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Why I Don’t Want to Read YA Anymore

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I basically live and breathe YA books, so this is something pretty big. Recently, I did a post titled “The Sad Truth about Reading Fiction”, and after publishing it I realised I managed to overlook the primary reason why I have decided I need to stop reading YA books, and how it is not just because I’m getting bored of genres like YA fantasy (where you can read a thousand books by simply reading one).

I’m a Muslim, and in Islam we don’t have sexual relationships outside of marriage, and I’m pretty sure it’s not okay to read explicit sexual content (or watch it, for that matter). In my opinion, it’s just really immoral and unnecessary.

I have been reading YA for around two years now, and I have been on Goodreads, I’ve been reading book blogs, I’ve kept an eye out on all the new releases and everything – and after all that, I still find myself falling back on the same borderline Middle-Grade books when people ask me for sexual-content-free recommendations. This is something I find extremely frustrating.

There is also only so much skipping you can do. I’ve always said that I skip all the inappropriate content, but in all honesty (and this is coming from an expert skipper) although you don’t have as much as an idea of what’s going on if you were skipping it in the form of a movie or TV show or something similar, you still kind of know. It’s not so much as skipping than fast skimming.

It has come to a point now where I have realised I just need to stop. I want to stop. So – non-fiction, Islamic books and classics it is. Also, fiction books that are so much worth reading than YA books, where the goods outweigh the bad, because when I read things like YA fantasy books, I come out feeling like that was an entertaining but absolutely worthless read. And I think life is way more meaningful to spend time on things like that.

So that’s my view on this – let me know if you share my opinion on the level of sexual content in YA books (or just books in general). I don’t know how this change will turn out for me – whether I will actually end up changing up my reading tastes and staying that way, or whether I will turn back to YA. I actually don’t think I’ll turn back to YA, because along with the level of sexual content, I’m also finding it pretty bland now, but we’ll see (maybe it’s just a reading slump?). Either way, I hope it turns out for the best, whatever that may be πŸ™‚

19 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want to Read YA Anymore”

  1. I did read your awesome discussion post but unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to comment πŸ™ˆ. I always read your posts and mean to comment after but sometimes I get so busy smh…πŸ˜‘

    What you’re doing is great and I really admire you for making this choice. However, I’m still at a stage where I love reading fiction and giving it up is going to be a bit hard. Recently, many of my friends have been wanting to give up YA primarily because of the sexual content and as a Muslim first, it’s the right choice to make πŸ™

    I hope one day I have the courage to make the correct decisions for myself.
    Hopefully your upcoming non-fiction and Islamic-fiction reviews will inspire me ❀️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Aw thank you and no problem but I always look forward to reading your thoughtful comments, I really appreciate your support πŸ™‚

    Thank you! Yes its definitely going to be hard, and even for me, I still love reading fiction and it’s going to be hard, but I feel like it’s just the wise decision to make especially since I’ve done SO much fiction reading in the past, I’ve realised it’s time to read things more beneficial for myself.

    That’s awesome, inshallah you guys can encourage each other – and mashallah they sound like amazing sisters if that’s what they’re thinking of doing. Yes you’re right, may Allah guide you to the right decision ukhti πŸ™‚

    inshallah and inshallah that I actually manage to carry this out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww you’re so sweet ❀️
    I’ll definitely try to comment more often πŸ˜„

    Yes, I understand. Reading takes up a huge chunk of time and by reading meaningless books, you’re essentially wasting time…πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

    Inshallah πŸ’•βœ¨

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  4. I totally agree with you on the level of sexual content in YA books, I mean for goodness sakes just put it into New Adult and call it a day! It’s really admirable that you’re doing this, and reading things that are more beneficial for youπŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know sexual content was an issue in YA before I started reading your reviews. I sometimes listen to book tubers just to keep myself abreast of new books, but it is not a genre I read. Do you think that this kind of content increased as the popularity of YA grew or was it always like this?

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  6. Oh okay. One thing about book tubers is that they gush and recommend and advertise books marketed at YA when they are actually New Adult, so I think that may be part of the reason as to why YA has so much romance. I think this kind of content may have increased in the way society has evolved, because in the 1900s, people would be pretty aghast about the way people behave nowadays. I don’t know for sure if it was always like this because I haven’t been reading YA for too long, but I do know that older books tend to sometimes be cleaner, but not clean.

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  7. Yes, I’ve noticed that certain booktubers act more like advertisers than reviewers. It is really sad that sexual content has become an issue with YA. A lot of young people are reading them these days. Even as an adult I find sexual content problematic. There are books with interesting premises, but because of their extremely sexual content, I choose to not read them. In fact, these days I find that the more overtly sexual a story is the more popular it gets no matter the medium (books, TV shows, movies).

