Saturday, January 15

Why does YA have such a bad rep?

So I'm in the process of reading the Vampire Academy series by Mead, and I have to say I really like it - and I really didn't think I would. I'm not sure why that was, but it got me to thinking about YA as a genre. It gets a horrible rap, and it pisses me off! Every YA review I read goes on and on about how the characters are underdeveloped, and how it's shameful that the heroine thinks about nothing besides he love interest, and how the plot is mind numbing, blah, blah, blah... When the hell did the world start expecting YA literature to be thought provoking and deep?

Take the Twilight series. Yeah, yeah, I know, but the eye roll you probably just gave me is exactly why I chose Twilight. I mean lets face it, love it hate it or in between, that series is the quintessential example of YA for this decade, and it gets put down constantly. People seem to expect so much of it simply because it has been such a phenomenon. Is Twilight an intellectually earth shattering gem of the literary universe that has rocked the foundation of the modern world? No. Is it supposed to be? NO. It's supposed to be a story about high schoolers in love. Period. That's all. And considering that, it's pretty damn good. Are the characters deeply developed personalities with thought provoking dreams and aspirations? No. Should they be? NO. These books are about teenagers, who are - for the most part - underdeveloped human beings! They are suppose to be! We all were! Sure, they can be smart, and have dreams and aspirations, but as for life experience, they don't have much. Have you ever seen a teenager in love? That IS all they think about! Young adults want to read about the girl who falls in love with a vampire and lives happily ever after. They don't want the story of the girl who dates a vampire, breaks up with him , dates some more guys, get cheated on, goes to college, get average grades, goes out with a few more guys, graduates, gets married, and lives in middle class suburbia with her husband, kids and dog ever after. That's real life folks, and I don't know about you, but I live my own real life every day. I read to get away form real life! 

My second favorite is when older women complain about the female leads and how all these sort of book do is teach young women that their lives should be all about boys, and nothing else, no goals, blah, blah, blah... All I have to say to that is  - if you are so piss poor at raising your kids that you can't teach them the ways of the world and leave it all up to the books they read and the shows and movies they watch, then that's your fault - not the book's.(or show's or movie's etc.) Kids are not that clueless unless you let them be!

Sure adults may want to read complex novels about real life, focusing on vastly deep characters, and sure, a YA book like Twilight, or what-have-you, may not appeal to them, but lets face it - it's not supposed to appeal to them! It's supposed to appeal to young adults who want to dream about their very own hot vampire swooping in to carry them off to a land of romance, and to anyone else, who enjoys a little easy, entertaining reading.

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