As you probably know already, there's been a lot of articles arguing over YA. Basically, the arguments for and against vary from things like, "YA is only for teens!" and "at least people are reading!" and "that's not real literature *throws a copy of adult literature at your face*" and "let people read what they want!" It's bit like the Council Meeting at Elrond in The Lord of The Rings. A lot of people arguing over something and getting absolutely nowhere.
I've read a lot of great articles (and some mediocre ones) arguing for YA and some arguing against. Articles, from both sides, have really made me cringe. So, here's my five cents worth.
YA is thriving right now. A lot of discussion is happening daily over issues within the YA community. We, as a collective, are trying to make YA a better category of books for everyone to read. We are critically discussing our books and arguing for great things like including a more diverse range of people in our books. We're propping up the great work of adults and teenagers alike. We give adults and teenagers books to analyse, argue over and act like total dorks over.
Occasionally, an argument against YA comes across our radar by someone outside our community. And the books we love and dissect are put down by someone who doesn't know anything about our genre. They haven't read the books and they still want to put their collective hate into the already full jar of I HATE YA.
We are already dissecting and analysing our books. We tell each other what we like and what we don't and we try to improve it. We love YA and we always will. I'm not saying you should read YA. Books are great and walking into a good library or a book store is like walking into a gold mind. You can find whatever you want there. Whether you read children's fiction, MG, YA, NA or adult fiction. Read what you love to read, but don't come over to the YA community and yell at us because you think you know better. Do some research and come and talk to us. We are more than happy to talk YA all day long.
If you still don't like YA, that's fine. People are allowed to disagree and I, and everyone else in the YA community, is allowed to like YA. We don't want or need permission or an excuse to read it.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: email@example.com