Friday, April 4, 2014

Ignorance of the YA Genre.

Recently, I came across an article that made my blood boil. Said article is THIS, in which Chloe Grace Moretz, the actress playing Mia in the If I Stay movie adaptation, talks crap about the young adult genre. I'm sure many of us have encountered this insulting article, and I'm here to state my opinion.

We have all come across those people. I'm referring to those judgemental, stereotyping, pretentious snobs who think "true" literature is limited only to literary fiction. Other genres are deemed "unworthy" and have "no true literary value." What. What. *punches wall*

Take Moretz, for example. She thinks marketing If I Stay as YA "diminishes the book's value" and is "much darker than I think most YA is." She further goes on to say that she doesn't want people to watch something with a "love triangle" - insinuating that all YA novels are composed of angsty teen drama.

Does she realize how ignorant, how completely insensitive she sounds by making these blatant claims? I highly doubt she has read anything other than Twilight if she thinks so little of this genre. She is making stupid assumptions that not only offends millions of readers (especially us bloggers) around the world, but probably Gayle Forman as well. I've encountered tons of authors who write YA because they love reading the genre. And to deprecate it like that? You've just succeeded in angering a very passionate bunch of readers. Good job.

Furthermore, there are plenty of young adult books out there that, in my opinion, are far better than If I Stay. To me, that book didn't even feel "dark"-but I'm not saying that her opinion is wrong.

Moretz is not the only person who shares a similar, albeit wholly uncalled for, view of YA. I have come across a fair number of people who think less of me because I read books almost entirely from this all-encompassing genre. I won't deny that I've come across quite a number of horrible books, but to characterize the entire genre based on a select few is stereotyping.

I mean, how can you ignore the dozens, maybe hundreds, of young adult books out there that are so well-written, so full of meaning, so full of literary value? YA is frequently looked down upon for the simple fact that it is for "younger readers": but is that truly a fair measure of the value of a book?

I wasn't the biggest fan of If I Stay, but I was contemplating watching the movie. After reading this article, I sure as hell wouldn't want to support someone as obtuse as Moretz.

*Disclaimer: this is not limited to what Moretz stated. It is about ignorance of the young adult genre in general.*


  1. You're completely right! People who think this way are idiots, and they think they're better than us because they're reading "books that are on a higher level". Yeah, no screw that. I love pretty much all genres, and I can definitely say that every book is different. You can't just categorize a bunch of books based on Twilight!!

  2. I love this post!! You've basically summed up my thoughts on this in a nutshell. I've encountered lots of people who seem to think that the genre they read, whether it's Classics or Adult, is the only genre with literary worth to it. I get so annoyed with these people, it's like what makes one genre better then another one? How is classics better then [insert another genre here]. All genres are worth reading, no genre isn't. I completely get not preferring one, like if YA isn't the genre for you all right. Just don't bash it and say that it's all junk and not worth reading because its written so badly. Like, no just no. Its insulting to all the writers and the readers.And I also don't like it when people judge a genre based on the stereotypes that surround it. That is unfair to the writers of said genre and to the readers.
    Great post, even though this topic really annoys me. I just don't like it when somebody bashes a certain genre, because the genre they read is the best one and the only one worth reading.

  3. Great post. I agree with you. When she spoke of darkness in ya or as she seems to assume lack there of the first thing that came to mind was uhhh Wintetgirls is dark 13 reasons why is dark....

  4. I personally have no respect for Moretz after this comment. I don't think it's fair to put labels on the YA market if she doesn't seem to have connections to it other than If I Stay. How could she know what other books in this genre are like if she's only ever participated in one YA adaptation. I think she's ignorant and she's definitely hurting her fan base. I love If I Stay and I will be seeing it but I won't see any other Moretz is in unless she happens to be starring along side somebody like Tom Felton, Logan Lerman, or my husband (Dylan O'Brien).

  5. This sort of discussion always manages to get me really angry. How dare they think this when they probably haven't picked up more than one YA book. Not all books are the same!!! Don't people get that. It's like movies you have different genres and different plots it just amazes me how people think this way. Maybe it's because I'm coming from a very bias point of view but just...argh! *At a loss for words*