Saturday, October 17, 2009

PG Personality

Since I have taken up the hobby of writing Young Adult novels, I have been reading a lot of YA. From emersing myself in the world of books written for teens, I've noticed a basic theme. Making mistakes is a part of growing up. Breaking away from the ties of parents and teachers and forging out on ones own is an important write of passage that is critical to every coming of age story. But how true is that to real life?

I was what you could call a "good kid". More honestly, I was often teased as a teen for having a PG peronality. One of my friends went so fars as to call me "every parents wet dream". My parents were good about allowing me to grow up. Once I past the "no running in the street" stage they simply "trusted me to make smart and healthy choices for myself." Oddly, I did. I never felt even remotely tempted to do anything reclouse or illigal. I don't want to do drugs or hang out with a bunch of drunk idiots now, and I didn't want to in high school either.

That doesn't mean my life was perfect. I still had to deal with mean girls, boys, and the whole not knowing how to read thing. I just navigated though it all by acting responsible and generally trying to survive high school while placing myself in as little harm as possible. And now, 15 years later, I'm reading books about teenagers who spent months flowndering before minding their footing and finguring out how to grow up. I really like a lot of these books, heck I even write them, but I have to wonder how well I would have related to them back when I was a teen.

I just read, "Someone Like You" by Sarah Dessen. I have recently fallen in love with Sarah Dessen's writing and have been gobbling up all of her novels. While the plot is fairly complex, "Someone Like You" is basically about a 16 year old girl who breaks out of the clutches of her overly clingy parents and makes a few mistakes as she learns to think for and take care of herself. The story has a belivably happy ending, and while the main character flounders a bit, she never does anything so reclouse that she completely destroys her life. I really enjoyed reading "Someone Like You", but when I was a teenager I didn't like the movie.

"How to Deal" staring Mandy Moore is the movie adaptation of "Someone Like You". It came out several years ago. I watched it then and didn't like it all that much. I haven't rewatched it yet, so I don't know how well in mirors the book. But I do remember as a teenager, thinking that the characters in the movie were stupid. I couldn't understand why acting like an idiot was such an important part of growing up. Why couldn't teens simply use their heads and take care of themselves? Why was being recless and stupid such an important part of every teens DNA? Why couldn't the media admit that a lot of teenagers have PG personalities, and they are more than capable of serviving on their own.

There are some really great YA books out there that star "good kids" who deal with realistic teenage delemas without feeling the need to turn to a life of crime. And there are also a lot of reckless teenagers that wouldn't be able to relate to a story staring every parents wet dream. I really enjoy Sarah Dessen's writing and enjoyed reading "Someone Like You" at age 30. But back when I was 15 and my favorite authors were Chiam Potok and Mark Twain, I'm sure I would have been able to relate to any of the characters.

Joke of the Day

An engineer is out walking and he comes across a frog. The forg says, "I'm a beuitiful princess, if you kiss me I'll turn back into a princess and love you unconditionally."

The engineer puts the frog in his pocket and continues on his way. The frog crys from his pocket, "I'm a trapped princess. Give me a kiss and as thanks for freeing me I'll shower you with love and affection."

The engineer takes the frog out of his pocket and looks at it for a minute before putting it back. "Please, I'm a beautiful princess. Why won't you kiss me?"

"Look," said the engineer. "I'm kind of busy right now and I don't have time for a relationship. But a talking frog is kind of cool."

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