The past year during this strange time of quarantine and social distancing, I, like I’m sure many others, have turned to streaming services for entertainment. But given it has now been a year of this pandemic, I am running out of things that interest me to watch. So lately I have been seeking out new books to read. My entire life I have always been drawn to fiction, in books, film and television. So as a child my favourite books were things such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Bone, and Geronimo Stilton. Then as I moved into my teenage years my interest moved to YA fiction. And from there a love for stories such as The Maze Runner trilogy, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and many many other young adult fiction novels emerged. But as I turned back to novels during this pandemic, I found myself having a hard time connecting with YA the way I had in high school. Feeling as though my interests have grown, I wanted to begin reading more adult fiction. Problem was, I had never looked into adult fiction the way I had YA. I had always known what kinds of stories I loved and what kind of books I could immerse myself in. So now the struggle was to find an adult fiction novel that was able to give me the same feeling that a good YA story did.
After giving it some more thought, I realized that this is a transition that all story lovers must go through. As we age our tastes develop and the subject matter we are drawn to change. But we still crave that same feeling of immersion that you get from reading a great fiction novel. In YA that immersion often comes from world building and creative fantasy and story landscapes. But with adult fiction, when seeking out more thought provoking topics, it is more challenging to find that same emmerision. Now, with that said I have compiled a list of fiction novels that I have read over the last year, that I found to have given me the same thrill and immersion that I got from YA fiction, but with the heavier and more complex subject matters that I was looking for in Adult fiction.
Call me By Your Name by André Aciman
This book is a great story for new adult readers as it still carries on themes of adolescence, self exploration and self discovery. But this specific narrative has more adult depictions of sexuality, intimacy and infatuation. Thus providing a bridge between YA and adult fiction in a seamless way.
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
This novel is a beautiful story of the complicated relationship between a father and son. The story touches on themes that can be found in many YA novels, such as redemption and identity and family love. But it challenges the way young readers consider these themes. Addressing them in a story focused around family heritage and the connection between man and land.
Cherry by Nico Walker
This is a novel for readers looking for a story with a heavier subject matter. This book has a very visceral and in depth look into the real experience of a war vet in his experience in Iraq then his battle with PTSD, and drug addiction. This story is certainly more of a departure from young adult reading from the novels I have listed above; but because of the way it is written it was very easy to emotionally connect to the character and become engulfed in his world.
I hope these books can give a little insight into how adult reading can give you a chance to explore more mature subjects, but still give you the sense of excitement and emotional investment you get from a great YA fiction story.