In the kids’ section

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.


4 thoughts on “In the kids’ section

  1. It might be because YA fiction is almost universally hopeful. It might deal with some dark subjects (losing a parent, sexual confusion, cliques) but there’s usually an element of uplift at the end, or at least the possibility that things will get better. Which is important for teenagers to read about, but it’s important for adults, too.

    • Yes, John I think that is 100% true! It doesn’t have to be a happy story, in fact many are incredibly heart-breaking, but doesn’t end in complete despair. I used to be really into complete despair, but adulthood demands a little hope I think.

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