There's a scene in Rainbow Rowell's book Eleanor & Park where the main characters are in English class and the teacher is talking about Romeo & Juliet. Eleanor is a cynic - she thinks Romeo & Juliet is a depiction of childish and superficial lust. Park thinks it's a love story that has become a classic because adults like to remember what it was like to be in love as a teen. These interpretations make sense when you think about what kind of family Eleanor comes from, and what kind of family Park comes from.
It's a fun exercise to search out for the Romeo and Juliet references and similarities throughout - two sixteen year olds, star-crossed, but fated to sit next to each other on the bus and love each other at the very opening chapter. Reading this book made me remember what that young love feeling is like, that stupid, naive, desperate craziness that pervades Romeo and Juliet and likewise pervades Eleanor and Park. Yes, I know I'm currently relatively young and in love. And wedding planning and running around all over New York unemployed these days even has intensified that youthful feeling. But teenage crushes and holding hands for the first time are a whole different ballgame.
Is this why so many (female) adults read Young Adult fiction these days? To feel those (childish) feelings once more? Despite the popularity of adult romance novels and realistic fiction about love, I guess there's something about young love that, like Park says, adults hope to access again and again.