Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2016

Degree Type



School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Reader

Cynthia Davis

Second Reader

Sara Schwebel


What is it about young adult fiction that is so addictive? Why do teenagers return to the same characters and situations over and over again in series fiction? This study explores the significance of young adult fiction series with a scientific approach, through the surveying of teenagers on the aspects of those series that are so meaningful to them. Through this study, a greater understanding of the way readers interact with literature is achieved.

The research portion of this study is largely inspired by Reading the Romance by Janice Radway[1], an investigation that explores the attraction of romance novels to women and the style and content of those novels. In that study, Radway focuses on repetitive and similar themes within the romance genre, and constructs an argument as to what may be the driving force behind that genre’s popularity. Furthermore, she suggests analyzing the action of reading through multiple lenses that each focus on a different aspect in order to understand the complexity of the experience, such as defiance, complicity, and escapism.[2]

This study is constructed with a similar analysis, with a shifted focus to the following four young adult fiction series: Harry Potter, Divergent, The Hunger Games, and Twilight. Through this research, a better understanding of what makes popular literature popular is achieved, as there are compelling reasons why a young adult would turn to a book over other forms of entertainment. Lastly, the strands of commonality that weave through these series and prove attractive to a majority of young readers are also identified.

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© 2016, Sarah Jessica Martin