I was sixteen when an internet friend first told me she wanted to die. I told her I loved her. She told me thank you.
W hen Stephanie Meyer released Twilight back inshe also paved the way for toxic romance to plague the pages of young adult fiction books on a global scale. The best selling book was based on the premise of an aggressive and ,at some points, controlling male lead, who preys on an innocent and often inexperienced female lead. And so too has been the formula, many young adult writers have stuck to since its release.
In the past ten years it has become increasingly normal to have a group of online friends, a group of IRL friends, and a group of online friends that become IRL friends. With so much of our lives lived out on the internet a debate about which we can get into another day we meet people from best friends to romantic partners through dating appsforums and social media. This is perhaps especially true for teens and young adults, who have spent most of their lives connected to their laptops and phone screens, and YA authors have not shied away from telling the stories of interesting online meets offline relationships.
Teenagers are renowned for wanting more freedom, and their desire for independence is a normal part of adolescent development. What teenagers want and what teenagers need is not always in perfect harmony. Adults who work with teens are often uncertain how to influence young adults whom they can no longer control.
The purpose of young adult literature is often twofold: to tell a story, and to send a message, usually in the form of a much-needed lesson. But offering a lesson to teenagers is less graceful, less subtle, than conveying an idea or theme, and these books can feel like after-school specials. The lesson in both books — that dating violence is real and dangerous — is worth teaching.
This page describes some books you might find helpful as you deal with various issues. They are arranged by topic. Some have a message, some help you see things from another perspective, some help you think about something other than just your own problems, some can reveal truths if you look under the words.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, which is an opportunity for libraries to highlight resources that can help teens identify the warning signs of problematic relationships and to see what healthy relationships can look like. These books can start conversations and perhaps even make a difference in the lives of teens. This novel is a classic for a reason.
Look Inside. Beautifully organized. Any parent, teacher, coach, or doctor needs to read this authoritative guide.
Think of Young Adult novels, and you think of angst-filled, hormone-tormented teen protagonists. Who better to guide such teens than their own mothers? Imagine my surprise when one by one, the majority of this usually quick-to-contribute lot came forward saying they couldn't think of an appropriate title.