4 thoughts on “Developing”

  1. You know, I’m so burned out on these foolish, ill-informed articles that I can’t bring myself to engage the writers through comments anymore. In this case I have read the book they are discussing – Kathe Koja’s “Headlong” – and it is very well done. (It will be reviewed in my Jan column.) But to engage in a gender discussion on this particular book – about a teen girl and her friendships and romantic relationships while in boarding school – is bizarre to me. This book is going to find an audience primarily among teen girls and they will love it because they will identify with the teen girl protagonist. If the panel really wanted to consider the issue of teen boys and whether or not they read as much as girls then it might have behooved them to consider books that teen boys would be likely to read – like those by John Green, Tim Tharp, Sherman Alexie, Chris Crutcher, Tim Wynne-Jones and about a zillion SFF writers. But of course the point here is not to really discuss books for teenagers, (male or female) but for adults to wonder yet again why books are written specifically for teens at all and to bring up Henry Miller, JD Salinger and “Howl” for God’s sake.
    “Tropic of Cancer” vs “Headlong”? WTF?
    At the end of the day, when are these many many (MANY) ill informed literary types going to acknowledge that teens buy a ton of YA titles every year and just stop trying to figure out why? Maybe it’s because they like them and they are good. It’s that simple.
    Oh and one more thing – if you haven’t been reading YA titls consistently for the past several years then you should not be allowed to comment on the market, period.

  2. ::cheers:: Yes! It blows my mind that otherwise intelligent people feel the need to air their fuzzy “impressions” about what the field is like while also admitting that the particular book they just read is completely different than those–gee, you think you might be wrong about a lot of the rest too? Why not read a whole lot more before you feel qualified to make sweeping (wrong!) generalizations?

  3. Maureen writes: “…with every YA book imagined as a something like a strange pastiche of Judy Blume, vampires, and a message about the dangers of teenage drinking.”
    Now I kind of want to see all the big YA books of the last decade or so reimagined this way.

  4. I tend to think of young-adult fiction as sort of facileā€”a straightforward style, uncomplicated themes and morals . . .
    Or, in other words, “I haven’t read a new book in roughly two decades, and even then I only read crappy ones.”

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