Currently smack bang half way in the middle of my A-Levels I have a few weeks off school for the summer and while I know I should be reading the books on my suggested reading list for English Literature next year that relate to the A2 course (Love Through The Ages) I couldn't resist reading a few YA books and it got me thinking.
Why is it that I feel slightly guilty for reading Young Adult books and why does it make me feel like I've taken a step back in terms of reading? Since September last year I've barely read anything that wasn't related to last year's course (AS English Literature - The Struggle For Identity in Modern Literature) and while it did show me a love for George Orwell I wouldn't have found otherwise there were very few books I finished and loved. Don't get me wrong, I finished them and appreciated them and felt they deserved the critical acclaim they got because of various different literary reasons but I didn't fall head over heels in love with them to the point I couldn't put the book down.
I have returned to YA for at least a few weeks because I felt like my brain needed a rest. I felt I needed to read something purely for the enjoyment of it and not because it would be useful in the future. I needed to read something and not feel pressure to appreciate the language and fully understand all of the small details.
Upon returning to YA I have remembered why I love it so much. There is a beautiful simplicity to young adult literature in terms of the language itself but the plots are just as interesting as those in adult literature, if not more engaging. I can read YA without feeling like I have to enjoy it which makes me enjoy it even more. I like to read things with simple language that you can read quickly without having to digest the words in your brain and I like to read things that I want to read, not what an exam board thinks a student of my age should be studying.
While I have enjoyed reading things written by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou and Jeanette Winterson over the last year, at the age I am now I am definitely more at home with a John Green book in hand. And I personally don't think there is anything wrong with that.
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