As I read through different research about Adolescent Literature, one of the first things I came across that caught my attention was the different types of young adult books that there are. As a teenager, I loved contemporary realistic fiction. This was a genre that I could actually see happening in life and because it was so realistic to me, it made me want to read more books of this sort. In the, “Crash Course in YA Trends” Whitney Jones goes onto talk about dystopian fiction as well. I didn’t know really anything about this genre so I am happy Jones defines the word “dystopia” at the beginning of this section. Dystopia is defined as, “a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.” This is a theme that I see commonly in young adult books and peeks the interest of many readers that come across it. The expressive thing about this genre of young adult books is that there is so much to be written about that the authors restrictions are quite limited.
As Shannon Hale talks about in her post, “The young adult book tropes that ate the world” young adult books primarily only consider teenagers as their characters. Characters that have perfect endings that that go through life without real life challenges or struggles. Hale explains that teenagers need these years to be messy, to show them what life is really about and that how we get past the hardships we face is who makes us. If we expect life and love to be a perfect reality then the dilemma of dealing with these problems becomes much harder. I have to agree with Hale in the way that during our young adult years we are prone to challenge and embracing these challenges helps us deal with future battles.
The history of young adult literature is very interesting to learn about! I did not know how recent of a genre it is as the first book was published in 1942. As this genre is one of the tops on national reading lists, it is important to remember when it did come about and how fast it has grown in popularity not just for readers but for authors also. Young adult fiction has had a lot of “hallmark” books like Twilight and The Hunger Games but taking my Adolescent Literature class has opened my eyes to noticing how many more famous books there actually are in this genre. The wide array of books that have been published in young adult literature in the last couple decades is astounding and seeing it grow so rapidly is a good sign for the promotion of young readers!
What The Fangirl. (2015, May 18). Crash Course in YA Trends. Retrieved from http://whatthefangirl.com/2015/05/18/crash-course-ya-trends/
Tumblr. (2014, January 2). The young adult book tropes that ate the world. Retrieved from http://shannonhale.tumblr.com/post/71967015477/the-young-adult-book-tropes-that-ate-the-world
Ashley Strickland, CNN. (2015, April 15). A brief history of young adult literature – CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/15/living/young-adult-fiction-evolution/