Young Adult (YA) books have been inspiring a lot of movies lately. Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight to name a few. These stories, though classified as young adult, actually have some hefty themes to them. Love, life, death, war, power, and laced with a little magic.
I happen to love the Harry Potter movies. They were imaginative, and beautiful, with a captivating story. Perhaps they were “young adult” when first written, but I, along with thousands of fans, watched as Harry, Hermione, and Ron grew into wizards capable of defeating even the largest army.
I suppose YA gives you a very simple way to add growth to a character. They simply grow up. However, the way in which they grow up, and the reaction of the characters to growing up can make a huge difference on the story.
We have Hermione, Katniss, and Bell. In these three stories you have two very different types of character. The first two are strong, independent women who fight for their lives, and the lives of those they love. They go to the ends of the earth to do what they think is right. Then you have an angsty teen who lays down and cries herself to sleep.
It is my opinion that Twilight did well for two reasons. First, young teen girls almost always go through the “Omg, he broke up with me, the world is ending” phase. I admit it. I did it. I am glad I grew out of it. Second… Vampires.
Almost all stories will see the growth of the characters. They will have obstacles to overcome, and their attitudes and beliefs will be tested. How they react to those situations… Well, as the writer it is ultimately up to you to decide that.