YA Wednesday: Is YA a Dangerous Fantasy, Ridiculous Reasons Why Adults Read YA, Real Life Super Powers of Our Favorite YA Characters, I am Princess X

princessxThe debate about whether YA is good for teens or adults or space aliens has surfaced again, and much as I wanted to resist the click bait, I read the article. I got annoyed.

It’s the debate that refuses to die. YA seems to be the one category in fiction that people feel the need to justify or denigrate on a regular basis. You don’t see endless blog posts about whether science fiction or historical fiction or romance or mystery or literary fiction is bad for you, so why YA? Maybe YA just invites certain people to scold, because, well, teens … I honestly don’t know but in the spirit of misery loves company I’m going to share my annoyance with you, along with some other articles that present different points of view or are just plain fun (because we need that too!).

 

  • Why young-adult fiction is a dangerous fantasy sparked the latest literary firestorm. In it Joe Nutt argues, among other things, that “Several generations of teenagers, especially boys, have been effectively prevented from ever becoming literate adults by a publishing industry that has decided young adult readers have an insatiable appetite for what amounts to nothing more than gossip fodder…” While the argument that there is not enough YA that appeals to boys is valid, relying on broad inaccurate generalizations about young adult fiction is not.
  • In To suggest a book written for young adults has any less merit than the classics is sheer snobbery Juno Dawson states, “As is so often the case with our twice-yearly attacks on YA fiction, I find it hard to believe that Mr Nutt has actually read any.” Dawson refutes Nutt’s arguments on many fronts including, “I can’t even get into the ‘boys’ books’ argument, because it assumes there is one way to be a boy. There is not. Boys like all kinds of books, featuring all kinds of characters.”
  • Ridiculous Ways the Internet Explains Why Adults Read YA tackles more stereotypes about young adult fiction including the idea that adults read YA because it is easy to read and adults “are getting dumber and dumber.” The author suggests that if that’s the case then one might say “the reason more adults are choosing to read erotica then is because our culture is getting sexier and sexier.”
  • I don’t know about you but I’m an adult who still occasionally wishes for super-powers. 7 Real Life Super Powers of Our Favorite YA Characters takes a look at some realistic ‘super-powers’ that can be found in YA like artistic skills, a way with words, and a romance-resistant heart. Very cool but I still long for an invisibility cloak.
  • I am Princess X by Cherie Priest has been on my TBR every since a twelve-year-old girl at a reading I did told me I would like it. We’d only spoken for two minutes but she got me. This story of a young girl who starts seeing stickers of Princess X, the heroine she and her best friend (who died tragically) invented, completely intrigues me. But I appreciate the honesty of this review by an adult who liked the book but complains that the voice was too juvenile. A valid concern I guess, but following stickers to prove that your best dead friend is still alive is a storyline I can’t resist.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve asked myself the same question as to why books need to be put in categories like YA. I assume it has to do with the business side of things, where the books will be shelved in bookstores, who promotions will target etc. YA has turned out to be a very strong marketing category but as a reader I look at all the shelves regardless of who the target audience is.

  2. Kimberley McNamara

    I think I’m going to try I am Princess X. I love reading – thriller, non-fiction on brain injuries, print making etc.., books about senseless information, classics, best sellers, recommended, romances, YA, magical realism, … I’m eclectic. What I love best is something that embraces the high brow/low brow with round characters, humor, angst and perhaps a puzzle to ponder. And along the way, I like discovering something I didn’t know or notice before.

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