Morning friends, I hope you’re doing well. Another Friday has come, meaning it’s time for another Let’s Talk Bookish discussion. Let’s Talk Bookish* is a weekly meme hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Today’s topic is: What Make You Continue Picking Up YA/Middle Grade Books? (suggested by Sam @ River Moose Books)
I started reading middle grade seriously at the end of last year and it’s been an interesting experience. So, I’m going to tweak this topic a little bit and talk about why I’ve come to love MG, and why I’ll continue to read it in the future.
*just wanted to note that I’ve finally updated the official LTB page all the way to June’s topics
YA = Young Adult | MG = Middle Grade
As I said, I first really got into middle grade at the end of last year after having Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls recommended to me by some friends. From there, I read a few more spy related middle grade novels before starting my first middle grade fantasy series: Keeper of the Lost Cities (KOTLC).
I think what helped me stay drawn to the category was the fact that I started it in a genre that I like. Espionage is one of the best genres there is, in my humble opinion, so reading a couple of those helped me warm up to the idea of reading MG. I also liked that it was so much easier to digest with a lot less nerves and anxiety accompanying the story.
Instead of being semi-terrified that the main character will be caught and an entire government’s plans will be destroyed, I got to laugh and smile at the jokes and misadventures that the main characters had to deal with. Knowing that the worst that could possibly happen was them being kidnapped and having to stage an epic escape made it so much easier to live in the moment with the characters and appreciate their childhood innocence.
KOTLC was a great continuation of my foray into the middle grade world. The main character Sophie, is only 12 years old at the start of the series, and we get to follow her as she discovers the truth of what she really is while being The Chosen One, in a sense, who will bring change to the Elvin world. my love for the series waned though; i’m currently on the 8th book and i’m ready to quit. they have made absolutely no progress (save for everything related to my poor Tam and Keefe) for like five books now and i’m exhausted of being in Sophie’s head.
At the start of 2021, I moved to middle grade contemporaries, and read the likes of American as Paneer Pie, Other Words for Home, and A Thousand Questions. Again, that same uncomplicated innocence followed in these books even if they did deal with heavier, more serious topics at times.
I think that’s what made me continue reading MG books: they’re so much less complicated and more heartwarming than young adult novels.
The plots are not always as complex, the relationships between characters is simpler (mis/noncommunication doesn’t happen much which makes life so. much. easier.), and the theme of friendship and emphasis on good morals makes my heart feel so full.
This is not to say that YA is always a complicated mess of angst, miscommunication, and near death. There are some nice light YA novels out there, but I don’t see them as often, especially in the fantasy genre. And considering that I read a lot of YA and a few Adult fantasies, MG is a welcome change that doesn’t take so much from me emotionally.
I think that that’s because of the age group that it’s geared towards. MG is more for 8-12/13 year olds so the drama that comes with being a teenager hasn’t set it in just yet, and it’s a lot cleaner content-wise compared to YA. Sure, there might be some crushes going on between characters, but it’s adorable and I don’t mind it because it’s just so cute.
YA on the other hand is for an older audience, spanning 13-18 year olds which is when a person really becomes who they are. So, there’s a lot of self-discovery, anxiety, drama, and romance going on, which is nice to read at times, but is more emotionally demanding. Make it a YA fantasy, and then there’s the added layer of the main character having to be the savior of the world/their country. Which again is all nice and great, and I love reading that most of the time, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief when I finally get an MG novel to read.
In the future, I do want to read more middle grade novels, especially since I didn’t really read MG when I was in that age category. I kind of jumped from Geronimo Stilton and American Girl to adult espionage and legal thrillers. I know, it really was quite the jump. So, I still have a lot of awesome books to discover.
Right now, I only have The Trials of Morrigan Crow and Legacy on my immediate to-be-read list. Morrigan Crow was recommended to me a really long time ago and it’s shameful how I’m only now just getting to it (sorry Meegs!). I’m excited to finally see what will happen in it.
Legacy: at this point, I’m just forcing myself to finish the KOTLC books because I refuse to have it spoiled for me despite how much I’m dreading trudging through this. But it’s all for Tam, so hopefully it will be worth it.
And yeah. That’s all I have to say on my love for MG.
To summarize: I love middle grade because it’s a nice relaxing change from my typical YA books. The stories are more innocent and simple while still being wholesome with amazing themes, especially of friendship, mixed in. And that is a beautiful combination that I’ve come to love.
Instead of doing the ‘this week’s participants’ as I usually do, we’re going to be using InLinkz (it’s a linkup service), so you can put in your post yourself! Just head over to Dani’s blog and you’ll find the InLinkz at the bottom of her post where you can add your link and see other participants as well.
If you’re having any trouble, just let us know and we’ll try to get it resolved right away.
I’ve kind of run out of MG books to read, and I know I haven’t put in a lot of effort to find more, but I would appreciate any recommendations you all might have.
My questions for you:
- Do you read middle grade books? Why or why not?
- Do you think YA should take a leaf out of MG’s guidebook and try to be less complicated and exhausting at times?
- Have you read any of the books I included?
- Do you like using InLinkz?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!