There are a group of adults that I know who love young adult (YA) literature. I’m not going to name names here, but they MAY have ties to a certain comedy theater in Cambridge and some MAY be involved in the current run of My Dark Love, the Twilight-based improv show (FRIDAYS @ 10!).
I love YA too. I love it in a “The Hunger Games was one of the most important things that happened to me in 2011” kind of way.
I think it’s curious that I have had more profound reading experiences while enjoying these books than I’d had with most of the so-called adult material I’d been reading for years. For some reason I feel so much more connected to these characters and their points of view.
I wonder if it has something to do with story. Each YA or MG (Middle Grade) book I’ve read recently has had a keen focus on story and character. They aren’t so concerned with the style of the writing or how clever the author is. I think I have previously been drawn to language — the more inventive and gymnastic, the better. And over the course of years I maybe got exhausted with that scene. These younger books are like breaths of fresh air.
I just finished Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech and am afraid to write again.
Her narrative voice is so pure, so full, and so simple that I actually feel intimidated. Add to that a careful, sad, funny and layered story about love and family and loss and growing up…it was just such a fulfilling experience.
Now, Twilight is different, obviously. It’s kind of like comparing Cheetos to oranges to lump these books together, but one thing remains — the story moves.
The takeaway comes in two parts:
1. If you’re in a reading rut, try something that isn’t made for adults. You might be pleasantly surprised.
2. Go see MY DARK LOVE at Improv Boston! The cast is a bunch of freaks.