Monday, July 12, 2010

The Peta Pan Syndrome and the impact on literature

There is a craze sweeping the world.  Everyone wants to stay young, particularly woman. The increased sale in skincare products, the decline in 'cuddly' grannies with the health conscious wave and the increasing number of more mature women in 'hip' clothes is testimony to the trend. Just call us Peta Pans.

For literature this has seen the emergence of a new category: Cross-over Fiction - stories that appeal to Young Adults and the 18+ market alike.  The trend towards Cross-over Fiction began with the Harry Potter series, when parents started reading their children's copies.  Then came the adult covers to help make the experience more socially acceptable.

Then came Twilight and the craze caught on.  Adults could be seen buying books that had been classified as Young Adult or Children's for themselves.  My mother, and the grandmother of my children, has read Harry Potter, the Twilight Saga, the Maximum Ride series and has recently started on Sookie Stackhouse.  Go Mum!

I confess to being addicted to Young Adult books, devouring them whenever I can. I definitely lean towards the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal in Young Adult and tend to read general fiction for the adult market.

The Children's and Young Adult sections have increased, and some of the books with more mature leanings are doubled up in the adult section to help increase accessibility (and sales).

Whether it is because we are trying desperately to hold onto our lost youth - wishing we could relive our teenage years - or because the quality of Children's and Young Adult books have improved to the point where some rival those in the adult market I am not sure.

So look for us Peta Pans in YA ilse chanting "I'm not in my thirties, I'm not in my thirties" (or forties, or fifities, or sixies - as my YA reading mother is).

1 comment:

  1. I completely know what you mean... I think I'm still considered a young, but in a couple years, that title will be a stretch for me. The problem is, I don't see myself growing out of YA books.

    You're right about adults reading YA now though, so it's not like I'll be the first!

    Very insightful post!