The Problem With YA Fiction

So, you know how you can link your Goodreads updates to your other social media outlets? (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Well, someone I follow on Twitter updated their Goodreads status. She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was reading a very new and popular young adult book, that I’d been meaning to read by the way, and updated her “currently-reading” status. She was 47% of the way through the novel and said that she was “bored with ____’s character”.

No biggie, right? We all have our own opinions. Something in me told me not to click the link that accompanied her tweet but me being the rebel that I am, I did anyway.

Lo and behold Voldermort had other “currently reading” status updates. At 13% she said she was bored with a different character. 32% the same thing. Now at 47% she was bored. Again.

Thrice. Three times she said she was bored with the book. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m bored three times in a row, I’m closing the book and moving on. Maybe she read other books by the author and wanted to push through it? Who knows? Not my business. Whatever. But, the problem I had was the last status update that said (and I quote):

YA has little depth. It feels like the same thing over and over again.

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*Naughty by Nature voice* If you don’t read YA/Don’t come for YA/Because you don’t know YA/Stay out of YA

Okay, totally kidding. Maybe not.

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Yes, there are several novels that are all the same or have the same theme. But what genre doesn’t? Why does young adult fiction get the bad rap all the time like writers of YA are bandwagoners? Don’t blame the hardworking writers. Blame the publishing companies. They are the ones searching for the “next Harry Potter” or the “next Hunger Games”, flooding the market with the same kinds of material. I could name at least three books where the main character has to pass some test/enter some random selection at 16 or 17 where they must battle the entire government for the sake of humanity.

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I get it, okay?!?! I’m just as frustrated! But don’t lump all YA writers together like we’re some mindless zombies copying off of each other. There are plenty of young adult books with fresh ideas and compelling characters. I’m not saying you won’t have to weed through a bunch of the “same” books before you find some gems, but they are out there, trust me. I’ve read them.

The real “problem” with YA fiction is that the “YA’s” (young adults) aren’t reading them anymore! It’s the grown-ups ruining the genre! You guys watch a few box office hits and don’t know how to act. Now you want to scour the YA genre. I can’t tell you how many reviews I’ve read of actually well-written novels where a reviewer says, “the main character is too whiny/has unrealistic mood swings/concentrated too much on [insert name of cute boy]”

That sounds like every single teenager I know. Readers of YA (adults) must have forgotten what it was like to be a teenager. Somewhere in between having babies and rubbing Icy Hot on your knees you must have caught a slight case of amnesia as well.

Adolescence was literally like 10 years ago for me. High school has been tattooed on the back of my eyelids. I remember what it was like…vividly! I know how incredibly whiny, dramatic and selfish I was. Everything was catastrophic! World-ending!  So when I see reviews questioning the mental stability of a teenager I’m always like……………

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Who were you at 16? Augustus Waters? (okay, seriously? I was not that articulate. He’s an alien. I’m convinced.) The problem with YA fiction isn’t us. It’s you. Leave us alone!

How about you write a book? Let’s see how much “depth” you posess.

Necole over and out.

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