Yo. What up?
The last time I checked, I was a man. I'm not JUST a man, I'm a man who reads YA. That makes me a REAL MAN.
REAL MEN know who they are. They don't apologize for it. They don't hide it. So, Miss Cash Register Lady, give me all the suspicious glares you want when I buy YA books.
YA changed my life.
I'm 33 and I have three biological children and quite a few "other kinds" of children. I worked in children's homes for years, so I was a parent to children and teenagers that were in tough situations. Always girls. I always had a house full (usually 8) of teenage girls. Drama, yo. Drama. Also, lots of cool swear word combos.
I graduated high school in 1997. From 1997-2011 I read MAYBE five novels. I can't name them, but it seems like a fair number.
Early in 2011 a friend sent me a Batman Graphic Novel. It was a start.
Late in 2011 I read The Hunger Games. Uh-Oh...
I read over an hour!! First time, ever. Then I woke up early the next day, read for hours straight and finished the book. I had NEVER, EVER done anything like that with a book.
I decided to read another YA book. I swallowed my pride and took the long walk from the Wal-Mart book section to the cash register. I swear everyone was looking at me. I even had the cover up against my body so no one could see what I was buying, but they knew...they knew.
After seeing the teenage girl in the flowing red dress on the cover, then verifying that I wasn't on the local sex offender registry, Cash Register Lady sold me the book. I quickly hid the book inside the nearly transparent Wal-Mart bag and exited the building. I used a different exit to throw the cameras off.
The book sucked. I won't name it. I'm not a hater.
I didn't give up. I bought more books and began reading daily. I read and read and read. I read Divergent. I read Blood Red Road. I read Delirium. The hook was sinking deeper with each read.
I watched all the Harry Potter movies for the first time. I fell in love with Luna Lovegood and Sirius, and Severus, and Harry, and Remus, and Snape, and...everyone. The books seemed a bit overwhelming to me. I mean, that's a freakin lot of pages! I read them. I loved them. I regretted being so late to the sorting.
So I read and write YA. And now, I blog about it.
I'm going to read like a mofo in 2013.