Let me start off by saying that YA will always be close to my bookish heart, and it's something which I can still see myself reading a lot of in the future.
It's no longer my ONLY "absolute-supreme-one-and-only-group-of-beloved-books-I-will-want-to-rush-to-and-read"
Last year, aside from the books I read as 'prescribed texts' for study, I didn't tend to read much outside of young-adult, which was fine - but now that school's over and I started working in a bookstore I've found that I want to be more diverse in my reading by looking at more adult literary fiction and scifi/fantasy as well.
Have my reading tastes totally changed? I probably wouldn't go that far, but I can tell that they've evolved somewhat. YES, YA will always be special to me and I still love books from it - but I want to experience more. There's so much out there, so many classics to read, so many more authors whose work is just waiting to be discovered.
For a few examples, here are some books in other genres I've loved this year and would recommend:
Adult Fiction Recommendations
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Girls by Emma Cline
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The One Who Got Away by Caroline Overington
The Dry by Jane Harper
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
And some that are still on my list to read...
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton
When There's Nowhere Else to Run by Murray Middleton
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
So this is not goodbye to young-adult, and certainly not a break-up of any sort. It's just the story of
one reader's journey as she tries new things. Isn't that the beauty of reading itself?
There's no doubt that YA is and continues to be such a broad category of books where truly great works have emerged which have moved me and changed my outlook on life. There are some pompous readers who may see it as 'substandard' or not as 'highbrow' as other books that are written in different styles, targeted at other audiences, and tackle a myriad of other topics. Whilst everyone is entitled to their own literary opinions, I don't want to be one of those people.
Just because I may be wanting a greater variety of books to read doesn't mean I'm going to disregard those that I've loved, or not be willing to try other YA that comes my way. I still get excited when an adult comes into the store and comes in for YA recommendations, and vice versa when teens are looking for something outside of their comfort zone. This diversity in tastes and the crossover between what adults and teens are reading is a nascent trend I think will become increasingly common, and one that should be embraced.
Here on the blog, I will continue to champion YA, and strive to get those authors the recognition they deserve for the books they create which touch the lives of many; providing times for laughter, tears, and overall appreciation for writing that page-turner we've been waiting for. In the mix now and then, you just might see a review for a few titles in different genres, and that should be okay too. Genie In A Book is bound to transform and grow as I do, to reflect my passion for books and reading that has been there from the start, even if it now will manifest itself in a variety of forms - be it through YA or otherwise.
In any case, a book is a book, and reading in any form should be encouraged. I believe we should all have the choice to read widely, traverse the territory of genres not yet fully indulged in, and come back to old favourites when we want to. After all, no matter what genre you read from or prefer, there's always going to be something undeniably magical about being transported from our own lives into another realm entirely.
Have you noticed your reading preferences changing/expanding over time? If so, what do you think was the cause?