On the NaNoWriMo forums this past year, users were asked for their pet peeves about Young Adult fiction. These were the top three answers:

  1. Romance. So much romance.
  2. Dystopian themes.
  3. Under-representation of non-white cultures and protagonists.

Like all dangerous things, this got me thinking: how bad can it be? Of the dozens of YA books that are being published every year and the thousands that have already been read, it can’t all be like this. Can it? I’ve read a few gems in my time, but they might be more antiquated than I hope. I’ve also read some recent crap that makes me scared for our young adult people’s future.


Image courtesy of picmonkey.com

Between January and July, I’m going to read only Young-Adult novels. “Surely you’ll make exceptions, Befferkins,” I hear you say. “You can’t limit yourself for that long and stay sane!” Of course there are exceptions. I’ll include the following:

  • Teen novels
  • Juvenile novels young teens are also reading
  • Comic books
  • Manga

That’s a lot of books.

I want this reading challenge to have more meaning that previous ones I held on this blog, which felt more like book reports. This year’s challenge will be a journal of my mental and literary experiences. It really can’t be that bad, but the moans of readers and writers whenever YA or Teen lit is mentioned gives me something to worry about.

I predict there will be much too much romance in these books. I worry many books will lack a certain sophistication I always look for as a writer and seasoned reader. I also, however, predict I’ll read a lot.

“Why, Befferkins, what on earth will you be reading?” You can check back here every week or spot my Goodreads widget on the side bar.

“I think you’re only doing this for attention.” You are correct. And you’re welcome to join me for the attention, the adventure, and the reading lists.

Catch you on the flip side! (Do kids still say that these days?)