This is a post I've been wanting to write for forever. Earlier this year I read a book. A YA book that I loved. And I found a comment from someone who wasn't as fond of the book as me which I looked at. And the person had fair comments, but at the end, they reviewed the content, such as language, sexuality and drugs and alcohol. Now again, everyone has and is entitled to their own opinions. But, I am a young adult. I swear, my friends swear, We use bad language. Young people do, obviously not everyone, but people do. And young people have sex. It's a fact. Young people may in fact fall pregnant. That's okay. