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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is YA Getting a Bad Rap?

Frankie over at The First Novels Club posted a really super blog yesterday about the bad rap YA has been getting from some folks lately.

Teens are dealing with more crap than ever these days. They know and understand harsh realities that even those of us who were teenagers half a decade ago didn't have to go through. The world is rapidly changing, and teens are rapidly adjusting. They're smart. They're savvy. And they are tough cookies. And if they want to read a book--any book--that is fantastic. Because reading rocks.

Most teens know the difference between a normal relationship and an extremely unhealthy one, which yes- it does often gets glorified and depicted in paranormal romance. And if there are teens or adults reading a book along those lines, believing it's sexy to threaten violence, believing its healthy for a person to want to kill themselves over you, dreaming of a guy who stalks you...I have a hard time believing that those thoughts and desires stemmed from the reading of a book. Unhealthy ideas about relationships stem from a deeper source than that and are often the fault of other factors, not a story.

We want to take this a step further, we want to know what you think....

It’s no secret that YA books have grown in popularity with teens, tweens and adults of all ages. With that popularity comes more scrutiny – it has been said that some YA contains immoral themes that could negatively influence young readers. We want to hear from YOU young and old, YA Lovers, Readers, Writers, Editors (etc). Are you influenced by the storylines and relationships you read about? Join us on Thursday night at 9 pm to discuss this on


Noemi said...

Spanish Fansite:

ck.twilighter (Chasity) said...

Excellent topic!

I am 25 years and lived in a harsh reality. Nothing to do with books just my life. I grew up to fast and understood more then a teen or an adult should ever.

Book contents have matured over time and more so crucial for parents to know that and use it to speak with their kids. I was shocked to find some of the books my 16 yo sister was reading.... now I read everything first then give her an okay or no go!

YA book, imo, are excellent and a substantial asset to the book world but live TV/ movies parents to know more and monitor (not censor) the contents.

I will try to stop by but Hawaii time that may to early for me.

JennM said...

ck.twilighter - Thank you for posting that. This is exactly the stuff we want to discuss. Sometimes people are just not ready to be reading certain book. Is this the author's responsibility...not really. BUT one thing that both Rebecca and I feel pretty strongly about is that all books should have that little note in the beginning that gives the intended age range. As a parent that helps me sooo much! It's impossible for me to read eveverything first for my daughter, so I appreciate all the help i can get :-)

Sorry that the chat time is bad for you. It's so hard to get a time that works for everyone. We hope to do more with this topic so watch the blog and/or site. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I'm a decade or two beyond being YA, but read quite a bit in that category because some of the best stories are being told in it (and I'm a sucker for urban fantasy in all forms...).

I don't think YA is more prone to distorting reality than any other genre (not that YA is some homogeneous genre!). If young readers are having their views of the world warped by their reading material, there are obviously some serious deficiencies in the other influences in their lives.

An obsessive literary relationship - when experienced from a healthy perspective - should highlight the unhealthy aspects of such a relationship, rather than being a "how to" guide...

Parents - and other people who are significant in a young person's life - need to make sure they know what their children are reading and that it's appropriate. And, if it's a book that offers a view of the world different to theirs, they should discuss the differences!

OK, getting off the soapbox now.