Now before you jump on me, this is not an adults can’t read YA post. This is a adults who read YA need to remember who YA is for post.
I’ve been floating around the arc (advanced reader copy) circuit for a while. Read some good stuff, read some bad, read some meh. This past weekend I had the privilege of reading one of the best books I’ve had the privilege of reading in a long time. YA fantasy that was beautifully written and equal parts dark, funny and suspenseful. The teenaged characters acted authentically like teenagers, which unfortunately is incredibly rare in YA.
Edit: For those who are interested, the book is Remnants of Atonement by G.P McKenna. It doesn’t release until October, so likely only available through netgalley, but if you have an account and enjoy ya fantasy, I highly recommend requesting it.
Today I logged on to leave my feedback and thought I would nosey around in the reviews, only for my heart to sink. Everybody seemed to agree the plot was good and the writing was fantastic, but so many people were complaining that the characters acted too much like teenagers. One reviewer even praised the plot but only gave it one star because «it was too obvious that the characters were 15/16 years old and that annoyed me.»
Again, these are YA books. They are intended for teenaged readers. If you enjoy reading them too, that’s great, but understand that. If you find teenagers annoying, go read literally anything else. You have the rest of the book store, the rest of the library. Don’t complain that the 16 year old character acts too much like a 16 year old because what happens then is -because as adults we have the money — the market will continue to push YA characters who are 35 year old accountants stuck in the body of a 17 year old assassin. The list of books teenagers can relate to goes down, isolating them from their own catagory.
Long story short, let teenagers read teenaged characters who act like teenagers. Stop isolating real life teenagers by appropriating the ya catagory when you have every other book to choose from if you don’t like the teenaged voice. Support young readers by letting ya characters be kids!