I realized what most of the YA fiction I read has in common…
These 14, 15, 16 year old kids…they go fight. Normally for something they believe in. Sometimes it’s in an actual war, sometimes it’s to protect their families, but no matter what they’re usually fighting for their lives.
When I was that age I looked up to them. It was like something in me went “wow, look at what they go through for others. Look at what they do to protect people! And they’re my age. I could be that brave”.
Now that I’m 22, I think about a 16 year old going into battle and I think of my youngest sister. I look at her and know she would be fully capable, but that doesn’t make it easier to think about. She’s one of the more capable kids that I know..not everyone could mentally handle themselves if a situation arose. My 19 year old sister couldn’t. I have no clue if I could.
So I look at M and I put her in the place of Katniss, Tris, or Lan from the book I’m reading right now. It’s called “Brightly Burning” and it’s by Mercedes Lackey (go read it). I picked it up at a yard sale when I was 14 or so and haven’t read it since, but I remember the feeling of wonder that came along with that first read through. I wish I could muster that up now instead of the dread in the pit of my stomach. I know these kids are fictional, but that doesn’t change them in my mind. They’re still kids that have to grow up too fast. They’re still kids that don’t get to be kids.
And that’s not fair.