Today I want to do a post on hate towards YA. Lately I have been seeing a lot of comments regarding Young Adult Literature and how it is an ‘awful’ demographic. Everybody is entitled to their opinions and their own reading preferences but there is a way to voice such opinions and attacking those online who do like YA books is not the way to go about it. It always makes me ponder the question why is there such a hate for YA books?
I myself have experienced numerous comments from people stating how I should be spending my time reading ‘proper literature’ and how as an English Graduate I should be reading classics all the time. Ah, Bronte, Austen, Fitzgerald. I have tried them all but now alongside their names will be the work of J.K Rowling, Suzanne Collins and more. An argument of mine which may be controversial but for me they are now pinned as classics especially in Young Adult Literature.
What makes a classic? Is it the time period it is made or how it is simply iconic? Because for me Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are simply iconic. Their worlds may be filled with magic or dystopian government regimes but they depict a society not too far from our own. Harry Potter deals with many themes, the most notable being the Good VS Evil war but what do they represent? Voldemort is for the pure race, only the pure blood wizarding families which echos Hitler idolizing the Aryan Race. Whilst Hitler’s ultimate perfect race was full German, blonde hair, blue eyes still he was against Jewish people so cruelly. Do the Half Bloods or ‘Mudblood’s represent the Jewish Society to some extent? The similarities to our history are there.
The Hunger Games is a book which I studied for my dissertation and whilst being a dystopic fictional text it too feature’s a lot of history. Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games whilst flipping through the images of the Vietnam War alongside Reality Television, two things present still today in our society. Images of War are constantly flashed on our screens and reality TV is ever-present, the world of Panam deals with Rich VS Poor, totalitarian governments and the constant presence of CCTV. You can draw similarities of the Districts separation to the Capitol to the words of Donald Trump as he proclaimed he wished to build a wall from Mexico, separating the two.
So why the hate for YA texts when many deal with so many cultural issues?
Young Adult books is a demographic created by the publishing companies in order to create Teenage readers. The Teenager was made by the government in order to sell more products and with it came the introduction of Young Adult Literature which has grown and grown. Do those who hate it simply not read any Young Adult books because it is dubbed exactly that ‘Young Adult.’ Or is it because they think it is all fantasy and have no relevance to real life? Or perhaps because the books are usually very forward thinking? Some may simply not enjoy Young Adult books and that is also ok, as I sometimes do not enjoy Adult Books however I wouldn’t scream my hate at ‘Adult Literature’ and say how awful all of them are, how it shouldn’t even be a demographic and that it is ruining books? All arguments I have seen thrown at Young Adult…
Why does it annoy me so much?
It annoys me when the attack comes at YA and the people who read it. Everybody can make their own decisions and have their own preferences so why do some people think they can tell others what to do and How they are stupid if they like a certain book? Young Adult books can teach us valuable lessons no matter our age. Some may feature witches, vampires, werewolves or faeries but they each come with lessons. The Lord of The Rings too is a book that isn’t particularly dubbed Young Adult fantasy but Adult Fantasy yet that is known to be a classic of sorts. It is very strange to think about what people dub as a ‘waste of time’ to read over others, when the premise could be very similar.
Why do I love Young Adult Books the most?
I have tried to read many different types of books, from Adult to classics, to plays to YA. I mostly come back to Young Adult the most because I enjoy them the most. I love Young Adult books because there is so much choice out there, I love the extent of the worlds and the sheer detail a lot of the books can hold. I can regularly lose myself in a Young Adult book which I struggle to do with Adult Literature. I’m not sure why and I am not hitting out at Adult literature but for me there always feels like something is missing whereas a Young Adult books seems to be so detailed and I can relate to a character more. Perhaps that is why I love them more because regularly I can find a character very close to my age and therefore I can relate to that character more.
Are Young Adult Readers and Reviewers ruining the publishing market?
Are we? I don’t think so and this is a statement which angers me the most. There are articles out there which state that Young Adult Book Bloggers or Booktubers are ruining the market. I think it is making it better, there is always a way to get your opinion across and I never agree with giving extreme hate to authors, publishing companies etc. I think its awful when people send death threats but ultimately I believe the comments and criticisms of the community are helping mould the future of literature. For example many fought for more female heroines and we got it. I studied Children’s Literature as a unit in University and I can see the real development across literature through time, a woman’s place in children’s literature used to be as a secondary role, they would regularly be left out of the action or have their behaviour modified to fit in with society. Whereas now we have our Hermiones, Celeana’s, Katniss’ and more.
The voices of the community are ever fighting for more representation, representation that is deserved. There is a need for more diversity and the voices are beginning to be answered. There are more diverse reads now than there was when I was growing up that’s for sure but there still needs to be more. I cannot speak for the voices of POC, some amazing bloggers and voices out there include Fawda and Cam. Who regularly speak regarding Diversity and I suggest you check them both out. But from somebody who suffers from Mental Health Issues I can state I am so happy that now there are books being published which showcase characters with Anxiety, Depression etc. Something I never had growing up.
So YA literature and the community isn’t ruining books and publishing. It’s developing it, it’s reaching out and begging for more inclusion for everyone.
So there are just a few of my thoughts regarding Young Adult hate. I hope you liked this post, let me know your thoughts in the comments and what you think about this topic. Are you sick of the YA hate? Let me know!