X is for… (#AtoZChallenge 2012)
X is for X-Rated
(Post 24 on my WIP)
Just read what could be considered a raunchy scene in Insurgent (full review on 1st May, when I’ve finished it and when we are allowed to release our reviews in celebration of the publication day of Veronica Roth’s follow up to Divergent).
Also one of my beta readers commented on how I’d introduced Jane, representing her as promiscuous, and whether that was appropriate in Young Adult fiction.
This got me thinking about audience and what is appropriate – about the ‘moral responsibility of authors’.
There has been debate about the violence in The Hunger Games and Tabitha Suzuma’s Forbidden which centres on a brother/sister incestuous relationship has massively divided opinion.
When I think about what I read when I was younger I think it helped me explore issues that I needed to understand in a non threatening way.
But as Serendipity Viv so eloquently writes – there are times when our threshold of acceptance change – as we age, as we become parents or experience other life events.
My response to her post was (and when I say children I really mean teens):
Wow, what a brave post. I really don’t think anybody really wants to see incest, violence and other unsavoury things in YA or other fiction – I’m guessing (hoping) they were just demanding its right to be there and sadly it exists in the ‘real world’. I think you are perfectly within your rights not to read a book if you don’t want to.
I won a set of Tabitha Suzuma’s books and read Forbidden first (the only one I have read so far). Why did I pick that one? Because the reviews were outstanding, as is the book. It makes you understand how these things could happen and it broke my heart just a little.
I am speaking as a person who is not a mother but I recognise that the protective feelings that come with that are not made up, I have seen some quite unsappy friends change quite dramatically. I think you are right that parents need to be more aware of what their children are reading (and watching) and not police it or stop it but to be prepared to discuss the difficult issues that arise. I think literature is an amazing way to learn and I think we do children a disservice if we protect them too much leaving them naive and a bit vulnerable possibly. Neither do I believe we should shove it in their faces before they are ready. My copy of Forbidden does say ‘Not for younger readers’ on the back.
I think the reasons I have drawn to paranormal/fantasy are similar – it’s not real – it’s escapism. I don’t think I could read a Forbiddenesque book everyday and stay happy but sometimes we need to understand the dark side too – it’s just way too scary otherwise.
If you do decide to read it I look forward to your review.
Thanks for this very thought provoking post.
As I already mentioned in my Q is for Questions Answered post – Nicola Morgan says (in the comments on this post here) ‘NOTHING is too dark for YA! (Though it does have to be handled properly.)’
Do you agree that there is nothing too dark for YA?
For those who are parents – do you think you’d stop your younger self reading the books you did when a teenager?