YA novels — that’s “young adult” novels, for the uninitiated — have had a rough go of things lately. Slate.com came out swinging against the popular genre, claiming grownups should only read grownup books or else we’re all repressed babies. Or some such nonsense. Books are just books — they’re for people. Typically YA novels have more characters who are teens/children, but that’s about the only difference. There is still sex, drugs, violence, and everything! Ultimately, the YA genre or the “New Adult” genre are phrases used by publishers’ marketing departments.
I’m a passionate and voracious reader and genuinely saddens me that anyone would discourage people from reading anything. So, I thought I would ease some of the YA-averse into checking out some novels that are similar to popular “grownup” books — recommendations I’m making based on similar themes and tone. If you read and enjoyed the “grownup” novel, you’ll probably really enjoy the YA novel. And vice versa.