Our current way of life is unsustainable.
Young adult dystopian novels like Divergent and The Hunger Games may have ruled the marketplace in the 2010s, but now there's a new trend in young adult literature: the teen suicide story. Stories of teens committing (or ideating) suicide, like Thirteen Reasons Why and Dear Evan Hansen, have become the new obsession.
But why? This article gives a somewhat Freudian analysis of the lastest trends in young adult literature, paralleling the success of the last wave of YA dystopias (from Feed in 2005 to Divergent in 2014) to the trauma that Americans experienced in the aftermath of 9/11 and the 2008 economic collapse. These dystopian novels told of corrupt societies, yet maintained a kind of hope. In many of their stories, the societal injustices and issues that they sketched were never beyond a handful of teenagers' abilities to fix.
Today, however, teen suicide stories tell a more nihilistic narrative: one that cannot imagine the world getting better. This trend could reflect our current epoch, in which young people will make less money than their parents, inherit climate change, and now live under a presidential administration that seems driven to "hasten [our] end."
But is young adult literature really a useful gauge for understanding the American psyche, as this article argues? Are you convinced by this author's explanation for why a sense of nihilism is now trending in young adult books?
Read the article here: https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/10/18/15881100/ya-dystopia-teen-suicide...