Me, center, age 17, with my best friends after our powderpuff football game for homecoming. About NINE years ago. I feel old.
The boys gamble with girls' hearts, play too many video games and laugh at stupid dirty jokes. The girls are mean to one another and care far too much about how fat or big-nosed or frizzy-haired other girls think they look.
So why, as a fully grown woman, would I want to spend so much time reliving all this suckage by reading young adult literature?
Well, it's because when you're a teenager, you're supposed to be a bratty, sucky mess of a human being. I was. You were, too. I guarantee it.
When you're that age, you make some really foolish decisions. You cry (a lot). You fall for the worst types of boys. You fight with your friends and lose them and make new ones. You roll your eyes at everything your parents say. You might even realize that you can be a bad person, which is a crap lesson to learn.
But it's these constantly changing years that make you who you are. Everyone goes through it, and everyone suffers through it in her own way.
It's because I've gone through it and have come out the other side as a champ that I appreciate the stories of girls (and boys) who are wading through all that suck. As someone who's made it to the other side and knows that it DOES get better, I feel the need to cheer them through it, even if they're fictional.
Plus, it's almost impossible not to relate to these characters. In an instant, a young adult book can take you back to a life-changing moment in your life...because, well, EVERYTHING was life-changing when you were a teen.
Such strong emotions are meant to be explored and acknowledged. The lessons I learned at that age made me who I am as an adult. They aren't meant to be forgotten.
It's a powerful time in anyone's life, and it creates the most powerful and touching literature. Despite, you know, all the sucky parts.
Why do you read YA?