Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay, just put out an article in TIME magazine. She dives head-first into tackling a tough topic: why do teens prefer literature that explores darker topics like war, abuse, and mortality.
My favorite quote is this one:
New brain mapping research suggests that adolescence is a time when teens are capable of engaging deeply with material, on both an intellectual level as well as an emotional one. Some research suggests that during adolescence, the parts of the brain that processes emotion are even more online with teens than with adults
In other words, it's more than likely that teen brains are more receptive to stories that trigger intense emotions.