Y not YA fiction?

Jeff Vandermeer lists ten reasons why he doesn’t read ‘YA’ fiction. Not sure how serious these are supposed to be, but this one rings very true to me at least:

2 – Never read YA even when I was YA.

Personally, by the time I’d hit my teens, if you’d tried to pitch me a book by telling me it had specifically been written for my age-group, I’d have turned my nose up and said “er, whatever“. When you’re that age, the last thing you want is people treating you as something other than a grown-up (even though you are, in fact, anything other than a grown-up).

I’d go so far as to suggest that ‘YA’ fiction may in some ways be contributing to the decline in teen reading. How many teenagers do you know who like being patronised and bracketed by their age?

Plus, when I was still working at the public library, I know I issued the Harry Potter books to far more grown-ups than kids …

One thought on “Y not YA fiction?”

  1. If the YA category didn’t work in the library (and it is mostly in libraries) it wouldn’t exist. It’s actually pretty successful.

    You’re seeing it from the wrong end: it’s not for 16 yr olds who don’t feel ready for adult books, it’s for 13yr olds who are dipping into adult fiction but also want near age role models.

    Bet VanderMeer read Heinlein’s “juveniles”. Most of the rest of us did. And they would be labelled YA now.

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