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ya dramarama

this is part of the fun meme ,TGIF, hosted by Ginger at GReads! (which is a pretty great blog, if i do say so myself). each friday she hosts a question that the literary lovers in the world can ponder. this week, the lovely Ginger asks:

YA Saves: How do you feel about the "dark" books filling our YA shelves today?

Ginger is keeping things current this week with her question! there was an article published in the Wall Street Journal this week on Young Adult Literature. and, as with most articles on YA, it's polarizing.   i've written a blog response earlier in the week, which you can find right here.

but to answer Ginger's question, how do i feel about the "dark" books filling the shelves...that takes some dissecting. i know, i never make things easy, do i?

first, i'm not sure that dark books fill the YA shelves. it may be what's put on prominent display in B&N/Borders because paranormal is popular right now. that doesn't mean other books about romance and prom and first boyfriends aren't out there, because they most assuredly are. i just read and adored Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott which, although about grief, isn't something i'd consider dark. also there was a TON of buzz about Sarah Dessen's new book Whatever Happened to Goodbye which is contemporary and not a dark read (from what i can gather, anyway). 

secondly, i think the dark books are an important piece of the general young adult genre collection. whether the darkness is paranormal/vampire related, supernatural/ghost related, or abduction/rape related, these all contain pieces of the human experience that are necessary for us to be aware of and think about. also, one of my favorite things about YA lit is the self-discovery aspect of the main character and how they come into their own through an experience. darkness is real in our world, why shouldn't it be something real in our literature? by reading about darkness we can learn to understand it, empathize with it, or at least have an awareness of it.

i've read dozens of responses this past week to this article and each one adds another spice to the simmering stew. if you haven't already popped over to GReads! this week to see what others had to say, i highly recommend doing so.  there are some pretty thoughtful bloggers with some insightful thoughts to share.

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I really don't like that term "dark" it almost makes it sound like they think the books are evil. I believe there are more realistic fiction and there is less realistic and while some might not be suitable for younger kids, that is something for parents, publishers, and bookstores to make the distinction

  2. i agree that often dark = evil, which isn't fair. dark can mean mysterious, unknown, scary, or suspenseful (among other things).

  3. Great answer! I feel like literature reflects life. Some teens have seen some really dark things and some teens haven't had to deal with anything more than a really bad zit before picture day. It wouldn't be fair to not represent one or the other. Teens need both to relate to things they have gone through and also to get a glimpse into other people's experiene

    Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner

  4. Thanks, Jamie! And let's be real, sometimes the drama of a really bad zit before picture day is a lot to handle and deserving of it's own grief and dark tale too. :)

  5. i have to agree with you... the thing that i love most about YA is definitely the characters self discovery and growing up. Choices and repercussions are always present in these books and well, most often than not, the authors still able to give the readers something to learn from.

    btw, i'm a new follower. :)

  6. exactly Yas. it's not all about a Moral Lesson, but it's deeper than that. the choices and growth are at the core of so many great YA books, dark and otherwise.

    welcome! :)


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