Laura Stone (stoney321) wrote,
Laura Stone

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Mini rant about snobbish reading/assumptions

I backed out of a blog commentary yesterday so fast yesterday because I was just flabbergasted and quickly outnumbered. The general gist of the post was "wtf is up with adults reading YA, that's kid stuff!" and the general consensus is that people who read YA are a) intellectually immature, b) emotionally immature, c) incapable of higher reading comprehension, d) all of the above.

UM. How about I point at my middle finger with my other middle finger? Or may I offer you a cup of shut the hell up? The general tone of commenters was "people who loooove YA are so clearly just stupid adults that can't deal with adult things, and can't read adult sentences, and I'm an adult, did I mention? I only do adult activities and eat adult foods and walk like an adult. NO ARM FLOATIES FOR ME!" *eats adult-sized portions while wearing adult pants and adult shoes*

I would like to put out there for the masses that if you think this way, you're an idiot. No, hear me out: You are a big ol' snobbish moron. Also, you stink. I think it's fairly obvious at this point how I feel about a certain non-vampire vampire series, and guess what was held as the YA standard? Does that mean we should hold James Fennimore Cooper as the dialog/prose standard for American Writers? OH MY GOD, NO. Worst. Author. Ever. (Chuck Jones likened reading his writing as walking through a wall of hot jello. That's pretty damned accurate.)

And I gathered from a lot of the comments that the people with the attitude were wanna-be or baby writers. If you think you can write better than Mark Twain or Harper Lee, prove it. Because the day your words are read 130 years after you've written them and are REQUIRED READING for literature classes as examples of amazing writing - not childish writing, not non-adult writing, but FABULOUS writing - that's the day I'll take you seriously.

I also noticed a complete misconception as to what YA is. There was a complete lack of understanding that a lot of YA books are high concept, well thought out, and very engaging stories. Just because something is "adult fiction" doesn't mean it's automatically better, and you're a fool to think so. If you seriously think that Sue Grafton is a better writer/has more value as a writer than Madeline L'Engle, or Lois Lowery or Mark Twain, then you have bigger problems than I can help you with. Just because something has more "adult" topics (graphic sex, violence) doesn't automatically raise the bar for skill. That's absolutely ludicrous to think.

J.A. Jance, Maeve Binchy, Charlaine Harris vs. Harper Lee, Robert C. O'Brien, Marcus Zusak. I mean come on. There's no comparison. In Young Adult you have black, Asian, Queer, Trans-gender, etc. authors writing about blacks, Asians, queers, trans-gendered, etc. And it's not "this is a story of a Black Man hurting a White Woman and how we All Learned To Get Along" which is how most adult fiction stories deal with race. etc.

To write off an entire genre believing it's all Twilight... Well. You should know how I feel about that series. And yet I'll go to YA almost before other books. Just because the writing is accessible doesn't mean it's not well crafted writing. That means they did their job at getting you into the story. No easy feat, friends. The best high-end food is simple - but there is complexity in how it's crafted. They just don't want the eater to be bogged down with the craft, they want the flavors to be there without you working to get it. I'm looking at you, Jonathan Franzen, in this comparison. (To begin with. We can go on and on with crap "adult" authors.)

And hey. Sure YA also has stuff like Gossip Girls and Sweet Valley High (lol). And for every one of those I give you a Fern Michaels or a Danielle Steele or a DAN FUCKING BROWN. Dan Brown is the Stephenie Meyer of adult fiction, yo.

Anyway, that really touched a nerve with me, the hand waving and snobbery. I guess the positive is that these yahoos staying out of the library wing I'm in means the books I want to read will be available. Snobbery is never the way to go in any aspect of life, in my opinion. Except for when it comes to Mexican food, in which case I state that if you don't have people from Mexico in your kitchen, your food is moot. :)

Some great resources:
Black Teens Read 2
Voracious YAppetite
The Ya Ya Yas
I'm Here, I'm Queer, What The Hell Do I Read?
Forever Young Adult (My all-time favorite YA/book blog. HILARIOUS.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I picked up a copy of Hunger Games and plan on absorbing that today. :) (And finding out why I don't have a deck yet! Argh.)

*I realize I am not someone that can be considered an "authority" on literature, its genres, rating scales, keeper of data in relation to China's current tea pricing, but I am the leading Mormon Vampire Authority. And I'm the authority of your pants. So take this as you will. :)
Tags: books, links, rant, she blinded me with science
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