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.