From another thread.
In several traditions you have a ceremony and bang! In an instant you become an adult.
Originally Posted by tmso
In a lot of teen comedies it's all about losing your virginity. In some teen tragedies it's about experiencing some awful event. Two kinds of loss of innocence, one sexual, one emotional. Not really becoming an adult, in my opinion.
In real life maturity most often happens gradually. In fact, at well into the sixties I feel I'm still learning about myself and the universe and growing more mature and capable. But I don't see myself as immature. I see a lot of supposed adults who think they are but are not. They haven't grown up, they've just become even more self-centered and narrow-souled. And stopped growing.
In YA books maturity also most often comes slowly, over the course of the book. Not that anyone becomes perfectly and totally mature in those books, but they go a long way toward it.
The Shapechanger Tales are all speculative. What happens if someone becomes, in effect, a superhuman?
That's what happened to Peter Parker, who becomes Spiderman when he's bitten by a radioactive spider. He goes out and fights criminals. They not being challenging enough, the writers introduce super-criminals. But part of the resonance of Peter which has kept him around in several incarnations is that he has the usual problems of ordinary humans. Earning money after he leaves high school. Taking care of his aging grandparents. Courting an ordinary girl.
Meg Cabot's popular PRINCESS DIARIES is about a young girl who discovers she is a princess of a European country, destined some day to rule. The movie about the character introduced Anne Hathaway to the world.
I have several different protagonists who become shapechangers. One is Mary McCarthy, 53 year old peasant wife, mentally sharp and emotionally tough. In OLYMPIAN it is Sasha Canaro.
She is not an ordinary teenager. (Is there such a thing?) She's modeled on several child athletes who I've known personally over the years and others I've read about. Some of them are pushed into it by parents, some by the state. But a lot of them conceive of it on their own, sometimes at astounding ages. However they get their start they are very tough and stubborn people. Not always easy for others to be deal with.
At 17 Sasha becomes a shapechanger. In a good part of the book Sasha is learning about her new abilities and adjusting to how they are affecting her life. Now she is so superior physically that competition with ordinary humans is no challenge. Being tough and getting tougher is a large part of being an athlete. It's part of the ... fun?
So what new challenges can she find? The answer goes through her senior year in high school and through the Olympics. But it goes beyond. And this is where the book becomes questionable as YA fare. Do any teenagers, or enough of them, care about the years past high school? Enough to buy and enjoy THE SUPER OLYMPIAN?
I suppose I'll just have to find out.