Young adult novels are not written with genuinely good writing. I cast a large net over that generalization, so I will say now that of course there are exceptions.
When I was an avid YA reader I loved Sarah Dessen. And although I still would say she’s a good writer in general, I’ve out grown her books mentally–and think that should be an issue people recognize. Is it naive to think that truly good writing would be unable to outgrow?
YA is like modern romance novels. What I mean by that is that YA, like romance has a constant recurring theme. With romance it’s eros, with YA it’s the coming of age. How is this comparable? Well, romance is all about the emotion and so is YA. YA is designed to suck the young reader into a world by emotions, not by language. That’s an important difference.
Reading is used as an escape, but I think that’s what it’s become and not what it should be. Reading is about understanding humanity in it’s barest form. Middlemarch by George Eliot is a great example of exploring humanity and using characters to show the imperfect reality–how even with good intention imperfection comes. Yet, she doesn’t paint for the reader a sob story for the out-of-luck characters, or outpour fluff for the love story. She presents the world, the characters and through language transports you. But not for escape, rather to understand the world a little more.
Reading YA isn’t awful, but I think it dulls your senses to better writing because it’s easier to want that emotional pull in the novel. I know this because I had the hardest time reading Middlemarch, but through patience (and a lot of rereading) was able to see the technique in the story.
YA isn’t hard to write. Genuine, good language is. It’s rude to say because I know YA authors do put time, effort, and love into their writing–(the exceptions.)
When you weigh the scale of what’s more important to fill your mind with- a over emotionalized love story or a story about what reality is…one should be outgrown and the other never can be.
(If you disagree I’d love to know your reasons why.)