Popular YA books tend to have huge followings, and we're not just talking about teenagers. Adults of all ages also enjoy many of these books because they're well-written and have characters you can cheer for. But one reason that seniors in an assisted living community might want to delve into YA books is because they could help you understand your grandchildren better.
Learn more about the benefit of reading young adult books as a senior, and then get a few recommendations for novels you probably won't find on the shelves in the Park Regency assisted living community's library.
Young adult books are often fast-paced and well-written. Whether you like mysteries, fantasy, science fiction or romance, you can find something in the YA book section you might read just because you would enjoy it.
And while real-life teen lives don't look exactly like their on-page counterparts, YA books do tend to explore themes and issues many teenagers are concerned about. That's especially true if you're reading more contemporary or recently published books.
Some things you can get a feel for by reading books for young people include:
• What they think about and how they might view the world
• How teens talk — to each other and to adults
• What types of technologies, fads and concerns are common
Again, book lives and real lives are different, and you certainly shouldn't assume something is true for your grandchild because you read about it in a book. But it might give you a conversation starter. Plus, if your grandchild likes to read, enjoying some of the same books can ensure you share something.
You can find YA books to fit any reading mood or preference. Stock up at the local library by searching the YA book shelves or choosing YA as a search preference if you're putting items on hold for curbside pick up. Or, add a YA book from Amazon to your Kindle or order a stack from a discount book retailer such as BookOutlet.com.
If you're overwhelmed by the selection, here are some options to get you started.
This YA romance novel is the first in a trilogy, and the first two run together somewhat as one larger story, so you may want both. The second book is called P.S. I Still Love You and the third is titled Always and Forever, Lara Jean.
The first book (and to some extent, the second) is the story of Lara Jean Song Covey, a 16-year-old romantic who loves books, baking and her sisters. She also loves the idea of love and believes she has been in love exactly five times in her life. For each boy that she loved, she wrote a letter. They weren't letters she mailed out; they were letters she tucked away in a secret hat box for safekeeping.
But things change for Lara Jean when her older sister goes off to college, breaking up with her boyfriend before she does. That shakes up the family dynamic. Then Lara Jean's younger sister shakes things up even more by mailing out the five letters.
Soul searching, teen romance and humor ensue in this family-filled novel about coming of age, learning to love in a realistic way and supporting each other through life's challenges.
Zuri Benitez lives in Brooklyn in a hood that's slowly being gentrified by middle class and wealthy people moving in. This is a Pride & Prejudice retelling, so Zuri is obviously one of five sisters. She's also the Elizabeth Bennet character, though Zoboi writes a dynamic teen girl with Afro-Latino roots, a heavy wit and a stubborn love for family that just won't quit.
Opposite Zuri in the story is Darius Darcy, a teenager from a wealthy African American family that moved into the giant house across from the Benitez's apartment building. The resulting love story mostly follows the overall plot from Pride & Prejudice, making it a fun read for Austen fans. But it does so against a unique backdrop that doesn't just consider the tension of social classes; it also explores the tensions of race, growing up and the changing landscape of a neighborhood that's so alive it's almost a character itself.
Truly, Devious is the first in a three-part YA mystery thriller series. It's got a huge cliff-hanger, so mystery fans may want to ensure they have all books on hand before starting this one.
The story follows Stevie Bell, who has a mind like Sherlock and the heart of an awkward teen girl with anxiety. She's tapped for entry into the exclusive Ellingham Academy, which is a unique boarding school in the mountains of Vermont. Stevie can't wait to go, because the academy is linked to an unsolved cold case that she knows she can solve.
Not long after Stevie arrives, though, a new case presents itself. One that might be related to the chilling history of Truly Devious.
• The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (dark fantasy, vampire)
• Cinder by Marissa Meyer (science fiction, fairytale retelling)
• The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (science fiction)
• The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (romance)
• Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (fantasy)