|Keep reading--you'll see why I chose this pic...|
The negative reviews I leave are pretty much just on Amazon and Goodreads, there for people to see when they are researching a book already and trying to decided whether or not to read it. I don't make a point of driving people to my negative reviews so they can get an earful about a book they had never even heard about before. I don't even post them here for the most part. Yes, I've written a few posts about books I didn't like, but they tended to be rather big, well-known books already, and my tiny opinion is easily lost in the sea of reviews both positive and negative. I do, however, try to drive people toward the books and authors I love, by posting reviews here and tweeting the links to my positive Amazon reviews.
Now, yesterday I found myself giving more thought to why I feel I really do need to continue reviewing books I don't like. You see, I finished a book that about drove me crazy. The teen protagonist was portrayed as shallow in a situation that necessitated true depth of character. The story involved very--VERY--I mean, really, really VERY--serious subject matter, but the teen protag was more concerned with her clothes and being quippy with her friends.
The author of said book has been writing no longer than I have, and yet she's signed with a very large press. You may say, "Well, see, you're jealous, Kat."
If I never, ever get signed with a big press I still want them to STOP producing dribble like this. There is a lot of talent out there. There are books that handle topics like this perfectly, books that are written with such incredible skill and care. And yet, the YA market is getting filled with more and more junk.
I want to stop being subjected to books that:
- Portray teens as shallow.
- Dumb down the language so I feel like I'm being talked to like I'm a four-year-old. (Or alternate between a too-adult voice and a childish voice.)
- Tackle 87 different "hot button" issues in one book and handle none of them well.
- Are written by adult market authors trying to join the bandwagon of YA.
- Are written by any author who seems to have never met a teenager in their whole life.
- Are written by authors who couldn't relate to teens even when they were teens themselves. (Read author bios, folks. Seriously.)
- Think that a few current slang words and pop culture references make the book YA when the writing has nothing like a YA voice. (BTW--having your character say "chah" for "yeah" doesn't make them sound like a teen, it makes them sound like Crush from Finding Nemo.)
Also, from some recent surveys I've taken online about pet peeves in YA fiction, we readers would very much like no more:
- Stereotypes. (Dumb jock, perfect cheerleader, ugly/shy nerd girl, etc.)
- Dramatic romances.
- Love triangles.
- Mary Sue characters as protags.
- Parents/adults who are idiots.
- Characters who lie with no real motivation. (One of my top peeves, btw, and one found in the book I just finished. As was the parents/adults as idiots thing, which I think tied together.)
Oh, and we need MORE GUY PROTAGONISTS. Please. As a GIRL who loves to read, I'm begging for this.
I think that about sums up my thoughts for today. BTW--if you do want to follow my reviews on Goodreads, just CLICK HERE. I welcome follows, fans, and friends!