So this week, I read the first book in the Vampire Academy series. I read it in 4 days because it typified exactly why I so love young adult novels in 5 crucial ways: Vampire Academy

1. They are fast. I don’t have to puzzle through plot based on characterization – although I LOVE that in other novels. Instead, the plot is based on external conflict, which makes for a quick pace and, thus, a quick read.

2. They are intriguing. When well-written, a great young adult novel has a lot of mystery behind it, and in books like Vampire Academy, the writer reveals that mystery slowly.  So I’m kept wondering even as I whip through the pages.

3. The protagonists are often women. Maybe it’s just the YA books I choose, but many of the main characters are young women, often strong young women.  Of course, many adult novels have strong female leads, too, but there’s something about a teenage girl finding her strength that just really appeals to me.

4. There’s resolution. Often in adult fiction, I prefer open endings where not everything is tied up easily. But when I turn to YA, I’m often looking for some solid wrapping up.  I like for there to be an ending, even if in series the ending often also sets up the next book.  Something about the resolution just appeals to me.

5. They give me respite. For all the reasons above, YA novels give me a chance to get away from my actual life – a life I love but that can be heavy. So when we’re buying a house and selling a house all in the same month, women who protect vampires and love older Russian men is just what I need.

What about you? Do you like YA novels? Why or why not? Any great titles I should check out?