“I Hate YA Novels”

“I hate YA novels; they bore me,” says Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic.*

Flanagan loves her Bill O’Reillyesque hyperbole, whether she’s writing about teens doling out blow jobs like factory girls, irritating women angsting over how to treat “the help”, or hating Hillary. When I read Flanagan’s work I always get the sense that she’s perfectly tickled with herself as she pecks at her keyboard, thinking she’s lighting a match under the ass of contemporary culture. Occasionally, at her best, she’s contemplative and insightful; often, however, she’s just annoying.

At least people who actually know something about YA literature will now be foisting upon her the works of Robert Cormier, Peter Cameron, Laurie Halse Anderson, Meg Rosoff, Markus Zusak, and Sherman Alexie, novels so beautiful and rare that it isn’t possible to lump them into the same category as Gossip Girl and Twilight. I mean, really. So can we please stop making reductive dismissive statements about entire genres already? Can we just get back to important things, like blow jobs?

*Ironically, a magazine that published a chapter of my YA novel.

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