October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Zeinab Hussen from Minnesota.
You pick up a book, then read the book. Spend hours upon hours flipping through pages and finishing chapters, while divulging yourself into the story. You end up getting emotionally invested and attached to a character…only to find out that the author kills them off.
Paired along with your shocking discovery, an intense emotion of despair soon follows.
You may look like this:
Or like this:
Or even this:
Don’t worry, all of those reactions are normal. But, I’ll be the first to admit that it can be hard to move on and come to terms with the actuality of the event.
So, here are five tips to getting over a fictional death:
Tip #1: Dealing with Denial
Sometimes death in young adult literature can come out of nowhere*cough cough* The Fault in Our Stars. As you begin to reread the paragraphs that ensued to their death, you skip a few pages ahead convinced that the author has played some cruel trick on you.
Then, it hits you like a wrecking ball. They’re not coming back. Well, at least it’s not half dressed.
Realistically, if a character dies they tend to not magically be revived. And I say, good. Why? Because it allows you the chance to reflect upon the meaning of their role. You get the opportunity to see how significant that character was by witnessing them mold the other characters in the book as the story continues to enfold. But, their not the only ones that are molded. Their existence is amplified due to the emotional conflict they create and leaves a huge impact on the reader as well. Often times, fans reminisce about the character, by paying homage to them, making them memorable in pop culture.