Is Being a Modern Teen Really a Relentless Slog of Existential Angst?

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I was just at the bookstore, and on a whim I browsed through a bunch of “Teen Fiction” titles. Good God. I’ve never seen such a pile of depressing writing in my life. Everyone is sick, abandoned, kidnapped, bullied, overweight, comes from a broken family, survived a school shooting, or caught in the middle of a gothic horror. The horror books actually seemed the most uplifting.

I dunno. Maybe they all have happy endings? In any case, if these books are typical of what teens read these days, I’m halfway surprised that any of them make it out of adolescence with their psyches intact.

On the bright side, I learned a new word: Unputdownable. So it wasn’t a total loss.

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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