In Relation with the Young Adult Fiction Genre Young adult fiction is a quickly developing genre of literature. The genre is typically marketed towards adolescents and young adults, however, it is enjoyed by a wide variety of people, including adults trying to experience youth again. Young adult fiction, also known as young adult literature, is written in a teenage language and writing style so the marketed readers can thoroughly understand it. The storyline is often full of relatable dilemmas teens face on a daily basis. Themes commonly presented in young adult fiction are usually controversial as teenagers learn things about the world and grow into adulthood. John Green’s novel, An Abundance of Katherines, fits extremely well within the young adult fiction genre.
The storyline in young adult fiction novels is an extremely important component of the genre. Firstly, realistic yet problematic situations act as catalysts in the protagonist’s growth and development. (Donnelson and Nilson) In the novel, Colin Singleton’s problem of not being able to perfect his dumper versus dumpee predictability equation causes his much stress and leads him to the realization of many important life lessons. He realizes through the completion of his theorem that you can never truly predict the outcome of a relationship, it all depends on how much the two people really mean to each other. (Green)
As seen in the novel, realistic yet problematic situations keep the novel relatable to its readers. Secondly, in young adult fiction novels, the protagonist removes themself from their parents so they may experience freedom and take on their quest on their own. (Donnelson and Nilson) For example, Colin Singleton and Hassan Harbish decide it would be best if they went on a road trip together without their parents, “All we have to do is go to my house, pick up some clothes, and miraculously convince my parents to let me go on a road trip. I haven’t escaped their grip since birth (Green 13).” This sense of freedom allows the characters to experience life on their own while keeping the readers hooked. Therefore, in the novel, the strong storyline is a vital component that keeps the readers turning the pages.
The main character is an important aspect of the young adult fiction genre and is found within the novel, An Abundance of Katherines. In young adult fiction novels, the main character is often portrayed as smarter than the people surrounding them. (Donnelson and Nilson) Colin Singleton, for example, is a child prodigy in the novel and often points out the intellectual flaws in others, “So,’ she said. ‘You’re a genius?’ ‘I’m a washed up child prodigy,’ Colin corrected (Green 56).” The main character being seemingly smarter than everyone around them creates a feeling of interest within young adult fiction readers.
Also, in young adult literature, the main character must grow and develop throughout the novel, typically from a teenager into young adulthood. (Bucher and Manning) Throughout his journey, Colin Singleton grows from a high school senior to a mature, working adult. (Green) Colin did not only grow physically but he gained knowledge of life and grew a few years intellectually. In the young adult fiction genre, the growth and maturity of main characters makes it easier for readers of all ages to relate and stay connected with the story. The novel, An Abundance of Katherines, displays the qualities of a main character required in a young adult fiction novel.
Another vital component of the young adult fiction genre is friendship. Firstly, the protagonist is accompanied by one or two fairly close friends however they develop new friendships along their journey. (Wells) For example, Hassan Harbish is Colin Singleton’s closest companion, however, after stopping in Gutshot, Tennessee, Colin meets Lindsey Lee Wells. Lindsey and Colin grow very close through her building of Colin’s confidence and self-image. (Green) The accompaniment of close friends is extremely important in young adult fiction novels as it assists in the development of the protagonist and adds comic relief for readers. Secondly, in this particular genre, the main character’s friends are often unusual and the protagonist questions their friendship frequently. (Wells) The novel, An Abundance of Katherines, exemplifies an unusual friendship between Hassan Harbish and Colin Singleton. Throughout the novel, Hassan and Colin get into heated debates subjected on their differences and end up asking themselves why they are even friends. (Green) It is important for the main character to question their friendships because it keeps readers involved and teaches them the value of true friendship. As seen in An Abundance of Katherines, friendship is a notably important aspect in the young adult fiction genre.
An Abundance of Katherines, written by John Green, contains the necessary elements required in a piece of young adult literature. The specific aspects of the storyline, main character, and the idea of friendship are all noticeably present within the novel. These elements are what make the readers wish the novel never ended. The young adult fiction genre requires the existence of many vital components, all of which are present in the novel, An Abundance of Katherines, written by John Green.
Bucher, Katherine Toth, and M. Lee. Manning. Young Adult Literature: Exploration, Evaluation, and Appreciation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2006. Print.
Donelson, Kenneth L., and Alleen Pace Nilsen. Literature for Today’s Young Adults. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1980. Print.
Green, John. An Abundance of Katherines. New York, NY: Dutton, 2006. Print.
Wells, April Dawn. Themes Found in Young Adult Literature. Carolina Digital Repository. University of North Carolina, Apr. 2003. Web.