I'm not a teen but I read a lot of teen books. Why am I confessing this? Because I've heard too many people say something to the effect "It's good that teens are reading and then they can move to better books" or worse is "those books are just eye candy." (Gadzooks! Are you kidding me?! Books that are just eye candy are being read! It means kids and teens are reading! It means they're getting something into their brains, such as vocabulary, spelling, grammar, punctuation, characterization, plot, and meaning to think about, not to mention a love for reading! And what do you define as eye candy anyway?! Non-fiction?! Anything that doesn't teach something deeply important?! Or any book that isn't considered a "classic"? Or maybe the truth is, any book or genre that YOU don't care for! Forgive my rant. I'm touchy about this subject because someone called Fablehaven by Brandon Mull--a book I liked--eye candy...it was a wonderful & thick YA fantasy; I do not define that kind of book as eye candy. And others are welcome to think otherwise; I'm still going to enjoy the book. Let's carry on, shall we?) Generally, I think when they say "better books," they mean adult books and classics.
I tend to read YA (Young Adults) or MG (Middle Grade) because those books are shorter which fit into my busy life. Although I've read the romantic teen books, I'm not into those; I'm often skimming the "Oo, I'm in love with him" parts so I can get back to the story. I believe the first book in the Harry Potter trilogy was considered MG. I just listened to the audiobook Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede which would be considered a YA. But in the third book of the series, the main character is now 20. There's a new book category called "New Adult" and perhaps that's where this third book fits in.
Like adult books, teen books can be deep or shallow, well-written or not, come in a variety of genres--fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary fantasy, contemporary, romance, mystery, etc. There are many teen books which address some hefty issues. Then there is the fluff. Then there are the teen books which are humorous and deep or humorous and fluff. Teen books aren't just for teens and they're not just a stage to get through. Many times, teen books are better written than adult books because authors have to instantly grab the attention of those in that age-group--not an easy task. On top of that, the books have to KEEP their attention. I find books written for adults tend to ramble on and on. I notice that in both non-fiction and fiction. I often wonder if adult books tend to be longer because authors and readers feel they aren't getting their money's worth if they aren't reading a tome. I enjoy good books, no matter who they're "geared" for. (I suppose if I like a book then it's geared for me...?)
"But you don't have to take my word for it." (Name that show about books from long ago. And can you name the actor who said it?) Try a YA novel. If you're unsure what to pick, ask your librarian. Or ask me! Tell me the genre you tend to read and I'll recommend a YA in that genre.
Marian, that's me!
I love stories! I love to read fairy tales, fables, stories from around the world. I especially love scifi and fantasy. And I like to write. And watch movies. And play board games. And do theatre things.