Tuesday, June 07, 2011

so, you think "all" YA is too dark?

You're not looking around enough.

I found this today just by chance.

And it looks like a great book.


Peggy said...

I read the post yesterday about YA books and how dark they be, so I went and ranted on my own blog, then read a couple of YA books I own.
No, not ALL YA books are dark. I like some of them and others are just plain dumb, lol.
I have noticed some, though, that "talk down" to YA readers.
Personally I like to read YA better than some "adult" fiction.

BP said...

Not all. Just MOST. Makes it look like YA's are just DYING for paranormal or something, which isn't true for everyone my age. Good find, all the same! ;D

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

My current YA novel is not dark. It's a little bit paranormal, a little bit mysterious, and a lot funny.

And, the trailer for MY LIFE UNDECIDED is probably the best book trailer I've ever seen. Leave it to The Shark to (once again) point me in the right direction.

Stephanie McGee said...

I read an ARC of this one. Definitely entertaining. Definitely not dark.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Oh, please. I'm sure there's a vampire there and everyone will vote she surrender her soul before the end. ;-)

Joelle said...

Like I posted on DGLM's site...I don't write dark and I don't read dark. So far I have one book published, one on the way, and I'm writing a third. And my TBR pile is huge...full of non-dark YA. I do think it's harder to find than it once was, but that doesn't mean it's not out there. And it doesn't mean there's only fluff either. My second book is about a cult and being homeless...definitely not fluff, but I still think it's more hopeful than dark. You just have to look for what you want to read. There's something for everyone. Lots of somethings!

Anonymous said...

Definitely not all YA books are dark. I didn't intend to imply in my previous comment that the darkest are TOO dark, even. Just that the dark ones should be balanced with bits of humor and pleasure like real life.

Kids aren't looking for cotton candy reading, but neither do they want to feel as though their soul has been sucked out Dementor style at The End. They want to see Harry married to Ginny, living a happy and peaceful existence. And they want to laugh a little on the journey in the midst of mayhem and misery. Don't we all?

christwriter said...

You know, the darkest book I remember reading when I was in the right age-group was a really short book about a family trying to run their farm.

No vampires.

No sexual abuse.

No cutting, even.

Nope. Just a family running their farm.

During severe nuclear fallout during a hypothetical reactor explosion.

So when Fukushima exploded, that was the book I thought of. And I keep on finding the things that were in the book in the real life event.

The darkest, scariest stuff is the stuff that can actually happen, that we can't do anything about.

To me, the vampire stories and the Stephen King novels and the really really shitty serial killer novel series (When you have a serial killer whose "signature" is recreating the crucifixion of Christ you really are scraping the bottom of the complex barrel) are kind of like wasabi. It's not pleasant when you're in it, but whoo, what a rush, and hey, now it's over! We can all go home!

The stuff that imitates real life? Scary as hell. Sounder, where the kid keeps his dog's ear under his pillow.

I don't find the drug abuse victim books all that dark or realistic because I know most of these stories are conglomerates. Social worker collects all the worst stories in their case files and combines them into one kid. I know what the real thing looks like. I find the real thing in a book, half my brain thinks about what a good, understated job the writer did, while the other half of my brain is whimpering over in a corner somewhere.

People who waste their time judging scary based on what they imagine a book is about need to start reading again. It might clear the cobwebs out and remind them that real life is so much worse.

(Of course, I also think that my "scary shit" meter got blown out when my god-fearing "we only watch DOVE approved movies!" parents had me watch "The Brave Little Toaster" at age four. It was my mother's favorite movie. I had to watch it more than once. These were the same people that decided Ferngully was too scary for me, due to the new-age content. Double standards, guys and girls. Double standards.)

(And yes. If you walked into a christian book store right now, you can find copies of The Brave Little toaster for sale, uncut, right next to the DVD players that will edit fake blood out of movies like Spiderwick Forest. Because it's the BLOOD that scares the kids. Not the giant chompers slowly bearing down on the cute and plucky home appliances we've come to know and love--and what the fuck were animators ON in the nineties?--no. It's the BLOOD that does it. God save us from the BLOOD! THE BLOOD IS THE LIFE! THE BLOOD IS THE LIFE!)

(I'm going to bed now)

Shannon Heather said...


Looks too dark for me. Probably not a single fluffy bunny or unicorn in the entire book.

Gonna have to pass.

ryan field said...

Catherine Ryan Hyde recently pubbed a good YA/crossover, too...Jumpstart the World.

(For those who don't know, she's the author of Pay It Forward)

BP said...

Honest to goodness! Brave Little Toaster is THE FREAKIEST. How that series made it and other books are being banned makes no sense whatsoever.

Jaleh D said...

I love YA books, mostly fantasy, but some realistic fiction, too. I know I've barely scraped the barrel of YA lit, but I haven't had any trouble finding decent books, either as a teen or now: Toads and Diamonds, Dragonhaven, Ella Enchanted, Tillerman saga, Pit Dragon series, Tortall series, Emelan series, Jackeroo and sequels, etc. I could could keep listing if I opened my Goodreads YA shelf. Add in MG and adult, and I'd have a bunch more I'd easily recommend for the YA reader.

All I can say is that lady was either in the wrong store or has a restrictive concept of worthwhile story lines. I'm guessing the latter.

Stephsco said...

That book sounds super cute! I'll add it to my arsenal of options to bring up for future discussions of "what YA isn't dark." I've talked/typed myself blue in the face/hands? over that WSJ article, so I'll leave it at, Thanks for the book suggestion.