When we think of books that have sold well and we wonder why, we have to remember we can relate to those characters.
One of the reasons Young Adult Literature, and specifically Twilight, has done so well is because Bella Swan is someone women and teenage girls can relate to. They’ve felt that isolation, that desire to be wanted by someone.
If they have a rough home life, the need is greater.
Some books do that better than others. In Dune–which may have been put in Young Adult if it came out now–Frank Herbert gives us a teenage boy who must confront his father’s killers and save a planet.
In The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice gives us Lestat De Lioncourt. Lestat is a character, like Paul Atreides, that must confront something bigger than himself. Along the way he learns about life, death, passion and finding the strength in himself to do something he may not want to do, but must.
Every book has a journey in it. It can be a journey of the soul, like Lestat. Or one of being greater than we believed possible, like Paul.
For Bella Swan, she has to discover who she is, who she loves and the path she takes will change her life, and those around her. The Twilight books grasped something that was missing in the market, books that young women could read and truly care about the MC (Main Character).
Ignore the writing in the books, is what everyone says, but it’s the simplistic writing that makes it work. It makes the story, and others like it, work.
But this easy writing has the possibility of opening Pandora’s Box throughout Young Adult Literature. If we market poorly written books to women and young women, it may cause more poorly written books to be published in the hope of becoming the next Twilight.
Will gearing the system toward poorly written books make people less intelligent and make them want to keep reading books that are on an eighth grade or lower reading level. Only time will tell.
I understand that I write Young Adult Literature, mostly, but I also know the perception of Y/A among writers of other genres. They say we can’t write, the stories are convoluted, well I give them John Green.
John Green is a brilliant writer. Reading Looking for Alaska was the turning point in my writing. He writes Y/A, and is one of the best selling writers.
In the end Twilight got young women and women reading. Which is the goal of any book series. Regardless of the points I’ve expressed in this article I’m a Young Adult writer and understand that I write books to a certain category of the population.
My problem with the current trend is, are we making people less intelligent by publishing these books?
Do you believe the current trend is making readers less intelligent with the poor writing? Answer in the comments.