Discussion Post: Why Zoella is the best thing to happen to YA

It isn’t very often that I do discussion posts here on It’s A Reader’s Life but about a month back I saw a post retweeted by Youtuber Zoella criticising her role in young people and reading. The article by The Daily Mail was titled ‘Is Zoella to blame for falling reading skills?’ and I have to admit, this article made me SO angry!

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The article basically argues that the poor reading age of high school children is due to books such as Zoella’s Girl Online and J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter as they are not challenging enough. For those of you who don’t know, Zoella is the biggest female, YouTuber in the UK. She has published three books,Girl Online, Girl on Tour and Girl Going Solo, which were all bestsellers, hitting the UK book charts. On top of this, Zoe works in partnership with W.H. Smith on her book club. So far there has been three book clubs, the third including world famous authors like Jennifer Niven, and Zoella chooses some of her favourite books to release with brand new covers as part of a set at a discounted price or sold separately.

I am completely for everything Zoella has done for the book community. She is an avid reader and makes her love for YA well known on her social media and through her book clubs and novels. It is no secret that she is a huge role model to young people and she is very influential in there lives. Because of this, I believe she is a massive help in encouraging more people to read. The Daily Mail criticises these teenagers for reading novels that are perhaps below their reading age but I think that some of them wouldn’t even be reading at all if it wasn’t for Zoella. Its no secret that reading isn’t considered ‘cool’ these days but Zoe is taking a huge step in the right direction in making it popular for the mainstream.

I believe it is so important to encourage younger people to read. Of course there are the obvious reasons for this, reading is educational and widens peoples vocabulary etc, but I also think teenagers should be reading to help and guide them through their adolescence years. These days, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ and sexual health are becoming much more prominent topics in YA and for the most part, every teenager is affected but at least one of these things. Therefore, its hugely important that teenagers are reading about these things, not just to educate themselves like Angie Thomas aims to do with her novel ‘The Hate U Give’, but to help them understand their identity and guide them through any problems they are facing. The YA genre is frowned upon by many. It isn’t recognised as a respectable genre and I think this really has to change.

Reading is a massive form of escape for me. I’ve loved reading ever since I can remember and I am consistent in encouraging more people to read. It is beneficial in more ways than one, which is why I was so angered by the Daily Mail’s article. Zoella is a huge help in persuading more young people to read and making a name for YA.

What are your opinions on this? Do you think Zoella is a positive or negative influence on the book community? Let me know in the comments 

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13 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Why Zoella is the best thing to happen to YA

  1. omg I totally agree! Even though I’m not a fan of her books, I think she’s still making reading a thing again and almost like normalizing YA books. And I love that her pick this year was a feminist novel for young women!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I haven’t read them either but I think the fact she is encouraging younger people to read is amazing and I love that YA is becoming a respected genre😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never understood why people care about the difficulty level of books that people read for fun. If I’m choosing to read books for my own entertainment, why does it matter if they aren’t challenging? That’s what assigned reading in school is for – to challenge you. I don’t need to challenge myself on my own if I don’t want to. And like you said, I think it’s better that people are reading something vs. nothing, even if what they’re reading isn’t educational or intellectual. If they’re enjoying it, who cares?!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Completely agree! Reading is all about personal pleasure and nobody should be judged by what they read the same way we shouldn’t be judged by our music taste!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. exactly! I have to agree with this 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One should read whatever he feels like! It does NOT imply you’re dumber than someone else just because you’re reading something ‘easier’………. which is a whole other story (talking about what is ‘literature’ and not…) x

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think if Zoe is able to get even one child to spend time reading a book, that that child otherwise wouldn’t have spent time doing then go her! Why must people judge individuals like Zoe and many other great Youtubers for being successful? She is a great role model! I really enjoyed your article, a very interesting read! 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have to say I tried reading her first book and I couldn’t pass the first page. However, I totally agree with you! It’s amazing she’s made reading cool and that so many teenagers AND children are actually reading SOMETHING because of her! I hate saying there are good book and bad books! For me, all books are great in their way and will be amazing for someone. Her books didn’t work for me, but I’m sure there are thousands of people who’ve loved them! Moreover, reading, as you said, is so important to help us through teen years and to help us think and get to know ourselves better… I don’t see why anyone would criticize her for just promoting reading! (loved the post btw! love a good discussion topic! xx)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment! I haven’t read the books either because from the advertising they seem a bit young for me but if she can get millions of 13 year olds in to reading then it’s fine by me!

      Liked by 1 person

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