Alright, if you haven't noticed...this week has brought a HUGE in-flux of YA buzz. It's probably rebounding from the success of The Hunger Games movie this weekend, but it's certainly everywhere. At least in my world. Today especially--even though it's only 9:30 am when I'm starting this--the New York Times has a slew of posts about YA fiction. (Check all these out here!)
My favorite pieces are the last paragraph of this article and this quote from a teenager who wrote an article:
Teenagers do not passively love young adult fiction and its authors. The ferocity of our devotion rivals the heartbreak caused by the very same novels.
Bottom line, there's one thing that young adult novels rarely are, and that's boring. They're built to grab your attention and hold it. And I'm not as young as I once was. At my age, I don't have time to be bored.Why am I sharing this right now?
A few reasons.
First, this is really exciting to me. I love that people in the world are talking about YA books, even if some opinions seem completely ridiculous. I love it because I am an adult reading YA, writing YA, talking about it, passing it to friends, getting excited. I can't even attempt to read adult fiction for reasons that the people in these articles point out. I know how good YA books are. How amazing the authors are. I am passionate about these books. So if people are talking about them, that's awesome! Because I want other people to be passionate about them too, to see them for what they are and to discover something about themselves from reading. That's what makes YA so special I think.
Second, as much as it excites me, it makes me nervous. I want to build up this little protective shield that says STAY AWAY. This is threefold.
1. I am a writer. This industry is hard already and the more people who fall in love with YA, who branch out into it, the harder it will be for me. Now, I get that it's totally selfish--but that's okay. My selfishness doesn't mean I don't want YA to be talked about or read--because I do--it's just part of my nervousness/shielding.
2. Quality. YA books are quality. What if that changes? What if we get so focused on the popularity and the next big thing that we (as a genre) loose the essence of what makes us so amazing and connectable? Now, this is a weird nervousness because I don't really believe that would happen. But it's something to think about. YA books stand out because they are supposed to. Because they are well-written and deal with hard issues. They are not afraid. I don't ever want to see us become afraid.
3. It's a territory thing. You know how some of us are "originals" in the Hunger Games phenom? Like, we read the books first! I can't help but feel this way in regards to the genre as a whole. "I was here first!" I know that's kinda silly. But I get really protective of things that I love, be it a book or an author. What would happen if they get lost or changed in the rush? I don't even know what I'm trying to say with this point...but hopefully you get it.
Ultimately, I think it's a good thing. It's exciting! I love YA and I'm glad people are talking about it. It allows me to talk about it too in avenues that I wouldn't normally. I can't wait to see where this growth takes us. It's all about getting people to read, to connect and to grow. And as long as YA keeps doing that, then I think we're going to keep taking people by surprise.
What do you guys think about all this talk???