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Why the dystopian genre of young adult books is so popular

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If you have a teenager, you probably remember the fervor for the movie version of The Hunger Games. Kids camped out for days at movie theaters across the country so that they could be first in line to see it. But what you may not know is that the same amount of enthusiasm is shared beyond those aged twelve to fifteen.

Yes, YA (young adult) fiction has quickly become a wildly popular genre not just for kids, but for adults as well. Someone who is well acquainted with this phenomenon is Lissa Price, author of “Starters.” Her book is about a dystopian future in which teenagers rent their bodies to elderly people who want to feel young again. The protagonist is a sixteen-year-old orphan who is on the run to survive with her little brother. While renting her body out to make money to afford the treatment, she accidentally wakes up in her Ender’s mansion and gets to live her life. However, this switch proves to be more than just fun and games, and could have ramifications on the entire human race.

How did Price get the idea for this story? What is the appeal of these types of stories to teenagers and adults? Are you a fan of YA fiction? Why are you drawn to it?


Lissa Price, author of Starters (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)