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Young Adult Fiction

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Young adult fiction is among the most interesting and ever changing genres of the present times.  Such kinds of books have been shown to appeal to readers from age 12 to 18, that is, teenage life. The books do revolve around the current issues and themes that the youths face. Some of the issues highlighted in such books are issues concerning sexuality, abuse of drugs, relationships among others (Meghan 2008). Young adult fiction books have lacked the exact definition and more than often, have been referred to as, “coming of age books”. The edgy content in these books and their dramatic content more than often has been the topic of debate among many. Those against such books argue that they expose youths to immoral behaviors and this might tempt them to start indulging in what they read from such books. Despite this, the books have continued to become more popular since time immemorial. Some of the well known and popular novels of all times such as Adventures of Huckleberry and The Mocking Bird do follow in the category of young adult fictions. In present, young adult fiction books are almost everywhere, for instance the “Twilight” and ‘Harry Potter” have become a trend in the current world of literature.

The evolution of the modern edgy fiction has often been viewed as being controversial since it emphasizes on adult content, and, unknown content which has potentially harmful consequences on the future generations. Despite of the fact that the young adult fictions of the present days undergo a thorough scrutiny due to inefficiency in morals as compared to the fictions of the past; it is worth noting that young adult fictions are invaluable tools because of their teachings. It is true that some youths may opt to act the role of the villain in such books, but this should not be an issue since they were fully aware of the consequences that will accompany their actions (Thomas 2003). However, to many youths, the young adult fictions have the power to act as a stimulus for the teens to venture more in reading. In addition, they have vital life lessons that can have a positive influence in the life of the adolescent. In this paper, I will support the idea of using young adult fiction books by discussing the benefits of using such books in the American college transfer level.

Most of the young adult fiction books have realistic themes (Gibbons, Dail and Stallworth 2006). As a result, youths can easily apply such themes in their lives as they grow. Some popular teen novels, for instance, the “Twilight” series is full of vampires and wolves, and as a result, it has been criticized for though it still has massive followers. Twilight is successful since adolescents can find themselves in such situations. Though some may argue that the idea of vampires roaming  in Washington fighting with native werewolves is not ideal for youths, the deeper issue is the way the characters handle such issues by fitting in the society and being accepted the way they are without letting other people’s judgments  affect them (Thomas 2003). Such a lesson is vital for anybody regardless of whether one is an adult or a youth. It is true that most of the young adults more than often are faced with difficulties such as discovering themselves, social issues, coping with school life among others. One of the best and most suitable ways of teaching them on how to overcome such challenges is to allow fictional characters to go through the same things (Hlehman 2011). This can only be possible in young adult fictional books. The teens the way they see the characters handle their situations and resolve their problems can give a glimmer of hope and security as they may feel they can also handle their situations. Though it is said that experience is the best teacher, instead of allowing youths to go through such hard times, they can get experience by reading such novels.

It is true that the current young adult literature differs greatly from the fictional books of the past. Those who have critiqued today’s young adult literature more than often have compared it with the past literature. This should not be the case since the current novels still emphasize on the same themes and are capable of reaching the audiences successfully. We should accept that the world is changing, and as a result, humans also change. We should not anticipate today’s youths to read the same novels that were read by their grandfathers when they were youths. The transition to more modern settings calls for novels also to be set in the modern teen setting. For instance, a novel based on a group of high school friends and their complicated social relationships is very inevitable because of the changes in the trends and the new cultural norms. There are several factors that have called for the change in the type of the current youth adult fictions and the past fictional books. Factors such as the emergency of social sites like facebook and twitter has contributed greatly in influencing the culture of today’s youths. Just like television and films have adapted for them to meet the interests of the new generation, books are also under obligation to include the new themes and the accepted values for them to remain significant (Meghan 2008. Among the most common themes among the current youths are drugs, sex, teen pregnancy, popularity, and bullying. Most parents will be afraid to discuss with their children exhaustively concerning matters to do with sex. The youths on their part may also not feel so comfortable discussing such sensitive issues with their parents. As a result, we cannot be an ostrich that hides its head in the sand and assumes there is no fire. Those against the idea of young adult books because such books explores sexual issues should realize that most of the youths have ideas on what sex is, so arguing that youths are introduced to sex matters at a premature age should not be an issue. In fact it is better for them to know and also know the consequences of it. The issue is here with us and if youths are not educated concerning such matters, they are headed for self destruction. To solve such situations, young adult books have been written to encompass all such issues. This should be viewed as a relief not only to parents but also youths since lessons considered hard can be covered in such books.

More so, with time, young adult fiction books have evolved in a variety of ways. The plots have become more complex and more realistic just the way adolescent culture has evolved (Thomas 2003). More attention has also been given to the youths as the audience. If novels of the early nineteenth century that were written by considering the young readers are compared to the fiction books that are designated as young adult books of today, many similarities and differences will emerge (Meghan 2008). For instance, after The Outsiders was published, young adult fiction books took a new turn and place in the society because of its unique and real tone and the exciting insight it had on the lives of young adults (Hlehman 2011). The response and the success of topics reflecting on adolescent issues and their experiences has contributed to the growth of the young adult genre and will continue to do so.

In conclusion, regardless of what century or how far we will live in the future, young adult fiction books will ever be successful. People will always write about the real life situations that the adolescents face. In addition, there will always be an emerging trend that will inspire and twist the plot of such books. Most essentially, the young adult fiction books will always thrive provided the authors keep on introducing new characters that will attract the attention of teenagers since they will find themselves in a more believable, and familiar voices. As a result, they will yearn to find solutions to the stories they keep on meeting on daily basis. Therefore, those criticizing young adult fiction books by comparing them with such books of the olden days should be made to understand that the world we live in keep on changing. The issues that were facing youths of those days are not the issues facing today’s youths.

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