Have you guys seen the mega hype surrounding Justin Cronin's The Passage? Every review seems to be raving and since it's a post-apocalyptic vampire novel, though one written for adults, I thought I should check it out. I'm about halfway through it now (It's good so far! I'll post a little review as as soon as I'm done) and I got to thinking how what we're doing as YA authors is different from what Cronin is doing.
What's the difference between a post-apocalyptic vampire story written for adults and one written for teens?
Focusing on a teen voice is probably key, right? Violent and sexual content is likely toned down a bit. (Of course, these days, maybe not so much)
But the thing that really got me thinking was endings.
See, I can envision a post-apocalyptic novel for adults that has a completely down ending, that says we're all screwed, we're all going to die and that's just life. Tough luck, buddy. The vampires win. I can see that as a valid, though gloomy, artistic statement.
I have a harder time imagining that in a novel for teens though. This made me wonder, when we're writing for teens, be it post-apocalyptic or otherwise, do we ultimately owe our readers a hopeful ending? Personally, I have a tendency to end things on a hopeful note but it seems strange to say that this is the only valid statement to make.
What do you guys think? Writing for teens, are there artistic statements that are best avoided? Can you think of YA novels that end on a completely down note?
Oh! And here's your scavenger hunt clue! Good luck!