Why Y.A.?

July 31, 2011 § 4 Comments

I’m puzzled about this runaway train called YA (Young Adult) fiction.

I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but I have been wondering why – why all of a sudden has it become the hotest category in fiction today?

So, let’s puzzle this out. Am I wrong in thinking Y.A. is primarily directed at teen-age girls? Does this focus on those years mean that this is the most important time in their lives? Is our culture saying, once you become an adult – no longer Y.A., but simply A – it’s all over? You’re now on the downside of life?

Even the term “Young Adult” is suspect because to me that would mean 20 to 25. Tell me Y.A. authors, are you writing for teenagers (13-19) or young adults (20-25) or both? Can it be both? Honestly?!

In our culture, as we all know, youth is prized to the point where many adults (past 25) spend hours and mucho dollars trying to look younger. Advertisers die to reach that audience. Communications vehicles are invented almost daily to target them and then killed the next day when they don’t succeed. (Too many magazine titles to list.)

So is Y.A. fiction about feeding into this mania or is it about helping teens who want to be treated like adults as soon as they grow pubic hair? Does it add to the pressure young people feel to hurry up and become an adult (i.e.: drink, smoke & have sex) or does it help them avoid the pressure?

If you write or read Y.A., I’d love to hear your opinion. Write or Wrong?

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