Monday, 7 October 2013

Book Talk Topic: "Oh... So you read Young Adult..."

"Oh... So you read Young Adult..."

Okay, so I'm a bit ranty and feel the need to share it, so there you go. It'll probably very incoherent and rambling, but I need to get this off my chest! So this is what happened (the conversation  was originally in Dutch, but since most of you don't speak it, I translated it) :

Person: I hear you like to read?
Me: Yes, very much! I absolutely love books!
Person: So, what kind of books do you read then?
Me: I read Young Adult mostly. Sometimes I make an exception, but yeah, it's mainly YA.
Person: Ahh... So you don't read real literature...

AHHHHH! This frustrates me to no end, and I get quite angry when people say this. Brace yourselves, people, for there will be a rant.

I have come across this SO many times. Once you say you like Young Adult, you see people thinking that you don't read literature, that you're probably one of those Twilight fangirls, that you only read sappy vampire stories. This is not true. At all. I just don't get why Young Adult can't be seen as literature.

Is it because it's aimed for teens? Because it's about teens? I don't know, but I'm guessing that age has something to do with this. And I don't get why. There are so many beautiful, gorgeous, meaningful stories out there. Young Adult beautiful, gorgeous, meaningful stories. Is it because people think teens are shallow? Teens are shallow, so the books they read must be too? That's bullshit. Even if all teens were shallow (which most of them are not at all), the books are mostly written by adults. And just because someone wouldn't be able to 'understand a metaphor or the deeper meaning of a book' (heavy sarcasm here), it doesn't mean they can't be there. When I look back at books I read as a child, or a show I saw then, I see so much things that I completely missed then. The messages, the references, et cetera. So there. Even in small-children-stuff there's a deeper meaning, so then why wouldn't there be in teen books?


noun \ˈli-tə-rə-ˌchr, ˈli-trə-ˌchr, ˈli-tə(r)-ˌchr, -chər, -ˌtyr, -ˌtr\ : written works (such as poems, plays, and novels) that are considered to be very good and to have lasting importance

This is what I get when I look up the definition of 'literature'. And guess what? There are Young Adult books out there that are 'very good and have lasting importance'. I give you some examples: Golden, Two Boys Kissing, and many more. In fact, Golden had a life-changing impact on me. So why isn't it seen as literature? Don't ask me.

This goes the other way too. When I read a book that's generally seen as 'literature', and I don't like it or have some critique, people are usually like: 'you're too young to understand'. Again, I call bullshit. I can understand it just fine, thank you very much. I'm generally not bad at finding a deeper message, but sometimes that isn't even the point. When I think that the dialogue is unnatural or the love instant, it doesn't have a thing to do with 'understanding' the novel. Besides, I can have an opinion. That's not wrong in any way.

/end rant 

Okay. *takes deel breath* I just had to write this. I didn't mean to offend anyone or suggest that everyone's like that, but I'm just seriously annoyed and needed to rant. I must say, ranting does help me: I feel much calmer now.

Have you ever had an experience like this? Do you think Young Adult can be literature? Let's discuss! 


  1. It's so frustrating when people think YA books are "kids' books." But, hey, they are the ones who are missing out…

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Yes, that's true! And thank YOU for stopping by ;)

  2. YA is such a widespread and unique genre at the moment that I think more and more people are reading it, especially after Twilight and Hunger Games. To be honest, when people ask what sorts of books I like reading and I say dystopian, paranormal etc. and they just have no idea that its a big genre lol! Great book talk Celine!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. Yeah, I really hope more people will appreciate YA, because it has such beautiful stories. Thank you!

  3. YA is really big, it can be anything and it is literature, some people are real stupid, lol.

    Great post, hun! <33

  4. YA IS real literature! Nuff said :)

  5. Actually, I'm a grown woman reading YA - and if I were to tell this to most people my age, they would think I'm gone nuts. But: 1) I do agree with your points completely (especially the "Is it because it's aimed for teens? Because it's about teens?" paragraph...and I had to chuckle at your Twilight reference. No I haven't read Twilight - and I don't mean to LOL); 2) I personally read YA because I need the weirdness, the magic (or even black magic), the freedom that the genre provides. Because its world seems to hold no boundaries. Because of the child inside. I've been on a YA roll this couple of years, and it doesn't mean I won't read any Adult anymore - I've actually read some lately - but right now, I'm still feeling that old pull, and till I'll found a good YA book to read, I proudly will

    1. Yes, it's really sad that people seem to have so many prejudices against YA. Glad to see an adult who actually likes YA and understands my point! Because when I DO discuss this with adults, they usually seem to think I'm just a little girl throwing a tantrum. Which, of course, annoys me even more. You make some good points there. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!


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