Books! I love them. I’ve loved them since I was in the fourth grade. For the most part I’ve embraced a wide spectrum of genres. A glance at my bookshelf (now Kindle) would reveal anything from Stephen King to Leon Uris to Nora Roberts. I passed through a true crime phase. A political phase. A leadership development phase. A classics phase. You name it — I’ve probably devoured it at one point in my life.
There was however, an exception. Up until this week I’ve never picked up a YA novel. When I was younger I gravitated toward the books that my parents or older siblings were reading (availability probably played a key role in that decision). Even as the Young Adult genre exploded I kept my distance, not even reading book reviews from my favorite sources. I was sure that I couldn’t appreciate these books now because I’m not really in that age bracket any longer. My time had passed.
Tuesday night I spent almost an hour searching Amazon for something to download. I stumbled, literally, on a YA novel that popped up on a best seller list. Gritting my teeth I tapped the ‘purchase’ option. Fifty reviewers had glowing things to say (49 of which gave the novel 5 stars; one reviewer gave it 4 stars). Yes – you know exactly where I’m going with this. By the end of chapter one, I was hooked by the author Jamie McGuire. Beautiful Disaster kept me up late. I refused to hit the pillow until I reached the end. Fast forward three days and I confess to having now read a total of 5 YA novels since Tuesday night. Have they all been perfect? No. A few could have used some tighter editing. But I’d honestly rate 4 out of these 5 novels very highly.
Lesson learned. A good story is a good story — regardless of the genre.
P.S. The cover art on Beautiful Disaster did not draw me in (sort of grossed me out actually). But to be cliche, you can’t judge a book by its cover.