Unlike some readers or authors who say, “I heart YA” only to get out of awkwardly tense situations where a microphone is shoved in their face and they are asked to give an opinion on the ever-growing YA genre, I can honestly say, “I heart YA.”Why?

 I think it started when I was  twelve, though it may have been slightly before that. But twelve would be my most vivid YA memory. Year twelve, among other eventful circumstances, was the first year I learned to ride a two-wheeler (I was a late bloomer), the year my parents roofed our house, and the year I came down with the dreaded chicken pox (again, late bloomer). I especially remember puking, oatmeal baths, and “Get Well” balloons. But, what I most remember, is my mom reading all of The Little House on the Prarie books to me as I lay in bed sobbing because of the itching, only to eventually fall dead asleep because of the exhaustion of tears, sickness, and the pictures from the words she read in my head forming a much better image than the porceilin god to which I had been praying.

Since that time, I eventually grew past my LHoTP phase, and moved to Bronte, Orwell, and Tolkein. And, every now and then, when I was feeling particularly relgious, Lewis, as in C.S. and not necessarily The Chronicles. Grown up books aside, I would always come back to my YA books, as a secret that no one could know about. YA books became the ones that I read under the sheets (well not really “under”–I have asthma, so breathing well is a bit of a necessity) with my book light (given to me with an eye-roll and a “Can’t you seriously ask for anything besides book stuff for Christmas?” from my mom) afraid that someone might steal my world away a bit too soon. I was no longer afraid of the infamous, “Turn off the light and go to sleep,” now I became afraid that someone, anyone would discover my secret–a college graduate was reading books written for 12-18 year olds.

And then one day (read: the day I broke my hand, couldn’t write, and discovered The Series of Unfortunate Events), I decided that it was okay. I read YA books. No, I loved YA books. That was around the time I decided to apply to graduate school as a writer, which I did and have just finished my first year as an MA/MLIS student at UW-Milwaukee.

Having discovered my reading/writing passion, I am determined to take “I Heart YA” to the blogging world and respond to all of the YA books that I read. Feel free to offer suggestions and critiques.

 Most importantly, I want the world to know, that I HEART YA! )

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