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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I’m A Real Author Now…

I’ve been waiting for the day. Patiently. Just like this.

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It has finally arrived.

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I finally got a 1-star rating on Goodreads.

First of all, I’d like to thank the Academy and all the little people who have made me who I am today.

Haters Gon Hate

Haters Gon Hate

I’d like to thank the random man who rated my book 1-star. It’s people like you who truly make me feel special. You took the time out of your undoubtedly busy schedule to rate (not review, because I’m sure that would have taken way too long and I know you have several other books to rate without reading so I wont’ take up much of your time with this post) The Missing that 1-star and I appreciate it. I feel like I can fly I’m so elated.

Thank you sir, I appreciate it.

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So, when do I get my prize? Cake at the very least, right? No? Nothing???? Eh….oh well. *touches face* *whispers* I’m a real author now.

xo, Necole

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Bad Reviews and How I Handle Them…Badly

So today, quite possibly, has been one of the most emotionally draining days in my little itty bitty author career. As you all know The Legacy has been on tour all week and has gotten so much attention from people who I wouldn’t be able to reach on my own. Shout-out to YA Bound Book Tours for making that happen for me! I appreciate that a lot.

However, as new people read The Legacy, of course, there are new reviews. And I am that crazy author that Googles their name, searches on Twitter for it, etc. just to see how many people (other than my friends and family) are talking about my book. I especially was getting hit with lots of notifications this week because in addition to the tour I am also hosting a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card. So, my Facebook/Twitter and even IG was blowing up!

Hey, everyone loves money, right? Especially Amazon money.

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So, back to the point. Reviews. New eyes mean new opinions. And you know how people love to share their opinion.

Today in my sleuthing, I ran across a blog post that reviewed my novel. I wasn’t @’d on Twitter (which most GOOD book reviewers do) so I already knew this was going to be some bullshit. (Excuse my language. That’s the Andrea in me.) So, despite all the alarms and sirens going off in my head, I click the link anyway.

Y’all. 

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After I read that review I couldn’t breathe. My face was hot. My hands were shaking. I’ve only been that mad one other time…but that was in my previous life. MOVING ON!

I literally was hot because I was so angry. Not only was the review bad, it was downright mean. I understand if you don’t like a book because you couldn’t get into it. It’s not a subject matter that interests you, etc. I understand that because I can’t get into historical fiction like that, or anything with werewolves or vampires. (Except for the Shadow Falls novels) So we all have our preferences in what we like to read, fine. But when you KNOW you don’t like mystery/suspense novels and you choose to read one anyway…………..

Again, besides the point. I couldn’t handle how angry I was. I wanted to email the blogger and cuss her out. I wanted to tell her that she was wrong. I had a good book because 17 people on Amazon told me so! Because I stayed up all night (most nights when I wanted to jump out of a window rather than finish my book) and finished my book. I know those characters! It felt like she was badmouthing my child. I felt personally attacked. And I cried.

I cried because I was angry. I cried because I was letting ONE review get to me. I’ve gotten praise for my novel from here to Timbuktu from people I’ve never even shared the same air with, and this girl’s janky review got to me. Honestly, I’d never heard anyone say some of the things she said about my book, but again, that’s her opinion. (And you know what they say about opinions).

I have to learn that for every scathing review there will good ones. I put my book out here for the world to read. And they don’t have to love it. Some people are going to hate it! Some people are going to think it’s just okay. Some people (I hope most people) will stan over it! And I just have to be okay with that. I have to get a thicker skin when it comes to people reading and criticizing my work. I have to take ME out of it.

So, to the blogger who dogged my book, thank you for your review. I really do appreciate your feedback and your harshly unkind words.

I also hope you step on a Lego.

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Necole, over and out.