Friday, July 17, 2009

pretty in pink

Okay. I am kind of pissed off right now and I've decided not to start writing this until I go out and run at least five miles. So I'm saving, and *poof* the next paragraph I write will hopefully come from the hunt-and-peck fingertips of a calmer, happier, sweatier Drew.

Okay. Didn't really help. But at least I got to strain my thinking to try and come up with the most diplomatic approach to this. And I will try.

First of all, let me make clear that this is not a personal attack on anyone. It's just that the blogger I am going to mention in a roundabout way kind of set me off about everything I've been blogging on for, like, the past year.

Here's what happened -- and I am NOT going to direct quote, I am only going to paraphrase. A YA book blogger offered to me the following: Hey, if you want, I'll mention IN THE PATH OF FALLING OBJECTS on my blog when it comes out, even though I only blog about YA, but I can make an exception.

Ouch. Stinger.

Oh yeah. YA. As in, Young Adult fiction. You know... the stuff that will have a photo on the cover that (if it's contemporary) will show a pretty teenage girl and usually just a partial body shot (no face) or waist-down image of some imaginary hunky boy with tight, faded jeans. Maybe she'll have her hand in his pocket. Or, if it's fantasy, there will be a photo of a lone girl with swirling, oceanic hair, and a spaced-out, dreamy look on her face like she's either dropped too many e-tabs or she holds the dark keys to the universe. And lots and lots of pink.


Jeez. I am so fucking dumb.

Here's the deal, folks. The "Adult" in my YA is an "Adult" that includes a broad spectrum of humanity... namely, it includes males. I know this is hard to grasp, given the pinkness of the YA section in your local bookstore or library. This is a big reason why teen boys who read will simply bypass or discount the YA shelves and head straight for the "Adult" stacks (because "Adult" equals both genders in that section).

And if you look at most YA blogs, the authors there seem to have bought completely into this color scheme for the genre, too. Go ahead. I challenge you to look at some of these blogs and go back ten or twenty books. You'll see (I just did this same thing with the blogger mentioned above).

So, yeah... this blogger would be making an exception with in the path of falling objects, because this blogger would actually have a YA title on the site -- as opposed to (and here goes the bomb) what I propose is the impostor-to-YA-genre: AG (for Adolescent Girls).

Let me be clear: there definitely are YA books with female protagonists and strong female authors/characters that appeal to boys, and I have written about some of them and will do so in the future. AG books, on the other hand, have a very focused and limited appeal. This is not to say they do not sell well, but I think it's time to make a distinction in order to clarify what the genre of YA actually is.

Open your bookshelves.