Thursday, December 19, 2013

YA? Why Not?

Frequent readers of this blog may know that I have a bit of an obsessive personality. If I find a snack I like, I eat it constantly. If I find an author that pleases me, I read absolutely every single book that he or she has written and then go back to the beginning and read them again. I'm a long distance runner, which is synonymous with obsessive.

Sometimes these obsessions are short-lived, like that incident with the Stop and Shop brand white cheddar rice cakes that I can no longer even look at without getting vaguely nauseous. Sometimes they withstand the test of time, like my love of all things romance novel since the minute I opened my first one fifteen years ago, and my burning desire to own hard copies of every single book that Nora Roberts has ever written. And sometimes they come and go, depending on my general mood.

My latest obsession - the YA book - has ebbed and flowed since I read my first Harry Potter book back in high school. It started off innocently. My little sister was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and since I had heard some buzz, I picked it up too. I was sucked in right away, read all the rest of them that were out at the time, and spend the next five years anticipating the rest of the series. I pre-ordered each new book and the day that it arrived I shut everything else out and read it, cover-to-cover. The wait in between books was painfully long, but worth it for the glory that was Harry. Once I read the final word of the final book, I went back to my regularly scheduled reading habits.

It wasn't until two years ago that my love of YA was rekindled. It was two Aprils ago. David and I were in Israel for 10 days, and one night we decided to go to the movies at a mall in Tel Aviv. I had heard good things about The Hunger Games, so we went to see it. It was against my better judgment since I really like to read the books first before I see the movies, but were there, and so was it, so see it we did. And it was amazing. Every single scene.

When I got back to America the very first thing I did was buy the first Hunger Games book in the airport gift shop. I was thrilled to see that the other two books in the trilogy were out also, and over the next three days I tore through them all, and was left with a vague book hangover at the end, desperately wanting more of the story even though there was none to be had.

I flirted with some more YA over the next two years. I tried some Twilight but couldn't make it through the first one, and I sobbed my way through The Fault in Our Stars, but neither rekindled my original YA passion.

I thought that this particular obsession of mine had finally run its course. Until two weeks ago, that is.

I was sitting in a darkened theater on a Thursday night to see the second Hunger Games movie. The previews began, and the first one was for the movie version of the first book in the Divergent trilogy. I had heard about these books, but hadn't read them yet. I decided that there was no time like the present.

I ordered them all from Amazon, and dug in the second they showed up at my house. Three days later, with blurry eyes and only a vague idea of what day it actually was, I closed the third book, vaguely dissatisfied with the ending but still totally enthralled and again, wanting more. Without any new YA books within reach, I did the only thing I could think of to do. I grabbed the first Hunger Games book off my shelf, and started the series all over again.


  1. I'm obsessive, too, when it comes to books. On a bit of a short story/Alice Munro kick. She's the bomb and I've loved everything I've read so far.

    You, my romance reading friend, need to get all over "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell (can't remember now if you've read it but do) and I'm reading one of her other's called "Fangirl" as I write. It's fantastic so far as well. Both YA. Both romantic, although E&P rocked me to my core and don't know yet about this one. If it will have as profound an impact. I hope you get a chance to read them.

  2. Yes! I have gone through my YA obsessions too. When I was reading the Hunger Games series I could not do anything else. I had the books with me all the time. I haven't read Divergent yet but have heard great things.

  3. You can't judge a book by its cover, nor by its genre :) I'm sure there are gems and duds in every category.