I have a theory: More grownups read YA novels than teenagers.
I think it’s their way of reliving the glory days of youth: crushes, first kisses, self-discovery, friendship and, my personal favorite, freedom from the daily grind.
Not that the teenage years are all stuffed bears and cotton candy. Few of us have made it through unscathed – whether it be the abusive parent, financial hardships, psycho siblings, school tormenters and/or heartache.
The trouble arises when adults expect teen protagonists to act older than they are.
An indie friend recently complained that a one star reviewer called her main character shallow and self-involved. “Of course she’s shallow and self-involved,” she said. “She’s a teenager!”
I had to stop myself recently when I became frustrated with a stubborn character in a novel I was reading who couldn’t seem to figure out who she was or what she wanted.
Hello? Teenager alert!
I thought back to being 17… then promptly slammed that door shut.
The irony is, at that age I was reading Harlequin romance novels and couldn’t wait for the glory days of adulthood.