In which I rant about adults and YA lit


Ok so there is a post going around from an author about YA fiction being just for teens and I found the tone of the post to be condescending. The big thing from the post and that I’m seeing talked about on twitter in relation is about sex in YA Lit and whether or not it should be in the books. I’ve seen comments about how the argument that ‘TEENS HAVE SEX’ is rubbish because not all teens have sex. Granted they don’t, but SOME teens DO. And to completely ignore sex in YA fiction is silly.

On this topic, not all teens fall in instalove. Nor do they fall in love with multiple people. Nor are they fickle about relationships. Some teens fall in love ONCE, marry that person, and spend the rest of their lives together.. Some teens have a new boyfriend/girlfriend every week, some teens don’t date at all in high school. Back to the instalove though, not all teens do this yet it’s a HUGE part of YA fiction and every time I see it brought up on twitter (that it is too prevalent in YA Lit) there’s a dozen authors defending it saying ‘it’s something teens do’.

Want to know some other things teens do that are rarely found in YA fiction, (at least from what I’ve seen) they drink, they smoke, they do drugs, they lie, they sneak out, they cheat on their gf/bf, they skip school, and the list could go on. Then one the other hand you can find teens who don’t do any of that, they do their homework on time, do extra credit, stay in with the family and have game nights, movie nights in with their friends, run book clubs, etc.

Do I want graphic sex scenes in YA fiction? No. This is where fade to black scenes come in handy. But I don’t think we need to skip over the subject and pretend that teens, more than adults would like to acknowledge, have sex, are having sex, or have had sex. What I do want to see most in YA fiction is more variety, in things teens do as well as the physical appearance of them (there are way too many blonde haired, blue eyed girls and buff, strong, muscular guys in YA Lit). All teens don’t fit into one category and the fact that authors tend to do that to them bothers me a lot, and is a little insulting to teenagers. (Yes there are exceptions to that and authors who don’t but the vast majority do.)

But what it boils down to is I’m sick of adults telling us what they want in YA Lit, or what they think should be in YA Lit. If anyone should have a say in the matter it is the teens, since they are the ones that the books are aimed at.


3 thoughts on “In which I rant about adults and YA lit

  1. kirsty vizard says:

    I love this post! I am an adult who reads YA, but you are totally right 🙂 . . . NO-ONE falls into a category, first it was love triangles, then insta-love, why can’t authors be more creative??


  2. K.L. Phelps says:

    When I first saw the title, I thought it was going to be a post on YA isn’t just for teens. (I’ll blame that on my lack of sleep) As for sex in a YA book and sex in general for teens. Come on, in today’s world teens are well aware of sex. It shouldn’t shock people that it would be in books. Have they never watched TV shows aimed at teens?!?! Now whether or not it should be in there is a different question. If it is essential to the story (does it serve a purpose?) then yes. But if it’s being used like naked people in a Friday the 13th movie than no. :p And it doesn’t need a to be a deep purpose, could just be teens doing what some teens do (fact of life).

    I will say as an adult male, YA isn’t the primary genre I read/write, but I’ve come to enjoy it over the last several years.(I think the appeal/crossover to a larger section of the reading world has been happening) Last point to consider…Did people yell and scream at JK Rowling for putting some rather gruesome torture/death scenes into her books? Not exactly typical of what you’d expect from ‘kids books’ at the time.

    Just my 2 cents (which with inflation will soon be worthless!)


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