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Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday's Question of the Day!

*You are welcome to use my meme - just credit me please*

How do you feel about edgy Young Adult books? Do you mind when there is cursing or sexual moments? If you do mind, why do you feel it's inappropriate?

My Answer: I love edgy YA books! I respect when an author pushes the envelope. Being a 25 year old, sometimes I get tired of reading cookie cutter plots. Of course when that happens, I could always pick up a Simone Elkeles book. I'm using Simone as an example since I recently finished Return to Paradise. As I was reading it, I enjoyed the sexy, tense scenes that were tastefully done. However, I wondered how others would perceive instances of sex, drugs, and cursing.

In my opinion, most of the time, the themes presented are realistic. I'm not speaking for all teens, but I think kids grow up fast these days. So, I'm glad to see YA books stepping up and not shying away from these changes. But, don't get me wrong I wouldn't feel comfortable for a 13-14 year old reading them. That's why I make sure to warn my young readers about inappropriate moments.

I'd love to know your thoughts, so leave me a comment :) Have a question idea? E-mail me at and I'll give you credit!


YA Book Queen said...

I definitely love the more edgy YA books. Life isn't always so sweet, so it's nice to see more realistic characters/issues.

The Book Speaker said...

Your answer to this question is really well thought out. I respect that.

Kiki Hamilton said...

As a reader and a mother of a 14 yo girl I like edgy plots and realistic dialogue and settings. It's a safer way to learn about the "real" world then out there experimenting and you also can read about immediate consequences, if there are any. Life is what it is - deal with it, right?

Vicky B said...

I definitely don't think it's inappropriate. I think it's realistic and true. That's what being a teen is about sometime. Teens cuss and have sex. However, sometimes I feel like books go overboard. I'm all about writing about character who don't use language and who save themselves for marriage because that's the kind of group I grew up in, and the kind of teen I am. So, I think that's all up to the author.

Nat said...

I appreciate your thoughtful answer to this question. I have to agree with you---but I do think it's a good idea to have a warning. Maybe there could be a warning on the actual book too?

Kris (Voracious YAppetite) said...

I'm with you on this one. As an adult reader, I prefer edgy YA books. It's hard for me to get into the "cookie cutter" type YA books you mentioned, although it's still important to have them as some YA readers are actually...well, YAs. ;)

Reena Jacobs said...

I'm a bit prudish. Though I know children are out there having sex, I prefer they didn't. And as my daughter said, not everyone is having sex. That being said, I don't think sex should be taken lightly in YA books. If there is sex, I think there should be consequences. That doesn't mean someone has to get knocked up or anything like that. It just means I think the emotional and physical consequences should be examined at least. If a writer is bold enough to put sex in a book, why cop out and gloss over the issues which accompany it. For the most part, there's no reason to put sex in a YA book just for the sake of having sex. To me that's not edgy. In order to be edgy something has to be at stake. And then the stakes need to be explored. Otherwise it's just pointless filler, trying to keep with trends. Even in adult books the reasons the characters have sex is examined even if the excuse is lame at the time. :)

I'm not so much of a prude with foul language, but I do like it to be character and situation appropriate. If a character has a potty mouth, I would like the background to support the behavior. Perhaps he/she uses the language to mask his/her insecurities or to be cool. Perhaps they come from an environment where foul language is the norm. Whatever, doesn't matter to me as long as it fits the character.

La Coccinelle said...

I agree. Teens grow up fast these days. I think the YA fiction was a little more innocent when I was a teen.

I answered here.

Jessi E. said...

I love edgy young adult books. I guess the main reason is because I like that they can be edgy without being completely grotesque unlike some books written for adults. I mean, I don't really mind those either, but I just love the accessibility and spirit of young adult - no matter the subject matter. Actually, the darker and more sensitive the topic, the better. Usually.

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