Personally, I'm a huge fan of the new-ish 50 Shades of Grey series.

I know it doesn't have anything to do with magic and isn't a fantasy story of any kind, but I do still think it appeals to the same type of audience as Harry Potter...well, maybe not the kids.

But, I'm talking about the young adult crowd.

There's no denying that the series is insanely popular, and all three have been scheduled as movies, with the first one just released a few months ago. The question is, what about these two drastically different series makes them appeal to the same general audience?

With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to look at why the books might appeal to the same general demographic: teens and young adults.

 

Shared Themes of Darkness and Self-Discovery

Let's face it, begin a teen/young adult is tough.

You're too old to just follow along with everything your parents, teachers, and professors say, and yet you don't quite know what to do with yourself. Your place in the world often seems small and unimportant, and you need to figure out how to get through.

Trust me, I've been there, and I know that for many it's also a huge battle between "the light and the darkness" to use a cliched idea from literature. That's also exactly why I think that these two series relate so well to each other, and teens can relate to them.

Both series are, essentially, a battle between good and evil, or darkness and light. In Harry Potter, the battle occurs between Harry and Voldemort externally, but it also becomes clear later in the series that the battle is also partly an internal struggle Harry has. This is represented by the fact that Harry and Voldemort are intimately tied together.

In order to succeed, Harry must conquer the darker side of himself, and actually die in order to do so. That is, one must fully destroy the vestiges of who you once were in order to be reborn into someone new.

The same idea floats through Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. The omnipresent themes are darkness here are expressed more sexually, with the destructive romantic relationship, sado-masochistic concepts, and even rape.

These themes, too, represent a journey to self-discovery and the conquering of one force of oneself over another. How the characters deal with that conflict becomes the driving force behind the works.

If You Haven't Yet: I Recommend a Read of Fifty Shades of Grey

If you're reading this post and you haven't yet read any of EL James' works, I strongly recommend that you do so. Personally, I think that they're well-written, complex, and, as I mentioned above, address a number of the themes that virtually every teen and young adult goes through at some point in his or her own personal development.

You'll be able to relate to the story in one way or another, and it might even shed some light on yourself!

Get the mp3 from Fifty Shades of Grey Audiobooks, or get the book from Barnes and Noble.

What do you think? Do you like 50 Shades of Grey? Send me a note to let me know!