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I have a confession to make. I read the Twilight books. And I loved them. Please don’t judge me for this. I make no apologies to anyone. Do I think that they are the best books ever written? No. Would I read them again? Probably.

My name is Jenn. And I am a YA book reader.

I love reading. I have been an avid reader for all of my life. When I was in the 1st grade, I was reading at a 6th grade level. I could not get enough. I read Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie and Judy Blume’s books. I read all of Judy Blume’s books. Some more than once. When I was younger that was more or less what was available for young adult (YA) readers. I am not complaining about this. Those books were great. And most importantly, those books helped be become the person that I am today.

But let me tell ya, the YA books of today make those of yesteryear look like a bunch of chumps. Younger readers have so many incredible options. I have now found two of my favorite series in the YA section. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Check them out, they are really good, I swear!!

The new group of YA authors are talented and imaginative. They are inspiring. They write characters that are empowering to young readers and some of us that are not so young. I am in love with the endless possibilities of the books out there. At times I can’t figure out what to read next.

One of my greatest joys has been sharing this love with those around me. My sister has read more than a couple YA books at my recommendation. My BFF, Gina and I share many books. Together, we have been through vampires, angels, Dystopian societies and back again. And most importantly, Niece #1 is now a reader because of YA books (Thank you Katniss!!). Sharing in that, has made me more than proud. It is the connection that readers can share when reading the same book.

To this day, I dwell on the two John Green novel’s that I have read- The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska. These books are powerful and emotional and have clung to my soul. And they are considered YA books.

I still check out the adult best sellers. I have read Gone Girl and Fifty Shades of Grey. I have heard the hype and I get it. Oprah, I thank you for many great recommendations in your book club over the years. But no matter how old I get to be (or claim to be), YA will always pull me back. And it is nice to know that I am not alone.

Reading doesn’t always have to be about substance. But instead, it should be about enjoyment. So next time you are looking for something to read, wander into the YA section of your nearest bookstore and explore. There is something out there. You may be surprised.