Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

Young Adult Fiction: More Heinlein, Less Twilight, Please?

So, I'm just feeling cranky but I'm afraid this could turn into the kind of rant where people point and laugh and say "UR totally old dude and WTF are you talking about?" because I haven't done an in-depth study of today's YA genre, I just know what kind of books I'm seeing reviewed all the damn time and what aspiring YA writers say on writers' forums.

So, with as much self-awareness and appreciation for irony and my own hypocrisy as I can muster, let me just say: most YA fiction sucks.

Young Adult fiction has changed a lot. Once upon a time, Lord of the Rings was classified as "young adult" or even "children's literature," because everyone knew that grown-ups didn't read fantasy. Then fantasy and sci-fi became a serious (if not always respected) market.

Heinlein's juveniles are good examples of what used to be quintessential examples of YA genre fiction. The Young Adult entry on Wikipedia lists some other good ones.

And there is still a lot of good YA fiction being written. I write Harry Potter fan fiction, so obviously I still read YA books. I enjoyed The Hunger Games and His Dark Materials, and Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series remains one of my all-time favorites.

That said, I am so, so sick of crap about glittery fairy/angel/vampire/werewolf boyfriends. How many different series about vampire boarding schools does the world need? How many boy wizards?

Yes, before anyone points this out, it's not exclusively a YA phenomena by any means. No need to remind me of Sturgeon's Law. I stopped reading most epic fantasy a long time ago because I was sick of all the Farmboys of Destiny.

But what really perturbs me is I'm seeing more adults who call themselves "avid readers" who say they pretty much only read YA fiction. And proudly defend this by saying that YA novels are "more emotional" and adult novels are "too dry and boring." (!?!?)

In other words, all they want to read is literature suitable for a CWTV series.

Whatever happened to reading YA fiction when you're a young adult (or child) and graduating to thicker, denser reads when you're an adult (with the occasional dip into guilty pleasures for lighter reading)?

This rant brought to you by OMFG I'm Getting Old, so don't take it too seriously.
Tags: soapbox, writing, young adult

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