Bitch Please, Young Adult is Killer!
Oh, Ruth Graham, you saucy minx, you clearly don’t know what you’re missing…
Did you ever think that pigeon-holing Young Adult literature and negating reader’s choices may be doing more harm than good? Clearly, with overall readership rates being well lower than they should be, it makes absolute sense that we judge the reading choices of the people who are actually taking the time to pick up a book. Should you not just be content in the fact that people are actually buying books, taking the time to read them, and becoming invested in characters and story lines?
Oh right, I must have forgotten that you have definitive proof and power to make decisions regarding what is acceptable literature for any audience.
To Disparage a Genre (Young Adult or Otherwise) is to Disparage the Reader’s Ability to Pick their own Adventure
Considering that so many adults are not reading—because they’re so wholly engrossed in the score of the game, the six pounds their favourite celebrity has lost or gained, or simply because they haven’t found a piece that speaks to their reading inclinations—maybe you should climb off your high-horse and realize that books need to become valid and important in society’s readership. I would hazard a guess that authors are over-the-moon to have an audience, regardless of whether or not they are straight or gay, male or female, or black, purple, or green. No one who writes with the intention of having a wide-readership is going to pick-and-choose which audience reads, appreciates, and accepts their work.
Deciding that adults shouldn’t read young adult novels because they’re “escapist, instantly gratifying, and nostalgia [inducing]” works, which deserve an embarrassed readership of anyone out of their teenage years. This is just as despicable as claiming young adults shouldn’t—or should be embarrassed to—read books that are intended for adult audiences because they’re realistic, gradually rewarding, and look at current and future society. Yes, there is an incredible sense of accomplishment that comes from fishing a book when you’ve pushed yourself a little bit out of the box, but you know what else feels good? Reading in general, and the innate feeling of being pulled back into a world that you can identify and feel comfortable enough in to return to time and time again. It feels good to visit the characters that have become your friends and have given you strength and peace to take on your own day-to-day life.
Maybe you were embarrassed while you read the Tuck Everlastings and the The Westing Games, but it’s so wonderful that you had the opportunity to get through them without an onslaught of criticism telling you to put them down in favour of more appropriate works. It would also be so wonderful if you could extend the same courtesy to the readers of today. To the adult readers who proudly carry their well-worn copies of The Perks of Being a Wall Flower or The Fault in Our Stars: you kick ass. Go and get your read on. And to the would-be elitist, condescending readers who scoff and roll their eyes at the books of others: maybe it’s time you pulled your nose out of the air and gently placed it back in your own books.
…. wait, can you hear me with your head so far up your own ass?
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