Discussing YA

I have a friend and she does a book club on Facebook (the one I read Stalking Jack the Ripper for) and she posted a discussion question. This is horrible but I never take part in these, I answer them in my head, read what others think and scurry along.

This time the discussion was about YA. Now I’m not going to disclose it all that doesn’t feel right and just to reassure, my friend though is always of the opinion that as long as you’re reading, that’s it, that’s what matters, no matter the genre. Oh, there are genres I dislike, but I tend to lean towards her thoughts, hey, no matter what, it’s reading!

But basically it was boiling down to this; was YA just a way to water down things, and taking away the value?

[Also there was this impression that Harry Potter redefined YA as a genre and I agree and disagree; it certainly did as far as length was concerned and that most of the novels were ‘hefty’ word counts, not necessarily how many books in a series as Chronicles of Narnia already spanned many books, but I could have listed many YA that came out around that same time or before, Harry Potter just happened to be a phenomenon, one that I continue to obsess with to this day]

I couldn’t believe that at all. This was a way to address issues that YAs can encounter, there was some laughter about The Hunger Games and let me tell you I’ve read that trilogy 3x and will defend it to my dying day. There were politics and a message SO much deeper than the love triangle. I think people confuse YA with being superficial just because it likes to use tropes, but, uh, who said tropes were bad? I didn’t, I’m a sucker for some and that doesn’t reflect on intellect.

I read so many classics, did a course on Shakespeare, read Brave New World when I was 11, wrote fancy papers on the diaspora of Jazz in France and the UK between both World Wars and I am a huge idiot lol. Obviously, our reading choices do not reflect our intellect but I would like to think they tend to reflect our interests.

I have nothing against YA, I devoured it like my very life depended on it up until about 6 years ago, and guess what. Do you know why I stopped reading YA? Because I was at a different point in my life, it had nothing to do with age, it just had to do with I was in a different mood of reading. That’s it, not because I was too old for it or because I was too mature for it [BAHAHAHA me, mature, yea okay] and I really was a bit flabbergasted as I read some of the things.

Guess what. I read Twilight, I read all 4 books of that series, I STRONGLY dislike it [and not because I thought it was dumb but I actually had some serious issues with Bella and strong womanly feelings that need a post on its own but I won’t ever write it], but I read it, and I never once thought any friend of mine who liked Twilight was dumb because of it, only thought that if they watched the movies ;).

Also, a book is not always an instrument of learning, sometimes it is simply entertainment.

I can think of so many YA books where they don’t water down issues that are important. Harry Potter was a story of growing up, of making hard decisions, Hunger Games, politics and corruption of power and government also the consequences of starting a rebellion for better or worse, A Series of Unfortunate Events, children are not heard, and therefore bad things can happen to them, to others, that good people don’t always come out on top, Percy Jackson was a hero with ADHD and dyslexia and I could literally go on forever with this list of examples. I will refuse to believe that these novels do not mean as much because they’re YA. No. Enough is enough. There are dumb things written for adults all the time lol and like my friend says; as long as you’re reading that’s all that matters.

But what do YOU all think? Yay or Nay to YA, and what are some of your favorite YA series? Any recs??