I've been reading YA since I was younger than the YA age range. I keep coming back because it resonates with me on such a deep level. I relate to the emotions and the experiences I read about in these books. I go back to them when I need something comforting or relaxing.
A part of me wants to keep a hold of those years. Sure there were bad times. (Some of them felt completely bad, though not as bad as what could have been or does happen to others.) But there were also good times. First loves. First dates. Learning new things. Feeling like I knew it all. Learning that I didn't. Growing to trust myself. All the things that made me into the person that I am. Reading those stories in a YA book brings me back. It also makes me glad that I've already walked that journey.
I love that I can escape from the current dilemmas of bills to pay and work and family. Grownup troubles are so different from teenage troubles. It's nice to step away from whatever is bothering me right now and remember how all-encompassing my troubles felt years ago. It gives me perspective for what I'm experiencing now, and a reminder that troubles, no matter what they are, do go away or resolve themselves. And I won't be permanently damaged by my current stresses.
I'm so grateful for YA books that I started writing my own. Maybe no one will ever read them, but I have written them and they gave me the same escape I get from reading. I hope that some day, others will read what I wrote and find the same love that I have.
You can join in the love of YA with Beth Revis. She's hosting a contest for a library of signed books. Just click on the banner here, or in the sidebar and it will take you to her blog. Or you can check out her post by clicking here.