At the library, the majority of our volunteers are teens. They’re all really sweet and really helpful and pretty much only know me as that stereotypical librarian (complete with glasses and cardigan. I am a walking stereotype). So it’s fun when they ask me something and my answer surprises them. I was a drummer? I was in the circus? Yeah, like that.
So today I was talking to one of our volunteers, and mentioned being obsessed with pop punk when I was around his age. To my delight, the genre is still around and while I don’t know any of the current popular artists, I’m happy to know people still like it. So he jotted down some bands for me to check out, and I told him I’ll come back with recommendations of my own.
And that – just that – is why I write young adult novels. Because while times do change (I didn’t have a cell phone in high school; Facebook wasn’t invented; Leonardo DiCaprio was the dreamiest – okay he still is), basic things don’t. In high school there will always be the jocks, the cheerleaders, the geeks, the drama kids (me!), the artists, the guys in bands.
But also? There will always be heartbreak so bad you don’t know if you can go on, best friends who you’ll give your life for, crushes that are dreamt about in class over and over again, embarrassments that you think will haunt you forever, pressure that’s beyond overwhelming, songs that feel like they were written just for you, and moments you know you’ll remember forever.
Yeah, I’m a decade older than those teens, but I know what they’re going through because I went through it, too. And knowing that – knowing how things really don’t change – is really kind of great, isn’t it?
5 thoughts on “Teens of Today”
Teens are very often the best audience. They are the ones who relate to your work most strongly, the ones who respect your work and almost revere you as this unstoppable force of creativity. In return, they are the readers who open up the most to your work, reading and enjoying without any sort of irony or cynicism.
I can’t express how much I agree with your comment. Yes to everything.
Love the honesty and insight. Great post.