As one of the publishers of Lyrical Press, it’s my job to stay on top of book trends. Obviously, one cannot ignore the success of Twilight. I may have been slow to the series, but its impact caused a ripple effect throughout the industry. Suddenly, Young Adult novels became mainstream. At least for the moment. True, I loved Twilight. Not the series, mind you, only the first book. The remaining three books were frustrating at best … but that’s a whole other story.
Twilight’s success brought with it a momentary mainstreaming of Young Adult novels. Why do I believe it’s momentary? Because not only can adults no longer identify with the characters portrayed in many YA books, but also because we’ve been there and have done that. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad those years are past me.
I, like so many of my peers, weren’t the Bella Swans. We weren’t the aloof new girl/guy in town everyone fought over. Nor were we the lucky one the hero or heroine of our stories fell in love with. I was a first-class geek. I was just as clumsy as Bella, only no one in my school found it endearing. Everyone usually pointed and laughed at me when I slid on ice or tripped over my own feet. And I certainly didn’t have the hottest guy at school protecting me from harm. Nope. I was bullied and picked on. The last thing I want is to revisit those awkward and awful years on a regular basis through my reading choice.
And then there is the fact that the youths of today and the youths of yesterday might as well be from different planets. We simply can’t identify to their techno-advanced world. We had Atari and payphones. They have Wii and iPhones.
That’s not to say, however, a brief trip down memory lane isn’t nice every now and then … especially when I get to suspend reality and pretend, just for a moment, I was the awesomely aloof klutz in school the hot vampire fell in love with instead of the nerd I actually was.