Sunday, March 18, 2012

Genre? Not really.

So mad about this article about The Hunger Games.

The following is one of the three things the author identifies as a theme that may not appeal to adults when reading The Hunger Games.
Clunky Pacing and Writing -- this is not quite a "theme" but I've seen this flaw in some YA books. (The first book was beautifully paced, but the other two books -- not as much.) YA authors don't aspire to be David Foster Wallace, but Hunger Games' prose can be a bit choppy at times.
I don't come in defense of HG, specifically, because I only read the first one and don't remember the quality of the writing. It was a fun read and I really enjoyed it. I'm just so mad about the whole YA authors don't aspire to be... comment. It's probably true that many or most don't aspire to be DFW. And that is probably a good thing. He met a pretty horrible end. But rawr! All the YA authors I know work damn hard to write beautifully, and produce absolutely wonderful works of literature.

The problem here is that most people just don't seem to realise that there are genres within YA. It's not a genre all by itself, even though it is usually shelved all together. Whatever the case, there's going to be a difference in writing styles if you compare a fantasy YA with a literary YA, or a chick-lit YA with dystopian-sci-fi YA. Just the same in the adult book world.

The author saying she's read a lot of clunky writing in YA is like saying she's read a lot of clunky writing in all books. Probably true. There's a lot of crap out there, as well as all the gems. I was going to forgive her, but then clicked through and read on her author profile that she is writing YA.

Quoi le fuck?

And perhaps another day I shall address the fact that this is a totally stupid question to ask in the first place - can an adult enjoy a YA book? The answer* is DERRRRRRRR! Read whatever you enjoy.

*(my friend, that's blowin' in the wind)


  1. As you say - WTF! I followed the link to the article, but you can heave a sigh of relief. She's not a YA writer. Actually, I'd.suggest she's not a writer period, just a lawyer who dabbles. She says she did a draft of a "rather silly" YA dystopian, but implies that now she's working on a real, ie, adult book. In other words, and reading between the lines, she has contempt for anything that might appeal to teens unless it also appeals to adults and then maybe it's too good for kids. Make no mistake, this trilogy is YA stuff that adults also love, NOT an adult book that somehow sipped on to the YA shelves. There are plenty of those, mind, some of which end up on the CBCA short list, but not this one! I had to wrestle several girls at school to keep them from grabbing the poster of the HG boys out of the current Dolly, though I migh laminate it and put it in a raffle basket of goodies once I've finished my HG display. And those are girls who have read the books, not just drooling over the boys.

    1. ha! i love the manic enthusiasm of young uns. (i still have this manic enthusiasm, i try to veil it sometimes with a layer of "cool"...bahahaha) your kids sound ace.

      i like to think we are all writers, if that's we want to be, even if all we do is dabble!

  2. Whoops, that's SLIPPED, not sipped. Oh, and for the record, IMO, this trilogy(read the lot in3 days)is going to be a classic, alongside Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl.


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