There was a discussion post over on Pages Unbound a couple weeks ago about the popularity of YA books that made me consider my relationship with these books and how it has changed over the years.
These days, I mostly read adult novels, picture books, and middle grade novels. There was a time when I read a lot of YA, and I believe that was back when I discovered booktube. It’s easy to get excited about books booktubers jump for joy about, and most of them were YA. Plus, at that time, the majority of bloggers I followed read YA books.
But slowly I started losing interest in such books. Not many of the stories captivated me, and I kept feeling tricked into reading romance stories although the books are marketed as fantasy. I mostly read fantasy and whenever I picked up a YA book, it would be a fantasy novel. But often what I ended up reading were romance stories set in a fantasy world, so the story focuses more on the romance than on the fantasy elements, which didn’t work for me especially if there’s a love triangle (I hate those in YA).
I decided to take a break from YA after reading S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong, which was a decent read, but the romance overpowered everything else and annoyed me. That was back in 2017. Since then, I’ve dipped in and out of the YA category and have been lucky to sometimes find gems, like the Diviners books by Libba Bray and Dread Nation by Justina Ireland.
However, I’m still wary about reading a YA novel. (I’ve yet to read Children of Blood and Bone despite the many praises I’ve seen for it.) These days, I add a YA novel to my TBR if fantasy reviewers I trust highly recommend them or mention something about the story that makes me think I can read it all and not DNF it. I know a lot of peeps enjoy reading this category of books, but for this reader, it’s more of a love-hate relationship.
Anyway, we’re here to tour my second bookcase…
We’re on the second row of the third shelf from the bottom, which is where my YA books begin. Let’s take a look: