part of the community for longer than eight months!
    I didn't start off as a YA book blogger either, but I knew it and read it. I just thought I had to read and review serious, adult stuff :S Now I totally embrace my love for YA. Bit sad that I don't read as much crime any more, but YA is better for its breadth of topics in a single book.
    Cora ❤ http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

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    1. I know right?!? Where has this year gone?

      I do occasionally miss more adult books but then I remember why I started reading YA, one of the few good things about ageing is that I'll go back to those books in time I'm sure :') Thanks for commenting xoxo

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