I’m never going to forget the day I was standing in the fantasy section of Dymocks. A guy in his mid-late 20s came up to me and asked if I liked fantasy and what I was reading – clearly looking to step up to the plate.
I keenly responded, “Illuminae! It’s fantastic,”
“Illuminae? Never heard of it,”
“Oh its young adul-”
He huffed and he puffed and he walked away.
Okay, I get it. You’re entitled to your opinion and you can disagree with my tastes and that’s fine. You can find enjoyment in things that I can’t – that’s great. Really, it’s great.
You can have an opinion – it’s yours. Be happy with it. Don’t shit on someone else’s just because you disagree.
I haven’t been reading steadily for very long at all, barely two years now. To me, reading was a means of filling time that would otherwise be wasted – ie. the two hours I spend on the commute to and from home. In the beginning, I reached specifically for books that I found entertaining. I wasn’t out to learn a lesson, or find the meaning of life or anything like that. I just wanted to be entertained – and this is where YA came in to play.
I’m grateful now that reading has become so much more to me, and that I do read more diversely now. However, the majority of the books I read are still YA – and it upsets me to see so many condescending attitudes towards it, in real life and online.
That being said, I’m not going to say that there isn’t anything wrong with the genre. Themes are recycled over, and over, and over, with authors cashing in on pulling together a quick story about vampires, dystopia, warewolves, etc. For example…
Special snowflake main character rising through the ranks in a dystopia where your caste is defined by a certain characteristic:
Divergent – Veronica Roth
Red Rising – Pierce Brown
Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
The Selection – Kiera Kass
The Young Elites – Marie Lu
And since the target of YA is its namesake, it opens the gateway to shitty writing… which really doesn’t need to be the case. So many fantastic YA novels tip toe the line and it’s a shame that those great stories will be neglected by some because of their placement in the book store.
SIX OF CROWS SIX OF CROWS SIX OF CROWS SIX OF CROWS SIX OF CROWS SIX OF CROWS
Tired of ranting. If we learned to respect each other’s opinions, wouldn’t the world be an incredible place?