Our Age Of YA Literature


Madison Guzman, Staff Writer

“Young Adult” books seem to have an ever-changing definition, so let’s see just what trends there are in today’s libraries.

YA is technically defined as books geared towards 12-18 year olds, but recently a lot more older readers have indulged in these stories. It’s no surprise that they do, given the darker themes some of these books contain. Dystopian novels such as the Divergent series, The Maze Runner, and Hunger Games are some classic favorites amongst teens today. They follow pretty grim topics, such as death, poverty, segregation, and capitalism. However, the drama and relatability of the plot seems to prove appealing to many.

Francesca Crosby recalls The Hunger Games as one of her favorite books, for its thrill and emotion.

Fotis Patrianakos remarks about a series he enjoys, the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyers.

“Objectively? It’s so bad. But is it a comfort series? Absolutely.”

Honestly, I’m inclined to agree. The series is certainly no literary wonder and has many of us cringing to ourselves as we read, but there’s no doubt that it had an enormous impact on teen lit. It’s the definition of a guilty pleasure, and that’s why so many people like it. In its golden age, Twilight was adored by some die-hard (twi-hard?) fans and detested by others. It’s a key example of the ‘love triangle’ trope, as well as the vampires VS. werewolves trope, and of course the quirky bookish girl trope. The “Twilight Renaissance” is a recent era dubbed as such because of the resurgence of the fan community in 2020-2021. With the release of Midnight Sun and the addition of the movies to Netflix, it’s once again blatantly obvious how much of a cultural staple the books are in America’s teens. 

If you want to see for yourself, just yell “Team Jacob!” into a crowd and watch as the 14 year olds clamber over each other. It’s fascinating to see them in the wild, really.

So there you have it! The inside scoop on why some plot devices are so popular and so beloved (or beloathed). Tropes and trends will always be fluid, but some of them will always be classics. (Oh, and Team Edward all the way.)