As a sort of follow up from last week’s post, I thought I’d explain why I love middle grade, but have rarely connected with young adult books.
I have no desire to read the majority of (mainstream) young adult for two main reasons:
First, my life hasn’t followed the path of the so-called stereotypical “teenage experience” – sex, drugs, road trips, soul searching, extreme angst… Even when I was the same age as the characters I was reading about, I found it impossible to connect with the majority of them. And now that I’m not, the only reason I’ll pick up a YA novel is if the plot is interesting.
Second, I can’t stand all the tropes and clichés – love triangles and insta-love, the formulaic dystopians and paranormal romances. I’ll only read YA if its unique, and creative.
Middle grade however, is a different story. In a lot of ways, I connect with the themes of the genre even more now than I did as a child. I can relate to the themes of finding your place in the world, because that’s exactly what I’m doing now in university. I can relate to the rampant imagination of children, because as an artist, I still often my myself lost in my own world.
Beyond that, the major reason is that I enjoy the creative and imaginative stories that are found in middle grade. Without the romance and personal issues found in YA, middle grade stories are just as, if not more complex than teen novels, and place greater attention of plot and storytelling. I find a lot of YA novels are way more simplistic and poorly written compared to MG ones.
I also love the sense of nostalgia that some novels evoke in me because unlike YA, I actually did experience most what constitutes the life of a typical character in middle grade fiction.
So middle grade most usually wins for me. And I don’t think this will ever change. I suspect I’ll always love middle grade fiction, especially the fantasy ones.
Do you prefer middle grade or young adult?