[And so can adults, but that's a discussion for another day...]
As an adult who reads YA, I have to step back and remember these teens are experiencing a lot for the first time. They'll make mistakes, many of them. I know if there was a book written based on my teenage years it might be titled Broken Hearts and So Much Drama.
I had been wanting to share my thoughts on this subject here at my blog for awhile, but it was this post I read by author Shannon Hale that pushed me to actually do it: http://shannonhale.tumblr.com/post/71967015477/the-young-adult-book-tropes-that-ate-the-world. She brought up a lot of good points when it comes to Young Adult fiction and how we are quick to judge as readers, especially if you're an adult reader like me.
"I believe that teenagers need those years to get messy, to make mistakes, to fall in love all the time instantly and slowly with him/her, then him/her, to complain, to fight, to struggle for independence but then still need comfort and safety, to live an entire lifetime condensed into a few volatile, fascinating, difficult, beautiful years." -- Shannon Hale
I want to be a better reader, a more forgiving reader. My patience needs to be practiced, as well as my understanding. "Old Lady Syndrome", as my friend Anna calls it, can be altered as I read more YA. I just have to remind myself that even though I've been there, gone through similar experiences, that these characters don't have it all figured out yet. And isn't that what makes a story so rich and compelling? When character growth is witnessed from beginning to end?
This topic is open for discussion on my blog, as I'd really like to know your thoughts on this subject!