Thursday, April 28, 2016
X is for Crossover
Try as I might, I couldn't come up with a book to write about for X. This happened when I wrote about songs for the challenge two years ago, so I decided to use the same topic, crossover popularity.
I was late to the Harry Potter party. I was in my early twenties and had a snobby attitude of Why would I want to read children's books? A good friend finally talked me in to giving the first book a try. Of course I loved it and flew through the rest, then becoming one of the eager masses anxiously awaiting the release of the next title! Those books are beautifully written, getting a little bit darker with each installment. When I finished the last book, I felt lost.
I assumed the Harry Potter books were an anomaly. I couldn't imagine there would be any other "kids' books" as good as those so I returned to my comfort zone of contemporary "adult" novels for several years.
Then the Twilight craze hit. I didn't notice it at first, but when I did I avoided the books because let's me honest, it sounds lame. A friend sent me a copy of the first book so I dove in and, BIG SURPRISE, I thought it was fantastic and got totally sucked in to the drama. So of course I sped through the rest of the series, but this time I was disappointed. I liked the second book a lot, thought the third was meh and could barely get through the last one. To this day, I absolutely adore that first book. I've read it at least three times. I'm not saying it's a literary feat, but I enjoy it a great deal!
Since then, I've dropped all my preconceived notions about any genre. I realized I was severely limiting myself by thinking I "couldn't" read something due to my age. Now, I'll read anything. I love that there's so much possibility out there.
I've tried some YA and hated it (Hunger Games, Maze Runner) but loved others (John Green, Cassandra Clare) which goes for any genre I read. I love contemporary novels but recently had to quit one a friend sent because I just didn't like it one bit. And I felt terrible about it!
But with so many options when it comes to reading material, I do wonder why these YA titles become so popular. Sure some of them are spectacular stories that are well written but not all of them. Does it have anything to do with the fact that the average American reads at a 8th grade level? Did you even know that? The statistics I found are unimaginable. I guess if 44% of American adults don't read a single book in a year, those who do read should be encouraged, no matter what titles they choose.
Do you read YA/ Why or why not? And what do you think about The Literacy Project Foundation's statistics?