Any good writer knows that it's important to keep an eye on trends in the publishing industry. Whether you want to write articles, books, or anything else, it's important to know what is selling and what is not.
Here's a tip for anyone who is interested in writing young adult fiction, as I am: According to an article in yesterday's Denver Post, darker plotlines are becoming more common — and more popular — in teen fiction.
If you look at the most popular young adult fantasy, you can see this is the case: The Harry Potter series got increasingly dark as it went along, and then of course there was the seductive vampire world of the Twilight Saga. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials was pretty dark, too.
As one commenter on the article pointed out, dark subjects aren't exactly new to teen fiction — authors such as Robert Cormier and books like Go Ask Alice tackled tough topics long ago. But I guess the point of the article is that these books are becoming more common in young adult literature than they used to be.
The implication is that teens these days are more interested than they used to be in darker, more adult subject matter. Thinking back on my own teen years, I think they always have been, actually, but when I was in high school we just moved on to adult fiction earlier. Perhaps young adult authors are simply finally catching on, and giving teens what they really want. After all, young adult is still a fairly new genre, so it makes sense that YA authors are still learning how to get it right!