First off, some backstory. In my query for Daze and Knights, I mention how my MC, sixteen-year-old Jessica, wishes Zac Efron would show up.
Now, if you don't like Zac Efron or if you don't think he's cute or if you wish he'd just go away... okay fine. This post really has nothing to do with Zac Efron himself. (Although if that's the case, what is WRONG with you? Do you not see the photo above?)
So what does the post have to do with, you ask? I've had my query critiqued a few places (which was awesome- you should do it before you send it to agents), and one of the comments I got was how it's creepy that a sixteen-year-old would be into a twenty-four-year-old. (And FYI, while I think Zac is hot, I had to look up his age because I'm not obsessed or anything. Swear.)
I thought about this bit of critique, and then dismissed it because I really like that line in my query. Then recently (and this will seem totally off-topic but I swear it's not), someone did a post where they asked teens what they thought of Justin Bieber. (FYI2, I'm NOT a Bieber fan. Double Swear.) EVERY one of them responded that they didn't like Bieber at all.
So what is my point exactly? Some more backstory- AKA: some of my crushes as a teen.
New Kids On The Block. I was ten at the time and Joey- the YOUNGEST member of the band- was eighteen. And I hate to admit it but he wasn't even my favorite. Jon was, who at the time was twenty-two (and also gay but whatever, I didn't even know what gay meant when I was ten).
I was thirteen when I watched The Three Musketeers and fell in love with Chris O'Donnell. He was twenty-three at the time. I watched that movie and Circle of Friends, Batman Forever, In Love and War, School Ties, and Fried Green Tomatoes over and over again.
It was between the ages of thirteen and sixteen that I majorly crushed on Jonathan Brandis (SeaQuest DSV- ever watched it?). I had posters of him on my door (my mom wouldn't let me put posters on the wall because tape ruins the paint). He was four years older than me.
Then there was Christian Bale. I was twelve when Newsies came out and thirteen when Swing Kids came out. I used to daydream we starred in a movie together where I played his love interest. He is six years older than me.
I was sixteen when I saw A Time to Kill and thought Matthew McConaughey was the hottest guy in the world. He was twenty-seven at the time.
And let's not even mention the (admittedly somewhat-strange) obsession I had in my teens with Gene Kelly- an actor who was born in 1912 and died when I was sixteen. (It was his amazing dance ability that really got me. And I'm a sucker for musicals.)
Are you getting my point here (overused parantheses and hot-boy photos aside)?
It is NOT creepy for a teen to crush on a twenty-something. That is what they do. It does not surprise me one bit that a lot of teens don't like the Biebs. Nine-year-old girls crush on him. Sixteen-year-old girls like Zac Efron, Alex Pettyfer, Chace Crawford, Ian Somerhalder, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Evans, or whoever floats their boat and is most likely at least a few years older.
Proof to back me up? Go to Walmart and look in the teen section of clothes. Then look in the girls section sizes 7-12. The 7-12 section is where you will find Justin Bieber t-shirts. At least in my walmart.
And I KNOW I'm not the only one who crushed on older guys as a teen. Case in point: Katie Holmes crushing on sixteen-years-older Tom Cruise as a teen, and Blake Lively crushing on thirteen-years-older Leonardo DiCaprio, both years before they ever married/dated their crushes.
So this is just an insight into the very complex mind of a teenage girl. And yes, not every teen girl is like this, and yes, some probably HATE every single name I mentioned, and yes, I am no expert on being sixteen since I am now almost double that age (oh no, I can't believe I just said that out loud, and worse, that it's true). But if you're an adult writing YA, I happen to think this is an important point.
Okay, maybe it's not THAT important. But it is a mistake adults seem to be making lately so I thought I'd point it out. Because if anyone knows crushes, it's me.
And speaking of crushes and high school... 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 19: A Song From Your Favorite Album. I couldn't pick an all-time fave album so I picked just one. Thunder, by Boys Like Girls from the self-titled debut album- the perfect song when talking about crushes and high school. Don't believe me? Listen to the words. (FYI3- Martin Johnson, the lead singer of BLG, wrote the song about his first love which happened during HS.) (FYI4- speaking of crushes and Martin Johnson... you get the idea, although he's actually YOUNGER than me.)
Anyway, watch the video. I'm going to go watch Newsies.