Once again, someone published an article disparaging a genre and all those who read it. In this case it was an article about how adults who read YA should be ashamed for themselves. (These sorts of articles seems to pop up about once a year.) It’s unfortunate when articles like this happen, since they’re usually sweeping in judgment, often saying that “adults” should read “real books” blah, blah, blah.
But it’s not just YA that this happens to. Romance. Chick-Lit/Women’s Fiction. They, too, are subject to haters. (It seems to me that a majority of these are dominated both reading and writing wise by women, but that’s a (very important) conversation for another day.)
Someone is always judging and dismissing those who read (and write) x or y genre, which is usually not the preference of the one doing the judging. The readers in question are told to read “real books.”
This is what I say:
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they’re allow to not like certain types of books, but that doesn’t mean they’re should dismiss or disparage entire readerships or genres.
Also, the “real” book argument really gets to me. As a YA author (and a Steampunk author) I get the “when are you going to write a real book” question all the time.
What exactly makes a book “real” anyhow? How is writing a book for teens, or with kissing, or paranormal creatures, so hoverboards any less real?
Um, heck no. These books aren’t lesser. The readers aren’t lesser. The authors aren’t lesser. No less work going into crafting these stories than any other book.
There are plenty of merits to reading YA. Lots of people enjoy them. Lots of people write them. They make lots of people happy. This could be said for any other genre.
Read whatever you want. Read what makes you happy. Write whatever you want. Write what makes you happy.
Life is too short to not read (and write) whatever you like, so why limit yourself? Why not go all over the bookstore to find those books? Who knows what gems you’ll find? Why not write a story the way it wants to be written?
Every book, every story has value. Everyone is different. That is the beauty of having so many different types of books–so everyone can find a story that resonates with them.
Suzanne Lazear is the author of the YA Steampunk dark-fairytale series “The Aether Chronicles.” INNOCENT DARKNESS and CHARMED VENGEANCE are out now. FRAGILE DESTINY releases 8-8-14. She runs with cupcakes, plays with swords, likes cupcakes, and thinks adulthood is over-rated.