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Authors share why young adult books, movies based on those books are so popular
Author James Dashner discusses his book and upcoming movie "The Maze Runner" at his South Jordan home on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. - photo by Hikari Loftus
Whether youre a Gryffindor, Maze Runner, Divergent, Shadowhunter, Child of Poseidon or you have volunteered as Tribute, these popular terms all originated from the same place: young adult literature.

For this weekend's release of the highly anticipated "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2," several authors share their responses to questions from the Deseret News as to why teens and adults alike enjoy the genre's novels and why they make great movies.

Everyone was a teen once

Our teenage years are, I believe, our most important, and no matter how old we get, our minds stay attached to that magical age, wrote Utahn James Dashner, author of the Maze Runner series. "A teen has all the physical abilities a human will ever have, but not the limitations on their hopes and dreams often imposed by a lifetime of knowledge and experience. Those formative years are full of magic and unlimited potential, and so their stories appeal to everyone. And, yes, they make awesome movies for the same reason.

Fast-paced, plot-oriented stories

There is a lot of emphasis on making sure your plot is tight and that the story is propelled by the action and emotions your characters experience, said Utahn Sara B. Larson, author of the Defy trilogy. (Youth) is a time of choices that shape your whole future. In YA novels, the emotions are volatile and the stakes are high. That makes for intense, absorbing plot lines in all genres of YA.

Pushing boundaries

I love that YA pushes boundaries and takes you to worlds and places way, way outside the box, wrote Colleen Houck, author of the Tigers Curse series. Its imaginative, new and compelling. Seeing those worlds come to life on the big screen is an amazing experience for any reader. How cool was it to see the maze come to life in 'The Maze Runner' or to walk the halls of Hogwarts? When we entered the game with Katniss, we were transported. The challenges these teens face become our own.

Fandom is family

YA stories, whether as movies or as books, appeal to a wide variety of ages because we can join the movement of that particular shared story, said Margaret Stohl, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series and part-time Park City resident. We like to pass stories on to each other, generationally or to our peers, and we like to be a part of their community. Fandoms arent just a teen thing.
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