The title of this page should be the only warning you need.
Topic #1: Why I Think YA Fiction Sucks A**
Novels written for adults are better than novels written for young adult readers. Novels written for children are better than novels written for young adult readers. I will tell you why in bullet point fashion.
Children’s Novels: ✓
- Explore adult themes from a child’s perspective
- Includes: death, suffering, depression, loneliness, love, compassion, wisdom, and friendship
- Children have a unique perspective, purity, and simplicity in the way they view the world
- Children do not have independence, but they often challenge what society believes children are capable of accomplishing
- Children’s books are not sexual in nature and instead focus on REAL intimacy seen in close friendships
Adult Novels: ✓
- Explore adult themes with adult characters who are suited for their environments
- The characters often understand the world around them and have a firm grasp of the rules (aka what is socially acceptable and what behaviors will put them at risk)
- Adults have autonomy and independence and the capacity to think freely (unless discussing slavery or a dystopian society focused on mind-control)
- The novels may or may not be sexual in nature, but if they are, the characters have the potential to understand romantic intimacy
- sex does not drive the story unless it is a romance novel which is garbage anyway (oh look, another unpopular opinion)
Young Adult Novels: X
- Explore adult themes w/characters that think they are adults but really aren’t
- they lack the wisdom and maturity to handle complex issues
- Characters usually exhibit a “loss of innocence” from childhood and gain cynicism and lust instead
- Often don’t understand the world around them because they are self-centered and fumble through it like dickheads
- Often focused on trying to challenge the “status quo” without knowing what comes after the status quo is broken. They have no plan.
- Characters gain independence but use it recklessly
- ex: sex, drugs, and dangerous adventures
- Characters start craving sex without an understanding of its importance or the consequences that stem from it
- Not talking about from a sex-ED perspective of understanding but rather a lack of intimacy
- Sex or sexual tension drives the story forward, and all other plot development is insignificant or makes no sense without the romance
- Stories tend to be underdeveloped by choosing to be “character-focused” which really means focusing on characters wanting to fuck and trying to be adults
- authors often fail to realize that the characters succeed in fucking but fail to be adults
- The romantic relationships depicted in the stories are often unhealthy and toxic leading young audiences to believe those relationships are what they should strive for.
Topic #2: Listening to an Audiobook is Not Reading
I feel like this may be my own personal pet peeve since I never hear other people griping about this topic, but listening to an audiobook does not count as reading. For some context on where I came up with this topic, I have a habit of watching a lot of BookTube. BookTube is that special place on YouTube where people come together to talk about the magic of books and share their opinions on recent releases.
It is also a place where people claim to have read 15 books in a month, but then state that they actually listened to the audiobook of most of those novels in rapid succession. That’s not reading. That’s not even taking the time to digest and think about what you just consumed. It’s practically book gluttony.
Admittedly, listening to an audiobook is a passive activity for me and one where I have a hard time staying alert. My brain wanders and I find myself missing big chunks of the story because I just can’t stay engaged. I don’t have that problem when I read. When I read, I’m locked in. Not everyone is like that.
However, as stated in the Oxford Dictionary, reading is defined as “the action or skill of reading written or printed matter silently or aloud.”
There is no addition stating that listening constitutes as reading. If it did, you could say an infant reads books because their parents read aloud to them at night to put them to sleep. Do you think that infant can read? Probably not. So why would an adult listening to an audiobook get to count that as reading? They can’t.
I think this topic bothers me less from a semantics standpoint than the fact that people view the number of books they finish in a month to be some kind of competition/achievement. Quantity over quality. Subscribers and views over reflection and enjoyment.
They feel the need to produce videos with click-bait titles such as, “I read 9 books in one day?” If you think I’m kidding, that’s an actual video. The same person also made another video called, “I Read ‘IT’ in One Day?”
Little do viewers know until about a third or so into the latter video that the content creator only physically read part of IT and then just cranked the audiobook on double speed for the rest of the day. But it gets better. Not only was it running at twice the normal speech speed, but she was also listening to it while out picking pumpkins and doing activities with her dad in public around tons of people. Do you think she actually absorbed everything from that 1100 page book while listening to it like that? I highly doubt it.
Why do people do things like this and then post it on the internet like it’s something to aspire to? I personally think that was a waste of a perfectly good book by consuming it in that fashion and that quickly. What was gained? What was lost?
That, dear reader, is what pisses me off.
I’m not jaded. I’m a reader, and I want the culture of reading to live. Audiobooks are great. They open up possibilities for people who physically can’t read. People who are blind or physically incapable of holding a book now have access to meaningful stories just as much as the rest of us. That’s incredible!
I support audiobooks, but I don’t want to confuse them with an activity that has been around for thousands of years before the advent of computers. Reading is sacred to me, and I think I love it more than breathing.