This is a joint post about marriage in young adult literature. Romance, problems, college, family drama, addiction, and identity are all pretty common themes in YA lit, but marriage is definitely not. So how did we come up with this topic?
Mia: Weddings have been on my mind lately. I got married in September, and like other brides before me I found myself pondering the idea of marriage from lots of different angles, thinking about cultures and traditions and what it means to me personally. But one thing I didn’t consider until Sarah brought it up in an online conversation was how marriage and weddings connect to the world of young adult literature.
Sarah: I was looking through my old books to select one for my “That Was Then, This Is Now” series on The Hub. I was considering one of my favorites- Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones by Ann Head, which was a particular favorite of mine. It features a young high school couple who has to get married when the girl becomes pregnant. It was the only book I ever read about married teenagers and although it was incredibly dated even when I read it (published 1967) I found it romantic, tragic, and fascinating. While I was considering it Mia’s wedding was on my mind, which was how I started thinking about marriage and weddings and YA lit. I particularly wondered if there are any novels showing realistic youngish people getting married.
We both found ourselves coming back to this topic, sometimes with book suggestions we’d dredged up from long-ago memory, sometimes with recent contemporary examples of young adult friends or fictional characters who were planning their own weddings.