Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's up with YA fantasy?

Saturday was a good day. I had a date day spending time with my husband. We did some religious activities together and then, in our Sunday best, had a nutritious meal at the local McDonald's. As we ended our morning and went our separate ways, we both had errands and obligations to attend to, I suddenly found myself at the mall. Then just as suddenly I was knee deep and happily surrounded by my addiction. The Words. What my husband rather unaffectionately calls books.

I went to the store with the intentions of finding a cooking/diet book. Nevertheless, I found myself bouncing back and forth between the historical romance section and young adult fantasy section. I decided to purchase a book in YA about werewolves. I spent $20.00 on the hardback.

I left the book store so eagerly I almost forgot my original errand in the mall. I was bustling with the potential the new "words" could provide. I went straight home and did my chores quickly and saw to any potential needs my children might come up with so as not to be interrupted and thus igniting my Medusa like attributes.

Then I sat back on my super soft, down padded bed and snuggled up to get my fix. I must admit that what first attracted me to this book was the cover. This jacket was alluring, pivotal and beautiful. So you can imagine my utter dismay as I opened the book and ran my fingers along it's inner pages. I did not feel a smooth lattice work of equal proportions. The pages look like something my six year old cut out then put together with a stapeler. They are all misshapen and roungh edged.

Nevertheless, because of the junkie I am, I press forward. I made it to chapter 3 and could tell that I wasn't really happy with the way things were going. What do you think I did? What would you do? Remember I am a junkie. I read on. At about 11:00pm I was half way through the book and had met my breaking point.

I had endured several aspects of the story that I could look past. However, when the characters were being forced into situations of sexual abuse by authority figures of the straight and homosexual nature I was officially done. Not only am I done I will get my money back.

I used to read YA because I thought it would fall better within my ideas of moral reads. That is not the case anymore. The saddest thing about the whole ordeal is that this is not the first time this has happened. It is acutally quite common. There are also several common denominaters in my experiences as well. If it's YA fantasy set in modern times then it going to have something offensive to my own personal convictions more often than not. Why is that? Do teenagers really find joy is such sad and unacceptable behavoirs? Isn't fiction supposed to be fun? I will say when I do find the not. It's like finding a hidden snickers bar days after Halloween is over. Unexpected, satisfying and oh so sweet.

PS. I have purposely left the name of the novel out of this entry. I believe what I believe. Those are my personal opinions. I refuse to review a book in any form whether negative or positive when I cannot even finish it.


  1. You should name it so the rest of us don't "not finish it." :) Get your money back. A book written for YA shouldn't exceed the expectations of a movie rated PG-13. And honestly, I think PG, the "13" rating is ridiculous, as I wouldn't let my 13 year old child see the nudity or hear the language offered in those movies. I definitely wouldn't allow it in a book either.

  2. Lady, ever heard of the public library? Then you can check it out, read it for free, and decide then if you love love LURVE it so much you want to fork over the money. And at that point, get on and buy it from a used book seller for next to nothing.

    But as to the YA aspect, I simply don't like the genre. I'm trying to appreciate it (as I am working in Youth Services at the public library now), but it's so angsty. I like children's fiction, like Linda Sue Park, Kate DiCamillo, Richard Peck, Carl Hiaasen. I'm not into fantasy but of course there's lots of selections there, too. I understand your dismay, but it is what sells. And books need to present a realistic view of the world (even in the fantasy genre) for YA to read it. Everyone - including those who live the sort of life you or I don't approve of - deserves to see themselves and their situations depicted in the pages of a book. (Well, to a point, I'm not in favor of sexual predators being protagonists and being seen in a positive light.)

  3. And just what is this crap teaching these young minds? Its scary. And some of the things that they tell the kids that they have to read at school is aweful as well.
    I agree with Rochelle if they are written for young people they should not be over a PG13...or even really a PG. Whats the point of it being YA if it has all the garbage of books written for adults?
    Keep ranting!!