Until now, I never thought about what makes edgy young adult fiction the new “gotta have it” trend in teen lit. I certainly didn’t think about trends when I wrote A Place in This Life and SWELL. I just felt the stories were the right ones to tell.
So, what makes this the best time to bring “Death, Sex, and Boobies” (an awesome tagline from an Absolutewrite.com colleague) to the YA table? If edgy is the next big thing in teen lit, it only makes sense to get these types of books on the table now.
But that’s not all.
Edgy has always been there, with the teenagers. All the emotional angst and stress never went away in spite of the vampires, ghosts, and she-devils. In fact, I think it’s stronger than ever, with families split into multiple factions, terrorism here and there, and tragic acts of God happening all around the young ones.
And naturally, when you’re flooded with hormones and wigged out about not only where you fit into the scheme of things, but how you’ll fare later on, you want to read about it. Illness happens. So does sex (and quite a bit of it). And death certainly does occur. Not to mention boobies (ah heck, they’re everywhere). New takes on these oldies-but-goodies are sure to entertain young adult readers for years to come.
Of course, to say whether a trend is profitable or not remains to be seen. That’s where cold, hard facts come into play. No doubt, fantasy and paranormal YA stories have held their own this last decade. But no matter the amount of escape they bring to young minds, there is no denying that one cannot escape from reality.
Edgy YA is like black – it’s dark, always looks good, and never goes out of style.