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  8. Yes, I have really struggled in finding good YA books that lack sexual content and I truly can only think of borderline MG books that are like that. It is very sad. I think it’s a process where it starts with reading YA, then seeing the sexual content in YA and then reading romance/erotica – I know some Muslim girls like that. I would read them and skip as much as the sexual content as possible, but there really is only so much you can skip, unfortunately. I think it may be the other way around – that all the good stories out there always have sexual content added.

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  9. Hi ! So I stumbled on your post a few minutes ago and I HAD to comment !
    Even though I’m not muslim, I have the same issue with sexual content ( Yesterday I posted a discussion on exactly THAT on my own Blog) To speak the truth there are YA books without explicit sexual scenes, so that’s re-assuring. The thing is that YA books with sexual scenes just became MORE ! Because of the society they throw sex in everything. You could be reading a thriller and suddenly there would be sex involved. (Don’t let me start with movies and TV xD )
    I can’t give up YA or contemporary romance books just yet ( I enjoy the fantasy and the world building too much) , but I know that I want to one day! I love your thoughts and you decision ! Thanks for your inspiration ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey! I appreciate the comment, I always love hearing other people’s views/opinions on things, so thanks πŸ™‚ Honestly, I read YA for 2 years and coming out of that I can really only point out a handful of good YA books I read without sexual content (maybe I was looking in the wrong place? fantasy and hist-fic were my favourite genres), and a lot of those books were kind of more MG than YA. Exactly, I completely agree with you. I understand the feeling! For a long time I thought I would never be able to do that, but trust me, it’s possible – good luck! Thank you so much and I will check out your post πŸ’•

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  11. Salaam alayki,
    I’m not really a fan of YA myself but I bought some a while back, thinking to give to my teenage daughter. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable with the sexual content and they’re now stored somewhere safe, for future discussion when she’s much older.
    I agree this phenomenon is probably getting worse because of the society and the ‘sex sells’ mentality. That’s why I am always on the look out for Muslim fiction that tells relatable (and that word DOES NOT mean lax-with-the-Deen) characters in engaging tales.
    For now, we do classics and middle grade.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Walaikumasalam, I completely agree and I think classics and middle-grade would be excellent for the time being.

    Some classics I would recommend for around this age: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Secret Garden (and other books by Frances Hodgson Burnett) Anne of Green Gables (later books have romance but completely clean), The Hobbit, The Little House Books (if they aren’t too old for her yet), The Call of the Wild and also books like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

    Once she grows older I would suggest allowing her to read the older classics – books like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit, Lord of the Flies, Little Women (there is some romance towards the end but completely clean), Pride and Prejudice where although there is romance it is completely clean and very entertaining, The Hobbit, A Tale of Two Cities, Frankenstein or The Count of Monte Cristo (which is very long but has a gripping plot line… I am still only 400 pages through bc of the length!).

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  13. Thanks for the reply. I have 2 teenagers – a boy and a girl, and between them, we have everything on this list except The Hobbit, and The Boy in the Stripped PJs. You feel the dilemma?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello! I completely agree with you on this matter, I actually think that the amount of that kind of stuff in YA is way too much! I think YA is like another name of romance!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh. My. Goodness. Yesssss!! I thought that I was the ONLY person who felt that way. Most everyone I know is obsessed with YA, including Muslims, and it always annoyed me. I think I started YA in the first place because of everyone obsessing over certain books (like Twilight, The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.) and it just kinda grew from there (I’m still not a huge fan of YA though; a lot of times, it feels like the books essentially just copied one another even though they’re supposed to be more “diverse”. Middle-grade, on the other hand, is just so sweet and it can be a lot more serious than people think). There are some YA books that are better than most though. While I generally do most of my reading on my own, at times, I have a non-muslim friend who’s really accomodating to my preferences though, and sometimes when I’m considering reading a book, I’ll ask her if she read it, and if so, how explicit it was. But anyways, I’m so glad to hear that you’re thinking of avoiding them now! Best of luck to you and may Allah make it easy on you, Ameen!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Asalamualaikum Fareeha, it was so lovely to read your comment! I’m so glad we agree on the same things πŸ™‚ Alhamdullilah it’s good that you’re able to make sure that the books you’re reading aren’t too explicit etc and jazkallakhair for your duaa – it’s been over a year now since I stopped reading YA and I’m now branching out into other genres and things! πŸ™‚

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