Have you ever rejoiced at the mention of Muggles or laughed at some snide remark about sparkly vampires? YA lit is riddled with pop culture references as a part of the humor inherent to the story. Here are the shows/books/people whose work has cropped up most frequently in YA lit:
He's the guy responsible for Buffy, Dollhouse, and Firefly among others - all of which I've seen referred to in some young adult literature, whether for marketing or small references. (For instance: Avalon by Mindee Arnett is being marketed as for fans of Firefly, and Altered by Jennifer Rush was marketed as Prison Break meets Dollhouse, I believe). Now I can attest to Firefly's awesomeness - I recently marathon-watched the season and Serenity the movie, and actually bought the soundtrack for my own writing. (So: watch Firefly if you haven't already.)
I tried Buffy. I laughed.
I tried Dollhouse. My friend and I spent half the time with our faces like this: o_O
I wonder if there's something specific about the people who read young adult literature and how that overlaps with Whedon's cult following. We're all nerds? I don't know, but it seems to crop up a lot more frequently in YA lit community.
2. Harry Potter / Twilight / The Hunger Games
Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone has read these three giant series. Though there are some other really big series like Percy Jackson and The Mortal Instruments, these are the big three that I've seen consistently referred to in other books. All those sparkly vampire references? The wands and trains and well, Harry Potter references, I hope you never die out. And when you can go almost to any dystopian lit page, you'll find a comparison to The Hunger Games. This is what drove my oldest brother, John, to read THG (though he generally disdains YA lit and only reads high fantasy novels), and my second oldest brother, Anthony, to read the Harry Potter books years after the movie had been released.
Did you look at your twitter feed when the VM director and Kristen Bell announced that there was a kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie? Yep. Not to mention how the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins was referred to as Veronica Mars meets Percy Jackson.
I confess: I tried this show too. The first few episodes were okay, but again I'm not understanding the cult following (educate me!). I assume the references are because VM is a young teenage protagonist of her own--or is it tapping into something different in YA altogether?
4. Doctor Who
It seems like almost every day, I run into a review that refers to Doctor Who. Generally, I think this occurs in regard to time travel or science fiction novels, or the "Whovian" plots of certain novels, but I know next to nothing about this show, or what Whovian is--wasn't there some sort of change in the show? Does that refer to the original? The whole series? It's not too frequent, but frequent enough for me to notice these references.
This one is a bit easier to understand. Young Adult can still hit on the crowd surfacing from the Disney / princess movies, and still make those who loved them when they were younger/still love them nostalgic. Admittedly I had quite a few moments dressing up as a princess when I was younger, but now I find it a lot harder to connect to any of the princess / Disney movies or their references. I seem to be in the huge minority here, though, as my 26-year-old brother came back from medical school and watched Beauty and the Beast for fun, and given that the Selection, which taps into this crowd, is so hugely popular. (Something else I've seen on the blogosphere - How you know you're on Goodreads: if there's at least one review that features a Disney gif.)
6. Gilmore Girls
To be fair, this one I haven't seen referred to a lot in YA lit so much as the YA community. And it makes sense: Rory starts off like another teenage protagonist, yet this show features a healthy mother/daughter relationship, actually features at the forefront, which I don't think is something you generally see in YA lit. That + lots of other recommendations are the reasons why the show is still on my to-watch list. (Yep--another pop culture fail on my part!)
Let me just say this: I may, in general, be a pop culture fail. I may know more about books, specifically young adult books, than the average person, and ha, I may know more about the subareas in hippocampus than the average scientist, but I didn't really listen to music until I was in eleventh grade. Yes, music, cultural icons... Now you all may berate me for my ignorance.
What pop culture references have you seen crop up in YA lit? What are some of your favorites? Have you watched / read any of these? Do you like the references in YA lit? What shows do you wish were more popular as references?