My Problem with YA

My Problem with YA


Until last year, I never really delved into this subsection of books. To be honest, I don’t really divvy up my reading list into such nonsensical categories, but as I started writing more frequently, knowing these titles has become important. With it, I’ve begun to see there’s a large problem with most Young Adult books.


First off—the dialog. I can’t stress this enough, but most of the talking between characters are weak and pretty much pure drivel. I have a feeling the author or authors are trying to sound real, trying to capture that ever-changing teenage voice with its new slang and subtle (sometimes) cynicism. In the end, the characters sound dry and stereotypical if not just plain rip-offs of things heard on TV and in movies. Though I know many teenagers parrot the shows and actors they love most, they aren’t all that flat—or at least I hope not.


Secondly, there’s not depth. You might be wondering what I mean by that, but it shouldn’t be hard to figure out. I read many kinds of books. The classics I read are many times around 500 pages. They are thick and difficult and take me two to three weeks sometimes. On the other hand, YA books that fall in the 500 page range usually last me about a day or two. Why such a disparity? Simple—there’s no depth, none what so ever to these tree killers that so many people are dying over. I don’t see the draw.

In the end, I don’t see what the allure is to many of them. Is that to say that all YA suck? NO! Some is good. Some astounds, but the common and most lauded ones are base repeats of useless ideals. I hope teenagers today strive for more.


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