Do Super Teenagers Exist?
I have been reading a bit of Young Adult fiction recently, including All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Both of these books are written in the first person with a strong female narrator. It made me think about myself when I was a teenager – in my head I was smart, witty and unique, but the reality was I was a self-conscious short kid who mostly fell under the radar. So I wondered whether when some YA writers write books about teenagers, they create the teenagers they wish they had been? I’m especially thinking about the John Green book here – Hazel, except for having incurable cancer, is the sort of person you’d want to be – she is pretty, really well read, brave, independent, and she has an extensive (read precocious) vocabulary like Juno from the film Juno (remember this line: “I’m telling you I’m pregnant and you’re acting shockingly cavalier.”)
Mim from All I Ever Wanted is more real, in my eyes anyway – she is smart, bold and determined, but also self-conscious and scared. The thing is she is still super unique and innately cool (in a fringe of society type of way) and while there were kids like this at my school, I wasn’t one of them.
I wish I could go back to high school, for a day only of course, AND with the brain, confidence and mostly acne-free skin I have now. Perhaps if I wrote a Young Adult novel I could achieve this dream! Once I ran into someone I’d gone to University with and they said to me, “I’m sorry, I can’t remember your name but I know it starts with a J.” Being memorable is just something I’ve always been good at, that and sarcasm.
To conclude this rant, I really enjoyed All I Ever Wanted, because I liked Mim a lot. The Fault in Our Stars I have to admit wasn’t my cup of tea, probably because all the characters annoyed me with their impressiveness. Do kids like Hazel and Gus really exist?? Maybe it’s just my jealousy! Anyway the book has been getting a lot of attention and good reviews so by all means check it out for yourself.
I must fly now, literally, there is a building burning somewhere and I must save the inhabitants with my good looks, wit, and correct use of the word verisimilitude.