Sunday, July 21, 2013

Why the lack of posts?

Poor blog, I haven't been posting much lately. I haven't been reading as many teen books as I did last year- this is partially because I've been away, or there have been adult books I've wanted to read. But, here's a bit of a confession:

Sometimes I get a bit tired of reading young adult books.


Before I go any further, let me say a few things clearly and emphatically.

Not all teen books are the same.

It's not a genre, it's just a target age group.


SERIOUSLY. NOT A GENRE. So there aren't set guidelines as to tone, content, setting, violence, characterization, voice, perspective, length, complexity, intelligence, competence or style. There are scads of of important, meaningful, technically skilled works of literature that also happen to be aimed at a teenage audience.

Are we clear?

Ok, good.

With that in mind.... there are certain popular trends in teen lit right now, namely dystopian novels and paranormal romances. As one would expect, publishers are fully aware that these are popular marketable themes, and are flogging the hell out of any book they can get away with claiming might be the next Hunger Games or Twilight. This means that there are soooooooooo many books which, on the surface, appeal to my interests, but were written hastily, accepted for their perceived money-grabbing potential, and add nothing to the already teetering heap. I'm pretty burned out on those, and haven't been reading as many books that don't already have some serious buzz surrounding them (or if I just can't resist the summary). In some ways this is good, as I am becoming more selective, but it also leads to a bit of a rut wherein I find myself mostly picking up sequels or things that seem like pretty sure bets anyway.

There's also a bit of an issue that really is not an issue- teen books are aimed at teens. And I'm not a teen. One way to look at this is in terms of romance. Many teen books are dealing with first loves, and often idealized ones. Big, sweeping, tragic, epic PERFECT romances. Which is perfectly fine. But sometimes I want to read something a bit more complex, or edgier, than fluttery, sweet, will they-won't they soulmatey crap. To put it in vampire terms (as you do), sometimes I want Buffy and Angel making eyes at each other in the Bronze, and sometimes I want Buffy and Spike wrecking house.

Or maybe I want to read about someone else struggling with their job, not math class.

(Again, this is not an issue of genre. Someone could reasonably suggest that I look to, say, modern literary fiction, but I would be just as happy reading about, say, a demon hunter being frustrated with her crappy midlevel position in the research and development department of a paranormal defense organization. It's a stage of life thing, not a setting thing).

None of these are complaints, I'm just putting down some thoughts that have to do with the lack of entries. I still love teen media, and have dozens of young adult books on my to-read pile that I can't wait to get my hands on. Maybe I'll post more about movies here, or branch out? I've been keeping it pretty YA-specific in the name of job-hunting, but I don't know.

Any thoughts, guys?


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