I don't know about you, but, lately, the YA books I'm reading are filled with several things that make me wonder if I had a sheltered childhood or if YA books are just misinterpreting teenagers.
First, Underage drinking as if it's normal and accepted by parents. You don't need to spout statistics at me, I know teens and even preteens are drinking, sad as that is, but is it really accepted by parents? Do parents actually expect their teens to go to parties and knock back a few and come home wasted? Seriously? I'm sure it happens and so parents preach about not driving drunk but is that the best they can manage? I'm not a parent so I don't want to claim I know anything but my childhood wasn't like that and if I'd ever come home drunk...oh boy, my parents would have freaked and put a stop to that!
Second, cliques and bullying. Now, I was home schooled so my high school experience was totally different but I had friends who went to high school and I never heard about this sort of "extreme" bullying going on, or cliques so cliquey that they actually had names and wouldn't let anyone else into their group. Oh, sure there were groups of people who hung out together on a regular basis but it wasn't like a secret club with codes and rules. And Bullying? I know this does happen but I don't think it's quite as prominent as these YA books make it seem. Plus if anyone tried to bully me when I did go to school I fought back...and the bullying stopped happening fast.
Third, meeting your first one true wuuuv in high school. Once again, I had a pretty different childhood so romance just wasn't like it is in these YA books. Yeah, I had crushes, I had major crushes. I'm sure I even thought I was in love a couple of times but guy teenagers, in my day, were so incredibly immature and, well, young. I never dated exclusively, heck I still haven't, but even if I had I seriously doubt I would have felt like I was going to be with this young, immature, BO smelling, punk forever and ever. *eye roll* Plus aren't teenage girls today a little more determined to go to college and get a career? Do they really think that young kid they met is the love of their life and a reason to give up everything for him? K, I'm shutting up now, I'm starting to feel cynical. Oh, and don't even get me started on underage sex. ;)
I could go on but I'm feeling I'm coming off a little bitter. But that's just it, am I? Was my life so sheltered? Is this stuff really going on? And if it isn't then why are YA authors making teenagers think it is and that's it's perfectly normal? Oh well, at least most people reading all these YA books aren't teenagers anymore. ;)