We interrupt the celebration of the holiday season with a message from a book-reviewing Scrooge. This moring, I was reading a review of Kelly Easton’s Aftershock in the online version of a North Carolina newspaper, the Star-News. While the review of the novel was positive, I could help but notice the elbow-sharp digs the reviewer, Ben Steelman, kept making about that “peculiar genre known as ‘young adult’ fiction:”
“My only regret is that most adult readers probably won’t discover Aftershock at all. Thanks to J.K. Rowling and Lemony Snicket, there’s a trend now of grown-ups dipping into kids’ books, but the adolescent market is largely overlooked. Maybe it’s those whiny, self-pitying, dysfunctional narrators. Don’t let the label stereotype this novel…”
Here’s my response:
“I just finished reading your review of Kelly Easton’s latest. Cheers to you for featuring the work. Groans to you for perpetuating the myth that a novel is somehow only valuable if an adult audience finds it.
There is more great YA lit in the world than your philosophy allows, Horatio. How about I mail a few excellent examples your way, none of them with angst-filled narrators? I think you’ve been missing out.”