About a year ago I was having a hard time with my personal life. I guess one could mark it off as "teenage angst" but I was really unhappy with myself (for a ton of reasons that were just SO important that I've forgotten them a year later). My mother and I were in Barnes and Noble to get a book for her book club. If I remember correctly, I was forced to tag along. I was wandering around the store when I found myself in the YA section. Scanning the vast array of book covers, I stumbled upon a book called Thirteen Reasons Why. If you haven't heard of the book, Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, is a gripping YA Novel telling the story of a girl who killed herself. My wanna-be-emo self bought the book out of mere curiosity. I ended up reading the amazing book in one sitting. My captivation of reading and passion for Young Adult Literature took off from there. If I told my year-ago self that I would be writing a novel at this point, I simply wouldn't believe it.
I consider myself lucky that I discovered my love for reading. Yet there are still many teens that hate the idea of opening a book for joy. Teens associate reading with mind-numbing tests, boring characters, and bad history lessons. My school has assigned summer reading books. Assigned books for us students to read over the summer and then be tested on when we return. They're supposed to relate to lessons we'll be learning in class once school resumes. Reading over precious summer vacation is one of the reasons some teens hate reading. This is especially true if the books are not what the student wants to read. I've personally been assigned two historical novels that I have very little desire to read. I'd much rather crack open something like Linger by Maggie Stiefvater or the highly anticipated Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. These historical novels may be riveting to one reader, yet dreadfully boring to another. In a perfect world, teens should be able to choose what they get to read. More realistically, teens should receive a variety of book choices in the education system. Our minds have infinite potential, we just need a little push in the right direction. We're powerful beings, us teenagers. We have a whole section of literature geared toward us for crying out loud! Yet still, a vast amount of young adults disregard books as a whole. It irks me to see it everyday. Hopefully, in the future things may change and the next generation will be full of book lovers!