Survey

Published 31/05/2012 by Lily Crussell

I’ve been asking several questions on Facebook, but I thought I’d pop them on here as well. I want to know what YOU think. If you could pin down your favourite YA author and give her/him some feedback, what would it be? I don’t want to know who you’d choose, but I’d like to know what you want more of? Less of? I’ve had a lot of people stating that they’re sick of weak female leads (me too btw!), love triangles, teens that *suddenly* gain magical powers or discover they’re a werewolf/fairy/mermaid/spiderman…. Also for covers, people are sick of torsos, faces, and the usual generic Twilight ripoffs that seem to have flooded the market.

I’ll tell you what I’m fed up of;

Censorship.

Don’t get me wrong. I think there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed and that people should be protected, but in the UK, you can legally have sex at 16. Surely that then means that a 16 year old is legally old enough to look after a child. If they can look after a child, why can’t they read books with swearwords in? Or with sex in? If it’s ok for them to be ‘doing it’, why can’t they read ‘it’? I’m not talking full out, graphic, offensive sex. I’m talking about consensual, the kind that most people have or are doing.

My ebook ‘Of Darkness and Light’ had a couple of curse words in it. Before I was told to remove them by someone who was potentially (it never happened unfortunately) going to be my agent. I took them out. Didn’t get me published! People swear. I did it like a trooper when I was a teen, and still do (though I am trying to cut down) If the world is going to hell, people won’t be saying; ‘Gosh darn it!’

On the flip side, I don’t want too much swearing. Or sex. I don’t read books for my age group (I’m *cough28cough*) as they’re just shopping, drinking and sex. None of these things I want to read about if I’m honest. I think a balance if needed, and I think it’s YOU GUYS, the ones reading YA ficiton who need to let us know where the balance is. What shocks you? What do you never want to read about? What would make you put down a book and never pick it up again? Where are you lines of censorship? What do you want more of? Less of?

The other subject that makes me cross is teens being talked down to. I haven’t become this revolutionary-ly different person since I was 18. I hated it then and I hate it now. Teens aren’t dumb, so don’t treat them like that are. I’ve picked up several YA books that I’ve had to abandon because they’re written as thought aimed at 12 year olds. I LOVE YA. I love reading it and writing it, but I feel it is a genre with more than it’s fair share of issues, being censorship etc etc.

Anyhoo, got a bit ranty there.

Let me know what you think about the genre. How would you fix it if you were in charge? If you rana  publishing house, what would you print?

L x

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5 comments on “Survey

  • Excellent points you make.

    Here’s the thing. I think these days we are trying WAY too hard to shelter teens that don’t need it. Teens cuss and hear cussing. They sleep around and know people who are doing it as well. They drink and do drugs and all that and are exposed to people who do. Not all of them do ALL of it of course. But it’s there. It happens.

    As far as sex in teen books goes, I don’t see a problem with a brief mention or insinuation. That’s no big deal at all. Obviously hardcore sex scenes that would more or less make it literary porn would be a bit much in a book directed at teens. But some sexual things wouldn’t upset me. You have to remember, teens aren’t kids. But they’re also not quite adults yet. That balance between the two is what is needed. And they’re old enough to know what’s out there.

    The only thing that I would put down and never read again is something that glorifies pedophilia. And I’m meaning between an adult and child who isn’t old enough to understand what sex is. But even then, I will make an exception to a book full of it that is written on the psychological side of pedophilia, such as a psychology textbook or journal. Because psychology fascinates me.

    Glorifying heavy drug use gets old as well, with the same exception as above.

    In real life, bad stuff happens. People do bad/stupid things. Rape, consensual sex, swearing, drug use, violence … It all happens and every teen I know of has come across one of them. Touching on it is no big deal in a book for me. As long as it’s teen and adult, I see no problem with it. You can shelter them all you want, but they’re going to come across it. That’s life. I find it more dangerous to shelter them from everything so they go out on their own at adulthood and get a rude awakening by culture shock.

    My personal opinion.

    By the way, I LOVED Of Darkness and Light. I didn’t find it offensive at all. You can’t please everybody.

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
      I’ve picked up a few YA books that to me have glorified drug use and it really annoyed me. There were no consequences for the lead’s actions whilst she was sleepign around all the time, taking drugs, drinking…that’s not real to me. Everyone I grew up with who did those things had SOME consequences. Stomach pumping or something equally horrible. x

      • Yeah that’s a fantastic case of wishful thinking. Stomach pumping, unplanned pregnancy, STDs, or even a purposeful suicide attempt are far more likely.

      • Yes unfortunately. I will admit to having a relatively sheltered life, but in my teens I had a friend hang themselves, a friend who thought it was clever to carve words into her arm, another was taken into an eating disorder clinic and another who was having her stomach pumped every other weekend. And I loved a SHELTERED life. x

  • In general I was sheltered. I did go through the cutting thing and felt the pain from the blade felt way better than the pain of heart. I had severe depression. I had several friends who went through worse. A couple died. A few are sitting behind bars for quite a while. At least one took so many drugs back in the day that they are permanently fried. A few had kids when they were still kids. NONE of it is consequence free.

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