Teenage fandom

137964I just saw a selfie some fans took at the "Divergent" premiere and got a serious pang of jealousy. I have never read Divergent and don't plan on seeing the film, so this is not about Divergent, but it's about fandom, and more specifically, teenage fandom. Here's where I'm going with this: a lot of people read and loved Divergent. And just like with Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and Twilight, they get to see every part of its journey, from being something a friend told them about in geometry to being a household name that people get tattooed on themselves. From being a cool book you and your friends read to being a real brand, with actual merchandise.

I wish I had had that as a kid. I'm trying to imagine what it must be like, at that formative age, to have something you love become so...big. When it's already all-consuming in your head and then it turns an all-consuming love of the larger world around you, I just can't even picture it. It must be like what my first Tori Amos concerts felt like, magnified by a billion.I would have passed out if something I love(d) as much as Tori was mainstream the way young adult literature is these days. Do you all even know how cool that is? How new? How lucky you are? *now get off my lawn*

Sometimes I worry I picked the wrong time to be a teenager. Teens in the eighties had malls (and I am sorry/not sorry to see their mall culture eroding), and teens in the aughts had/have the Internet, but what did we nineties teens have, apart from some flannel and Spice Girls? Was there even a defining book of my teenage generation?

Since there's not, I'm thinking of the ones I wish could be it. Like the Sunset Island series. No, wait! It would be the entire Christopher Pike oeuvre. In fact, here it is; I'm declaring it now. Dear fellow peers who are couched on the border between Generations X and Y, Christopher Pike was our Divergent, our Hunger Games. (It wasn't our Harry, because let's be real, nothing can compare to the Harry phenomenon.)

Now. Where's my movie premiere? (I'll settle for a tee shirt.)

(Also, I had no idea Christopher Pike was a pseudonym!)



There is no title cool enough for this post.

[Note: the opinions in this post are my own!]

I wasn't supposed to like The Hunger Games. Dystopian YA? So not my thing. (On the other hand, contemporary YA? So obviously my thing.)

But everyone at my job was talking about the title before it came out in September 2008, and I thought, I'll give it a go. Two years and one sequel later, I count The Hunger Games trilogy as a lesson on how to be a good reader: mute the expectations, calm the naysaying, and give the story a fighting chance.

Today on OOM we announced the title and cover of the third and final book in the HG trilogy, and now it's inescapable: fully 1/3 of my Twitter feed today was probably Mockingjay related, and even places like EW.com are talking about.

It's funny, though; Panem, the country Suzanne Collins created in The Hunger Games, is one of those worlds where I actually ache upon accessing. Like, it physically hurts me to read these books. I read an advance copy of book 2, Catching Fire, so feverishly and so quickly that I barely remember the intricacies of the plot--I just remember the emotions, and that it gripped me so tightly I almost couldn't breathe, and I get the coilings of a knot in my stomach when I think about what's in store for me with Mockingjay. Because I am telling you, a la Jennifer Hudson, that I am not going into a fictional world where Katniss doesn't survive. I fear I physically could not handle it.

I can't think of any other book or series where I flipped from not wanting to read it so assuredly to not being able to imagine living a life in which I hadn't read it, other than The Hunger Games.