I think I understand what you mean. The books were (starting to be) released while I was in high school but I didn't read them until first year university. I didn't identify age wise with the characters and didn't have that celebrity crush on the movie actors. However, one of my best friends who was a year younger did (and was totally normal for her). It could just be the difference between watching the first movie before or after turning 18.
I would have picked up that set too if shipping and exchange didn't push the total to over $50. It's cute!