Archive Nostalgia: Too Old for YA? Join the Debate!

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With the winner of the YA Book Prize due to be announced at the end of May, I thought it would be a good time to bring back this topical debate post. Can we grow out of YA books … even award-winning ones?

As a teenager reading was perhaps an even bigger part of my life than it is now. Without the inconvenient responsibility of study, jobs and exams, I devoured books like they were going out of fashion, and was practically an expected presence in the YA section of the local library.

As a teenager, I devoured YA books like they were going out of fashion.

However, as I progress into my twenties, I feel myself turning away from the books that inspired me in those years. I am somehow self-conscious about being seen reading YA books on the bus, I skip past YA reviews, and I avoid recommending them at my book club for fear of not being taken seriously.

This has got me thinking about today’s debate topic – are you really ever too old for YA?

The Issues: Pros and Cons of Reading YA Books into Adulthood

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Below are some of the YA books that have inspired and influenced me most:

The Hunger Games
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The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The novel is set in a dystopian world where twelve poor districts are ruled over by the rich and extravagant Capitol. As a punishment for past rebellion, every year each district must provide one boy and one girl as tributes to take part in a sickening televised event: The Hunger Games.

Suzanne Collins’ protagonist Katniss taught me, as an insecure adolescent girl, that there are far more important things than having a boyfriend. The bringing down of oppressive and cruel dictatorships, for example.



Noughts and Crosses
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Noughts and Crosses Trilogy by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses is a love story crossing racial divides in a society where light-skinned Noughts are oppressed and segregated from the darker-skinned Crosses.

This series is incredibly moving and brought me an awareness of inequality, as well as being a poignant portrayal of both the flaws and the triumphs of humanity.



Boys Dont Cry
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Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman

Anticipating excellent A-Level grades, followed by a prestigious University place and a successful career in journalism, Dante’s life seems to be turning out exactly as he hoped. Until his ex-girlfriend turns up on his doorstep with a baby….

Boys Don’t Cry is about the importance of taking responsibility, but it also has an inspiring message about taking life as it comes. This comes as a powerful lesson to someone with a tendency to have the next decade of my life rigidly planned!



The Fault in Our Stars
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars is about the developing love between Hazel and Augustus, two teenage cancer patients.

Whatever our age, I think a great number of us worry about our significance and legacy in the world. Who will remember our names in 100 years? Yet with its moments of beautiful, contemplative lyricism, The Fault in Our Stars reminded me that maybe being loved by those around us is enough.





The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. My favourite coming-of-age novel!
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows the gentle, self-conscious and intensely observant character of Charlie as he experiences both the trials and joys of coming-of-age and struggling to find one’s place in the world.

Stephen Chbosky’s characters are wonderfully endearing; in particular, Charlie’s deep appreciation of life’s beautiful moments is something that has stayed with me years after first reading the novel.

So I think next time a young adult novel takes my fancy, I will remember the value they have given me and showcase my copy with pride!


Now it’s over to you! Do you think we are ever too old to enjoy young adult novels? Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

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8 thoughts on “Archive Nostalgia: Too Old for YA? Join the Debate!”

  1. I think no one is too old for YA if it’s what they’re drawn to! It does seem to be dominated by trends though.
    I would say Chbosky’s book is usually classed as adult fiction even though the characters are teens 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment! And yes, that’s true – it can be difficult sometimes to know where the line lies between YA and adult fiction
      📕MP📖 X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are never too old to read YA. I don’t think age has anything to do with what a person wants to read or enjoys to read. I love reading kids picture books, middle grade stories, YA and adult books. Depends on how I feel and I will never apologize for what I read. Great points in this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for the comment – and well said, I completely agree that we should never apologise for what we enjoy reading!
      📕MP📖 X

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I 100% agree that we should read whatever makes us happy, regardless of what we think we are ‘supposed’ to read. And yes, I love children’s books as well! I can still remember the words of some childhood favourites that I knew by heart
      📕MP📖 X

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post, haha. Though I am a high school student, I still feel the need to defend my love for YA novels. Truthfully, there are some YA books with dialogue and themes that I feel are too “young” for me personally (especially books that overuse tropes and/or misrepresent high school experiences), but for every one of those, there are dozens that touch upon universal themes that I think people of all ages can relate to. In short, I don’t think anyone is ever too old for the young adult genre. On the contrary, I believe we can all learn about a great deal of contemporary issues from the YA genre—that’s one of the biggest reasons why I love it so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind comment, I really appreciate it! I agree, not all YA books are for me but it is such a broad genre that I think it has something for everyone. And our young adult years are so important in defining who we become – which is why I also really like the exploration of contemporary issues in this context
      📕MP📖 X


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