YA

I’ve been catching up on a stack of magazines and I came across an interesting read in Real Simple about the history of YA fiction.  With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 out now, I’ve been wondering why it is that I watch and read more young adult movies and books as an adult than I did as a teen. The short article takes a look at the growth of YA from the 1930’s to today and it gave me some good insight into my interest in “teen stuff”.  Basically, it comes down to the era you grew up in and what your options were.

My mom grew up with the Nancy Drew series and she still had some of her copies from the ’50s laying around, but I couldn’t quite connect with a bygone era. Nancy had the tamest mysteries on earth, and she never held a hand, let alone kissed a boy. (I’m sure they updated this at some point to keep the series relevant.)

Just the mention of The Outsiders brings back middle school angst.  All the boys calling each other Ponyboy and shouting, “Stay gold!”, while the girls giggled at how CLEVER they were, as only middle school girls can. (If you need to pause to look at ’80s teen idols, here ya go.) But that book was also from another era…we were ’90s kids reading a ’60s novel–no wonder we thought it was hilarious.

I’ve always felt there was a lack of interesting YA stuff from my tween/teen years, which makes sense now that I see I grew up in some sort of dead zone between the ’70s realism of Judy Blume, the ’80s fluff of, like, Sweet Valley High, and the late ’90s fantasy of Harry Potter.  To say things shifted with Harry Potter is a huge understatement. I was at my first job out of college and suddenly all of these adults were talking about a young adult book!  It opened the door for more “grown-up themes in Twilight, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Fault in Our Stars”, according to N. Jamiyla Chisholm, and I think that’s really what my age group still responds to. The market changed and it’s been tremendously successful, so part of the reason I still read/watch is that there’s just so much more of it out there now. We had the innocent T.G.I.F. on ABC and some fun WB shows, but now there are endless possibilities across several genres. It’s a really great time to be a teen…or a Forever 21-wearing 36-year-old.

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Speaking of teen shows, if you’re missing the ladies of 90210, they’re all over the Hallmark Channel right now.  Set your DVR for these three:

The Christmas Parade – 2014 (AnnaLynne McCord)

Christmas Incorporated – 2015 (Shenae Grimes-Beech, Steve Lund) I just discovered Steve Lund and trust me, he’s definitely a selling point for this movie.

Merry Matrimony – 2015 (Jessica Lowndes)

Now if we can just get a Jessica Stroup one…

TV tonight:

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – 9/8c BRAVO – Season premiere. I have somehow managed to never see an episode of any of these shows. I think this is the original location?

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce – 10/9 c BRAVO – This looks intriguing, so I’m recording the season 1 marathon leading up to the season 2 premiere tonight.

DVDs out today:

How would you like your Ryan Reynolds? Charismatic poker player in Mississippi Grind or action hero in Selfless? I feel a double feature coming on.

It’s no Bond, but Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. looks like it has a lot of style and pretty faces.

Amy, the behind-the-scenes doc about Amy Winehouse, has previously unheard tracks and looks fascinating. I was a big fan of her music, so I’m curious to learn more about her life.

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