The 12 Gifts of YA, #1: readers

two women reading on a cruise ship deck

Gail and Teagan, don’t you want to have fun instead?

Duh.  Writers need readers.  But YA readers are especially phenomenal.  Up above is my friend (and former student) Gail, reading SKY, and her bestie Teagan, reading CHASING ALLIECAT by one of *my* besties, Rebecca Fjelland Davis.  And they’re on a cruise, people!  They’re not looking at all the pretty scenery, eating all the luxe food, or drinking themselves silly, they’re *reading*.  I love a reader that’s dedicated to her books.  Now, it’s possible this photo was staged (gasp!).  HOWEVER, I know these women, and I know there was reading going on at some point.

The really cool thing about YA readers is that they come in all ages, from all cultures, with all sorts of reasons to read about teenagers.  YA appeals to so many people because we were all YAs at one point in our lives.  It’s kind of awesome to know that humans everywhere share this experience.  And I love it when people argue about what should be in YA and what shouldn’t (yes sex!  no sex! yes darkness!  no darkness!).   Arguing about something means people are engaging with it, and that’s what good readers do.  No book will please everybody, and that’s OK.   When I find readers/reviewers who don’t like my books, it’s a great opportunity to learn.  I am not kidding about this–but sometimes the learning comes after the sad/mad moment.

Readers, you’re the best.  Maybe you knew that, but it’s good to remind you.  And now, friends, it’s your turn.  Wanna tell us what you like about *being* a reader?  Your comment gets you the chance to win books (leave your e-mail address, too)!

AND–here are the 6 books I’ll give away (along with 6 sets of my own books) during these 12 Days of YA:

Ask the Passengers, A.S. King (because Amy’s brilliant)

Silhouette of a Sparrow, Molly Beth Griffin (because it’s gorgeous)

Stupid Fast, Geoff Herbach (because Felton is impossible not to adore)

The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater (because it’s Maggie)

This Is Not a Test, Courtney Summers (because it’s a zombie-but-not book)

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (because everyone should read it)



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10 Responses to The 12 Gifts of YA, #1: readers

  1. Bonnie says:

    The thing I like about being a reader is that it is something that I can do quietly. It is nice to enjoy some peaceful time with a good book.

  2. Emily Heinis says:

    I originally liked being a reader of YA because I was a teacher and keeping up with what my students were reading provided an excellent way to connect, but I no longer teach. So now, I guess I like being a YA reader because it’s nostalgic, engaging, and oh-so-emotional. I rarely read a YA that doesn’t make me cry, and that’s SO important. Kids need to be challenged emotionally and recognize that everyone is challenged and that it’s OK. So, YES! to sex, violence, darkness in YA, because that’s the real world, baby.

    • kirstincm says:

      There’s more coming up in the 12 gifts about nostalgia and emotions–those are big gifts to me (to all of us!). And you know it on the real world stuff. : ( Which is also very sad.

  3. amanda says:

    What I like best about being a reader is that it’s introduced me to the most amazing people, both in real life and in books. It’s forged connections for me–in graduate school, as a librarian, as a bookseller–that are unexpected and amazing. And some of my favorite people in the world are totally fictional.

    • kirstincm says:

      Oh, great points! And yes, some of the people I love most aren’t real. I get protective of them when people diss them!

  4. Teagan Schmidt says:

    What I love about books is the experience. I get to experience so many lives, places and events… some that don’t even exist! It is so easy to get lost when one wants to- or needs to. Despite being obligated to read for classes, some I’m definitely not thrilled about, I still find I have an appetite for more! More variety, more ideas, more experiences.

    And let me assure you there was sincere reading on above said cruise (the best vacations always include reading anything you want) 😀

    • kirstincm says:

      HI! I knew that photo wasn’t staged. : ) Know how many books I’m taking on my next vacation? 5, I think–Kindles are good for travel! And I love what you say about how reading leads to more reading. Very true.

  5. Beth Amos says:

    I love to read because it’s so intimate. And I can do it whenever I want.

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