A couple of years ago I finally decided to give middle grade a shot and I was blown away by how much I loved it! But, when I was growing up, I read YA or even Adult Fantasy and I found this type of books profoundly annoying and the few that were translated were not appealing to me at all.
The stories are always exceedingly unique and although there is a certain predictability to the plot structure*, I can still honestly say these are always incredibly surprising stories that make me gasp out loud or yell at the book when the characters make dumbass choices. On the other hand, I don’t completely dislike the predictability in the plot, as there are rarely plot-holes, too many questions left unanswered or endings that aren’t satisfying. (*In this case, I mean that most of the time the characters have to go on a quest to save the world from an evil entity.)
The possibilities are endless where the fantasy elements are concerned – and that is something that perhaps should be said by all fantasy stories but, in reality, YA or Adult fantasy seem to be predictable nowadays. Recently quite a few of these stories have been inspired by mythologies from around the world and those are always fun to read since you’re probably learning something new about different cultures.
As you all know the characters are a key part of why we enjoy stories. If you can’t stand the main character narrating the story, you’re not going to enjoy the book as much – if at all. In MG, characters are always young, being around 11 – 15 years old, and therefore not quite as mature mentally as the characters you might be used to. This aspect can be one of the big downsides to MG, it really depends on what you can tolerate as a reader, I suppose. The first time I tried reading Percy Jackson and The Lighting Thief, I couldn’t stand having such a young
annoying Percy narrate the story. But years later, I really enjoyed it! However, there is always an assured amount of character development as characters grow with the series.
Also, only rarely will something truly awful happen to the characters, so if you are looking for something a little lighter and safer, so to speak, MG can be a good choice.
So, basically to conclude my short rant/recommendation post, you should read middle grade fantasy because it’s awesome. I recommend nearly all that I have read so if you’re curious/looking for some series to try, here is my MG goodreads shelf.
Here are some MG books on my TBR: (and if you know any other cool ones, let me know!) Also, missing from this list are all the sequels to the series I’ve already started.