I’ve never read a lot of YA, and less and less as time goes by. It’s not because I think it beneath me. It’s merely that I never had an affinity to it. As I recently observed to a friend, I started reading Kafka while still reading The Baby-Sitters Club – so maybe I leapt over that genre gap that YA would have bridged.I generally don’t like to review YA either, as part of me knows I punish the author through my lack of A: experience and B: affinity. Yet this lack lends a degree of objectivity to my review of such work – I’m not comparing this to that, and if I got through the book, then genre affinity doesn’t matter. I finished, so therefore, the book is notable [to me]. I have so much I want to read – and there are so many books from which to choose – that it’s easy to put aside a book that’s not working for me and move onto the next. Simple as that.
When I do read YA, I have to keep reminding myself what it was to be a teenager. It’s amusing now to think of how angsty those years were. How easily obsessed one could become with that boy. Or the meaning of a look. A word. Lack of words. How he glanced at you. How he didn’t.Only to discover later that none of it meant anything.
Ah, so glad that’s gone. Mostly gone. The point is that teenagers do obsess. They do lack confidence in themselves. They haven’t the experience or courage to be forthright and address relationship problems head on. Speak truth to power? What power? The individual[s] with whom they are consumed are as powerless as they.So they fret, and obsess, and are generally excessively annoying. Just like I did; just like I was.
I have to remind myself of that every time I pick up a YA. Normally – naturally – they are written from that angsty teen perspective. It’s maddening. Infuriating. But it’s real.