Joining us this week...
Michelle from IN LIBRIS VERITAS
Jolene from JO'S BOOK BLOG
Go have a look at their latest grabs and tell them yours!
Well, as you know, last week I had stopped reading NEVERNIGHT because the Goodreads page listed it as YA and the very first scene was graphic sex mixed with violence. I mentioned this in my Twitter buddy read group and they said noooooo that the publisher made it a point that the book was not YA and was not to be promoted as YA. One had gotten hers at BookCon and the other at another con that I don't remember the name of, and another blogger who had gotten it at BEA agreed in the comments last Tuesday that they were told it was not YA. When I went to Goodreads to do my second up date I commented that "This book is not YA." Then as you know from last week I had that discussion with the reader who was pushing it as YA.
Anyway, I was on Twitter and saw the author tweet that authors need to pay attention to what they write in YA. I was thinking, wow, what a great guy, and I retweeted it. The next day I went to the thread to complement him and I saw that it was actually a bait and switch. The thread was about his readers being YA readers and there being NOTHING WRONG with Nevernight being recommended and promoted as YA. He said that teens have sex and the world is violent and it isn't fair to kids when their parents protect them from the bad things in life. They need to get prepared as teens. I didn't reply right away because I was head ripping off mad, so I went to see if they had seen his tweets in the buddy read PM group. The mother of the 13 year old who had originally said there was no way that the author would have suggested anyone rec the book as YA had seen them and was livid. She said she had already vented to one of the other buddies about it. She said she was going to finish the book and try to forget about it. I told her there was no way I could finish it as mad as I was, but that I was just going to set it aside not dnf it because it was a great ADULT FANTASY story. Then things got busy and I forgot until Greg commented about the tweets on my The Sunday Post.
Monday morning I tweeted on the thread that the graphic sex in the book was not in anyway appropriate for YA and it should not be being rec'ed as YA. His reply was that he is the YA author and he gets to say what goes into YA, not me. Then he started on this spiel about parents should not not dictate to kids what they can read. I said well the last time I looked 12-18 year olds were minors therefore it was called parenting not dictating. Then he changed it to I don't have the right to dictate to other parents what their kids can read. I said I'm not, if they don't care what their kids read then they can hand them NA and that YA needs to have some semblance of appropriateness for parents to choose books from. Well, as Greg pointed out Sunday the author started this circular arguing thing where everytime a valid point was made against him he would throwin something nonrelated, like the violence in the Hunger Games. Then the teens rallied behind him and I was pummeled from all sides all morning and into the afternoon. His battle cry was "parents shouldn't be dictating" he said it over and over again and then I realized that he was pandering to them. To excite them into getting that forbidden book. Oh he is good, from the bait and switch tweet, to the battle cry.
The two most ridiculous exchanges were the mother who was proud that all three of her kids in high school are "normal" and have sex. And the blogger who said that YALSA better not start talking about those 18+ stickers again because the bloggers won't have it and they aren't going to tell him what he can't read. Well, the kid is atleast 19, so, um, they can't tell him what he can't read anyway.
Finally I said that regardless of what he thinks that exposure to graphic sexual content of any kind is part of sexualization and that sexualization is not supported by psychologists, or doctors for teens. Then all of a sudden he said he never said his book should be recommended or promoted as YA, that I had totally misunderstood him. I said that other people had come away with the same thought as me and that we had been discussing it in the buddy read group. Then people started asking for the tweet, and it was gone. I added that someone had also commented about it on my blog, so that was proof, too. Of course they all sided with him. But how can they explain away the hours and hours he argued that graphic sex is okay in YA? I think that in itself says he was saying it was okay to promote his book as YA. What a sneak, an arrogant manipulating sneak.
I looked up sex in YA and the descriptive words that were used were: mild, tricky to write, playful, double entendre, and abstract. I saw not one "explicit" or "graphic", so I think that is the general consensus.
I would also like to shout out to authors Precy and Suzanne for having my back in the mobbing. I was afraid to check my Twitter followers after the fray, but not only didn't I lose any, I gained one. I was in a very dark place last night for a while about blogging because there is a reason why YA is encompassed in Children's lit, they are still minors and in need of parenting and to have a grown man who writes books for this classification calling it dictating and saying hes the one who says what our kids read, not us, made me sick. I was thinking I didn't want to blog about YA anymore, or maybe even blog at all, but then I remembered the YA authors I promote who do have a heart for YA and for using it in positive ways and it is those authors who need the help to outshine the ugliness some bring.
Thank goodness for my nice calming read of Anne Of Green Gables. I am way ahead of the read-a-long and will probabnly finish today.
I also finally started this! I love my ARC free summer. You can find the links to these two books at the top of my sidebar. I have had a ripping headache since yesterday. I think I popped a vessel in my head or something. Ha ha. I really need to go.
What are you reading? Please tell me!