If you are a women or have spent much time around teenage girls, you know that there is something truly unique and miraculous about the emotional intensity of teen girls. There is nothing quite like it; the continual waves of the most heartfelt turmoil from joyous elation to grief stricken sadness. It's never ending drama of the most honest and raw feelings. It is a time when you can scream at the top of your lungs when angry because you can't find the right outfit to wear, or sit in a dark room sobbing your heart out while listening to rock ballads after your boyfriend didn't respond to your text. The pure unadulterated context of the moment is visible to all at this age.
As we grow older, we learn to rein in these emotions. We learn to navigate our way through what we are feeling and respond with more appropriate manners. However, I would argue that most women still secretly experience these intense moments it's just an inwardly response within ourselves and no longer shared with the world. I believe this is why the popularity of Young Adult novels has skyrocketed. It is the outlet where the world can feel as we do with such ferociousness in a context that is acceptable.
You always hear comments such as, "There's no other love like your first." or "Your first heartbreak is always the worst." It is because these moments occur while in our teens when our emotions are still unfiltered. It is also these experiences that we get to relive while reading Young Adult novels.
The majority of people will attribute the start of the YA boom incorrectly with The Twilight series, and while it is true that this series added to the momentum, I believe the true start begun with The Harry Potter series. I distinctly remember while on my commute home riding the subway and noticing multiple men and women reading the hardback book of Harry Potter. Book 5 had just been released, and apparently the kids were not the only ones headed to the bookstore on the day of release to purchase it. I remember thinking how amusing it was that so many adults would be reading the same book, at the same time, and that the book would happen to be one written for children! I truly thank J.K. Rowling for single-handedly making it acceptable for us adults to read genres meant for younger readers in public no less.
So that was the beginning, but most certainly was not the end. After Harry Potter we seen a drastic turn in popular fiction because the market realized there was a fresh new market of readers, but writers also realized the opportunity for endless creativeness. A teen honestly believes down to their core that anything is possible. I had no doubt that I would be a millionaire rock star along side with world peace, human equality for all, and the Loch Ness Monster - it was all possible, no holds barred. If you're a writer imagine what you can do with an audience that would believe the unbelievable?
We all have those moments where we long to be young again. I believe a large part of that desire is because we want to have the unrestrained freedom to believe in our own endless possibilities. Our commitments, our routines, and our lack of belief has removed the likelihood for us to experience the strange and unusual. We are left with the mundane and typical, yet we long for the days when magic was real. .....and now we've found it. Through talented writers who discovered a way to take us all back to that world we use to live in and to make us believe once again.