"Ju Jabbers" is an original feature in which I have random discussions about books, life, movies, and a myriad of other things. It's an open door to what I hope will be a fun and somewhat thought-provoking little corner of the internet.
I started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses the other day and Feyre's actions in the first chapter reminded me of another hunter girl who was the sole provider of her family: Katniss Everdeen. But just as I was about to brush that aside, it kind of hit me that Katniss wasn't the only one that Feyre reminded me of. She was a lot like Penryn Young from Penryn and The End of Days trilogy as well as Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles, Lochan and Maya from Forbidden and several other heroes/heroines. It's not that they're all hunters. It's that they're all "the backbone of their family"—they're all young adult providers that basically take on the role of a parent.
While ACOTAR is technically New Adult, this trend is pretty widespread and not just in YA dystopia or fantasy since I've seen it in YA contemporary as well. It's everywhere and I admired the idea but now that I think about it, why do I like reading about teenagers who have to substitute the role of a parent? Isn't it kind of depressing that they aren't living their teenage years and instead have to become mature ASAP or their household will crumble? So, why the heck do I like reading about morbid things like that?
In real life, teenagers don't usually have to deal with adulthood until after highschool. Until then, our parents usually handle all the heavy stuff like putting food on the table and dealing with our siblings' problems. But these YA books go totally against that and for some reason, we like it and now I'm wondering why. Do we just like exploring troubled lives? Is it our curiosity about adulthood that makes us want to read about what it'd be like to be in a parental position? Or do we just like reading about teens in positions of power and feeling important and less juvenile? Or are young adults acting like carefree young adults too annoying to read about so we prefer reading about teens who have adapted the mindsets of 30-year-olds? Or is this whole trend just an easy plot device to create motivation for the main character and we're all subconsciously aware of it?
Maybe it's just 2 AM and I'm munching on a strawberry sundae and being a "thinking about life" meme or maybe we all really do have an obsession with protagonists who are defacto parents. What do you think? Have you ever encountered any similar blog posts that discussed this?