Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Fortnight of Guests: Mind Reader (Think Young As An Adult)

MindReaderHi everyone! My name is Franny and I’m the blogger behind Mind Reader. I would like to say a big… no, wait, a huge THANK YOU to Megan for giving me this amazing opportunity. I’ve never done anything like this before so I really hope you’ll like it. I look forward to seeing you all amongst my followers!


When I think about YA, the first thing that comes to mind is the Twilight saga.
I come from Italy, from a place where adults are ashamed of even thinking about this genre. I grew up with chick-lit books and then I discovered Laurell K. Hamilton. I know, I know, she’s anything but YA, but she opened a new world for me. A world where vampires and creatures of the night are real… A world where people have special powers. A world where girls fall in love with these creatures. Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight saga gave a huge boost at the YA genre. I had a bit of a hard time reading Twilight at the beginning, as I was used to another kind of content and all I thought was: This is boring, nothing happens. Then I fell into this world and never wanted to leave again.

I have since moved to the UK where I’ve noticed that, although the Twilight phenomenon in Italy has massively increased, adults are still ashamed of buying these books, even if they don’t buy them for themselves. An even more important thing (which fortunately came to mind while I was writing), is that it’s really difficult – if not impossible – to keep up with the rest of the world, as the publishing schedule is not up to date. For example, if US releases “book 4” in a saga, Italian teens sometimes are lucky if book 1 has been printed in translation already. And there is not the wide choice you find in English-speaking countries.

Since I moved to London, things drastically (and happily) changed. I see a mum or even a grandmother in the YA/teen section every time I walk into a bookstore. People act like it’s a normal thing to do. And it really is. There is nothing to be ashamed of; I’ve also seen middle-aged women browsing the adult fiction corner. Let’s face it: we were all teenagers once, so is it really so wrong to read and dream (and write) about young love, whether it’s paranormal or not. Have we forgotten that most of the authors of these novels are adults. And to be honest, more than half of the followers I have are adult mothers - and readers of this exciting genre that is YA. I’ve read quite a few novels of the kind now, and I like being able to relate to the characters, like I’m still a teenager on the edge of my first love. It makes me remember my years as a teen.


Felicia said...

I can't believe anyone would be ashamed of reading YA! It's obviously targeted as young adults, but I totally agree that there's nothing to be ashamed about if you're an adult fan of YA books. I'm a teen, and I sometimes enjoy adult books too:) So why not vice versa??

Great post! I've always wanted to visit Italy and London oh man!!):

A Novel Paradise

Silvia said...

Totally agree! Unfortunately I know that kind of feeling 'cause I'm Italian as well... I always read YA but I understand that feeling "ashamed" to be in that section when everyone is staring at you like you're an alien and you've lost your mind... But hey, I moved to London and like you I didn't have this kind of problem at all for the past 3 years! ;) What I really think is that YA are meant for everyone, they're written by adults after all or not? ;)

This is a really great post, Franny!

Anonymous said...

Francy Pants! I didn't know you were doing a guest post! This is fantastic, and I didn't realize that reading YA in Italy was considered shameful. This is a great post, girlie. : )

Franny said...

Thank you, ladies. I really appreciate it, since this is a very dear topic to me :)
@Ann: you can't imagine how hard it was for me buying this kind of books (and adult fiction as well). I'm so glad I moved out and now can buy all the books I want!

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Felicia: Yes, I agree too. Teens read adult books, so why can't adults read teen books? Double standards! ;)
Silvia: I loved this post too! Franny put together something amazing. :D
Ann: Agree!
Franny: Thanks you for this amazing post! You came up with such a brilliant topic!

Thank you all for having a peek at the Fortnight of Guests! :D

Alison Can Read said...

I think YA is increasingly becoming popular everywhere. It was only a few years ago that they had to release adult covers for the HP books. How silly.
As annoying as the WSJ article was, I liked that it put YA into the mainstream.