Am I Too Old For YA?

Friday 5 August 2016

As I near my twentieth birthday (can you believe that? I certainly can't) I find that I keep asking myself if I'm too old to be reading young adult fiction.

The answer - of course - is no.

You can never be too old for the books that you love, even if they're aimed for a much younger audience. It's not even like I only read young adult books either; yes they make up the majority of my collection, but I read adult books, graphic novels, and even the odd classic.

Why is it perfectly acceptable for adults in their thirties and forties to write young adult fiction centering around teens, but weird and childish for people in their twenties to read it? Surely it's more acceptable for the readers, as they're closer in age to the characters?

Why does age define what we can and can't read? All reading is good, so why are there constraints and taboos surrounding what's acceptable and what isn't? You wouldn't frown upon a dyslexic adult reading a middle grade book because it's easier for them to get through, so why do you look down on adults who just want to indulge in a light, fluffy young adult romance?

As long as you know your own limits and are reading things that are appropriate for what you can handle, does it matter if you're reading outside of the intended age range? Younger people who read classics tend to be applauded for being so smart and literary, and modern classics are pushed on us at school from age fourteen. Why then, is there this double standards where we look down upon adults when they have every right to read freely?

What are your thoughts?



    I'm (just slightly) older than you, and still read both YA & kids books - because they're *good* - if they weren't, I wouldn't read them :)

    (Although, I suppose it helps that I look young enough to be asked whether I want a kids ticket by the cinema cashier (seriously, this happened on Monday.) Kids tickets are for under 12s. Not pleased!)

    1. Exactly! I'm not going to put myself through books that are bad or not enjoyable just because I'm an adult. And really, that term should be used extremely loosely because I'm the most dependent person you've ever met.

      (I get that all the time. Curse the baby face, bless the bargains it gets me.)

  2. I totally sgree! I know people in their 30's and 49's that read YA, honestly it doesn't matter as long as the book is good.

    1. I've even lent some of my books to my nan who's in her 70s and she's enjoyed them!

  3. Very well said! I'd say the same goes for adults who like to read Sci-fi, fantasy, and horror rather than literary fiction.
    By the way, I'm 27 and I love reading YA, although sometimes I do feel a little too old for some of those shenanigans! ;)

    1. See I don't think genre and age has any correlation or negative connotations, but sex and genre definitely do. Whenever I head up to the sci-fi/fantasy/horror/graphic novel section of book shops I'm usually the only female there, but I see men around my age and older all the time.

      I do agree that things can sometimes feel too young, but then an author may have a main target audience and us twenty-somethings are the outer rings of the target. But then I can feel the same way - and even too young - in regards to adult books as well!

  4. I couldn't agree more! Why is it that there's this sort of hierarchy of books? Classics would be at the top and YA seems to be near the bottom. But they are all books, and no matter what age they are aimed at the writing can be just as good. I've read brilliant YA books and some horrible adult ones and vice versa. So why is it that classics and adult novels seen to be more acceptable and YA as embarrassing?


Got a thought or an opinion? I'd love to hear it.

design by amanda inez