Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Is it just me, or is YA Fiction not so...YA...anymore?
I could just be old, maybe I'm just losing touch with "teenagers" of today, who really knows. But honestly, a lot of the YA fiction I've read lately, I cannot believe that it's classified as YA. I know I wouldn't want my 13-year-old reading things like that!
Yes, I do read YA fiction. It's a nice in-between filler when I feel as though I've been reading too much "heavy" material, or when I feel like a quick read, or when I just want a break from adult reading. And I admit, when YA books get a lot of attention, I can't help my curiosity to read it and see if I agree or disagree with the hype. I'm a sucker like that.
First case: the ever-talked about and muchly-overhyped Twilight series. Since this isn't going to be a review (that would take entirely too much space), I'll leave my opinion in this one sentence: REALLY, STEPHENIE MEYER?! Moving along, I know that Meyer tries to skirt around the issue and leaves her descriptions as PG as possible, but I still don't necessarily feel it ordinary to have a YA book focus so much on obsession and wanting a man to take over your very being. Whilst reading it I can't help but feel almost as if I'm reading a weird version of Teenage Erotica. Strange. And dirty. But not in the good way.
Second Case: The Mortal Instrument Series. I realize I shouldn't exactly put this on the list because I'm only about 150 pages into the first installment (City of Bones, as pictured), but there's already one part where my mind tripped a bit and thought Hold up, what? I'm a bit turned off that the front cover's quote has the word "sexy" in it, but there's a dialogue section that has the word "manacles" and "kinky" together. I mean, I understand everyone has their thrills, but I don't think I want bondage and S&M to turn up in my teenager's book.
Third (and last) Case: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. And come to think of it, pretty much all of Rachel Cohn's books. First, I want to say that Nick & Norah is one of my favourite books (not the movie, I have to admit, as much as I liked it), and I'm not necessarily knocking the book. But I can say that I was 20 when I read it and was even a bit uncomfortable. Yes, the characters are 18 (thankfully), but when this is marketed towards the teen crowd, I find a quickie blowjob in the ice machine room of a hotel that has someone walking in on them to be pushing it just a tad. Tad.
I'm not naive enough to believe teenagers aren't engaging in such acts, but I'd still like my literature to not perpetuate it so overtly. Especially since I started reading YA books when I was about 7 (early reader...unavoidable when mother works in a library).