Let Teens Be Teens
I’m finding it harder and harder to read reviews of young adult books written by fellow adults. I’m finding trendy labels such as ‘Mary Sue’, ‘insta-love’, and ‘love triangles’ thrown around in books that don’t consist of these things. I’m finding adults critiquing teenagers for being teenagers and disliking the books because the teen characters don’t react the same way the reader would.
We read teen books starring teen characters and then complain that they can’t handle life as well as an adult. When they make stupid decisions we label them ‘Too Stupid to Live’. When they fall in love we label it ‘instalove’. When they don’t think through consequences we label them ‘dumb and immature’. When they don’t have their life sorted out and a life plan we label them useless.
Well for fuck’s sake, they’re freaking teenagers. I’m nearly 30 and I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with my life other than find the perfect work/life balance and strive for contentedness. I fell in love at age 20 and planned my life around getting to be with my now-husband. We’re now married and I’m blissfully happy with my life. What’s wrong with that? What’s the three year difference between a 17 year old making the same decision?
This is why I love young adult books, because teenagers don’t act like adults, they don’t have the same problems, they don’t think the same and they don’t make the same decisions.
Does that mean we have to be hard on them and knock them down for acting just like teenagers?