I said at the beginning of the semester that the one word I would use to describe my teenage years was "drama." The Hookup Artist by Tucker Shaw perfectly captures the sort of drama I was remembering. Who likes who, who might like who, who can't you talk to for a week because they're mad at you? For me, this was one of the most painful and awkward parts of being a teenager. For the most part, I really enjoyed my teenage years, but this whole aspect of it, the painfully conscious social interactions, especially those related to relationships...even as a teen, I really wanted to leave this behind.
So, as you may expect, The Hookup Artist would not have been on the top of my reading list as a teen. I would have preferred something like Avalon High, which I could relate to my own life in some ways, but could still feel like I was separated, like I wasn't reliving my own uncomfortable experiences. In class, we've talked about why certain teen shows didn't fly...I think it's because they were too real for most teens and adults that wanted to forget the more painful and awkward social interactions.
That being said, I can see why some teens would like a book like The Hookup Artist. As a teen, I really wouldn't have wanted to relive the emotions I was going through. I wanted to read about other worlds, other times, and experiences different from my own. But for some teens, just knowing that someone is going through the same thing, that these awkward circumstances and complicated feels are normal is a huge boost. Just knowing that someone else -- even in a fictional story -- went through it and survived is really supportive and empowering.