Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Young Adult Books: Themes and Adult Readers

Typically, a YA book will deal with growing up, coming of age, or being misunderstood by adults. Is this storyline what draws adults today? Are we, as a culture, seeking for a vicarious coming of age because we are confused about what the exact path is to adulthood?

Our culture is lacking in rites of passage, and the way to become an adult is unclear. Ask five people when a person is an adult, and you are likely to get five different answers. Young adult books may outline a path to adulthood, or it may simply follow a young persons quest of becoming an adult. This is a prevalent them for this type of book. When adults are drawn to books with this kind of theme, it does seem to suggest that they are looking for answers themselves.

Another theme typical for YA books is young love or early dating experiences. Can this be part of the allure of young adult books? Could this be an indication that we desire those early romantic relationships, and value those relationships above stable, long term relationships?

The upswing in the popularity of YA books could be a sign that our society is feeling greater attraction towards infatuation. In many of the books, it does appear that these young relationships are going to be long term, but that is all in the future. Balancing other life experiences with love over the long term is not a common theme for YA books.

Maybe it is these themes, or others, that is attracting so many people to YA books. What is this trend saying about the people who are reading these books?

No comments:

Post a Comment