Readers and publishers have long since embraced the young adult fiction genre. More advanced than juvenile fiction, but not as mature as adult fiction, young adult is an in-between genre that has the ability to entice readers of all ages. Sometimes the lines between young adult and adult content are so blurred that literary agents aren’t sure which titles should belong in which genre. I became a fan of the genre before my tenth birthday and will probably remain a fan forever. As much as we may complain about their immaturity, irresponsibility, or short-sightedness, teenagers have an amazing ability to see the world as it is: hopelessly blemished, yet full of hope. There are endless opportunities for authors in exploring that kind of perspective, but my hope for the next decade is that we will see some sort of resurgence of the 20-something narrator. We may not be the young, free-spirited souls we were at 16, but our stories are far from over, and I would enjoy reading more of them.
Although I am a more educated, capable, competent, and, at least in my opinion, interesting person at 24 than I was at 16, I still don’t have it together, whatever that elusive “it” might be. And here’s a secret: none of my friends have it together either. Neither do their friends. I’m not sure who decided to spread the idea that your twenties will be the best decade of your life, but that person was lying. I think, for most of us, our twenties are a frustrating decade of transition. Unless you’re some sort of child prodigy or are fortunate enough to not be suffocating under the weight of your student loans, there’s a good chance your twenties will be the worst decade of your life. Adulting is hard. Student loans are awful. Your dreams will seem impractical. You won’t be able to binge-watch Netflix without feeling guilty about the complete lack of productivity you’re exhibiting. You’ll drink too much wine and cry about your life. Most of your friends will move away. You might move away. What you think you want out of life will change more than you’d like to admit. It’s awful and awesome at the same time, and it will be an amazing story. You should write about it.