I don’t just mean any old books.
Read Young Adult literature, because it helps us relate with one another. It reminds us that we are not young adults struggling by ourselves in a world that just doesn’t seem to sympathize or understand us, and that creepy men in their thirties know what strife we’re grappling with. Stories with happy endings give us hope, brightening the path to what now looks like a dismal future; meanwhile, stories where everything does not end up okay remind us that this world that we live in is imperfect. Not every loose end is tied, not every secret is revealed, and there are always many “what-ifs” left unanswered. But this genre of literature helps us angsty teens cope, situating its main characters and supporting characters in positions that feel familiar.
People seek to solve problems. Big problems, small problems, it doesn’t matter. We define ourselves and what we’re capable of based on our solutions.
The ever-repetitive problem is simple for the young adult: what is love, and who do we love?