It's not too often that I use my blog to just lay out the things I'm thinking. But, I've had some things rolling around in my head for awhile, and I want to see if any of you would like to discuss them.
- Clean YA literature
- Love Triangles
Clean Books Don't Have to be Boring Books
I'm having a rather intense discussion with people on Amazon about my review of Michael Vey. My review was not negative, only lukewarm. I honestly just felt like the book was nothing special. The plot was slow, the characters were predictable, and the conflict wasn't engaging. We knew who the villain was the entire time. We knew what he was doing was bad. But, people keep beating me with the stick of "BUT IT'S CLEAN! WE NEED MORE CLEAN BOOKS." I like clean books, really. I think there is a great market for them. I like to be able to recommend a book to anyone without worry that they are going to be offended by any of the content. But, just because a book is clean doesn't mean that I'm going to recommend it. Being devoid of content is not enough. I need a compelling plot. I need engaging, well-developed characters. These things exist in both edgy and clean YA fiction.
I'm changing my mind on love triangles
I've always been firmly in the hate camp as far as love triangles. But, last night, I was on my way home from work, and I got thinking about why I don't like them. In real life, they don't bother me. There were times in my life where I had a couple very good choices as far as dating, and they provided real conflict in my life. Not in a bad way either. I've decided that when a love triangle is done correctly, they are really quite compelling.
If the protagonist is choosing between two very good choices, (like Katniss) then I'm riveted by the seemingly impossible choice. If the protagonist is choosing between one very good choice and one very bad choice, I can be engaged for a time, but only if the protagonist chooses the person that is best for them. None of this, "oh he's dangerous and I can change him stuff." Doesn't happen in real life folks. And while I can suspend disbelief to a degree, I'm not very forgiving when it comes to human nature.
Censorship takes many forms
I was talking with a very good friend that is an English teacher at a rather conservative charter school. She was telling me that the librarian was told by the person that handles the finances for the school that she would not pay to replace the copies of Twilight in the school library. Because of "questionable content." Now, I don't love Twilight, but I can't deny that it gets kids to read. She then made this librarian go through her shelves and remove all books that had any questionable content in them. Supposedly, in the school's charter agreement, it states that the library will not contain books with
Their argument for this is that they feel like parents send their children to this charter school to learn good values, and if their library contains books with questionable material, then they are not in line with their mission. But, what troubles me is that there are one or two people determining what is questionable and what is not. For instance, they teach The Scarlet Letter in their high school English classes. Umm... The book is about adultery. But Twilight isn't okay?
Anyway, I really want to hear your thoughts on any or all of these things. Help me sort out my thoughts here.