I'm going to rant. You've been warned.
A few weeks ago during Twitter YALitChat we discussed Stephenie Meyer. I commented that she'd opened the door for so many YA authors - not only because of the popularity of the Twilight series - but due to her ability to draw in the adult demographic.
I never would've picked up Cassandra Clare's MORTAL INSTRUMENT trilogy or Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER or Lisa Mantchev's EYES LIKE STARS if not for the reawakening of my love for Young Adult literature. I didn't have a lot of YA books to choose from when I was a teen. Judy Blume led to the Trixie Belden series which led to the hard stuff - Agatha Christie mysteries, classics, LOVE STORY, even the occasional bodice ripper - because those were my only choices. Not so today.
I saw an editor comment on Twitter that we're in a Golden Age of Young Adult Literature. I love the idea that the door to YA lit is open wide.
But that night at YALitChat someone asked if the door is open too wide.
That really pissed me off.
I've thought about the question for weeks, long enough to forget who said it. I'm not mad at that person because it's a valid question; but I have to say I'm damned glad the door is open wide. Open it wider. Give me more. I find it difficult to read when I'm in the creation stage of a story, but when I'm in the dry desert of revision, the words of other writers are like manna on my journey to the Promised Land. Especially the words of other YA writers.
How can the door be open too wide when we have the talented gatekeepers that are agents and editors to filter out anything too rotten?
Even if you're of the opinion that some stinky stuff gets through: no book is universally loved or hated. What's my thing might not be your thing. Heck, sometimes even books I'm sure I'll love don't deliver. I don't talk about those books (example here). Why would I? There are plenty of options to choose from the next time I go to the bookstore.
With so many writers to love, why waste time on the hate?
That's another thing that pisses me off. I've seen comments lately shoveling out crap about books like SHIVER and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, calling them rip offs. Folks, that is bull hockey. I can guaran-damn-tee that any writer who writes a book with the intent of ripping someone off will not be successful. Rip offs aren't authentic and don't have a compelling voice. They might light a spark in a reader, but they won't start any fires.
One more thing. When Variety posted the news about the film rights being sold to BEAUTIFUL CREATURES the day before the book released, a commenter on the article suggested that Young Adult books aren't "REAL" books.
To that complete imbecile I'd like to say .... this isn't the right place for what I'd like to say, and I've already cussed twice, so let me just list some works that aren't "REAL" so any imbeciles out there will be sure not to read them:
Catcher in the Rye
Tender is the Night
Romeo and Juliet
Pride and Prejudice
Ann of Green Gables
Diary of a Young Girl by Ann Frank
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Harry Potter books (I think we can safely call them classics)
The Wizard of Oz
The Chronicles of Narnia
Feel free to add your own. I'd love to see a whole freakin' list of YA titles that aren't "REAL" books in the comments section.
In closing, thanks for your patience with my rant. I look forward to seeing your opinions and rants of your own in response.
And FYI: I haven't read an adult book since MAY. I didn't finish that one.