Thursday, August 16, 2012

Forgetting Main Ingredients in YA

I think there are a lot of experiences that get missed in books.

I read a lot of YA, and lately, I feel like the storyline is quite flat. It usually is all some version of boy meets girl. And for the most part, I'm okay with that.

But there are times when my mind is dark that I realize or at least feel that something is missing in those tales. When we write, we are supposed to draw from experiences. Most of us have experienced loss or bullying or parental frustrations. So those I don't have a problem with. But what about the real darkness?

I don't see many monsters in YA. Not real ones. Maybe that's why I liked Maze Runner so much (books 2 & 3 were not the same). I felt that James Dashner had brought some of my nightmares to the page. He had brought some despair to reality, and for once it had nothing to do with a girl. Sure, there were romance issues, but it was hardly the focus. As a side note, I love it when authors say that their YA has romance but it is not the focus... cause most of the time, that's not true. What they mean to say is that their book's plotline is not derived from the romance itself. The romance is still in focus...

Anyway, back to my point. I've not read much YA lately that has really evoked a strong emotional response. Honestly, I've set down my Nook. I've been up to my elbows in work and trying to reap the remaining benefits of the summer's harvest.

Well good readers, without spelling it out detail by detail, all I'm saying is... I hope you don't forget to put the stuff in your books that has made you question life. Or the things that really catch you off guard. For me it's when I'm faced with something I have a hard time putting into words. Like the feeling that some absolute trust has been betrayed... by someone who you've been entirely vulnerable to. There a lot of raw moments in life that teens encounter outside of high school and who they are crushing on. They have a lot more phenomenal and extraordinary questions and emotions than that.


  1. I can't put my finger on it, but something about AE Writes makes me trust her and esteem her judgment.

    And I too am most interested in books that move the reader emotionally. If a story doesn't end with an earthquake of the soul, what's the point?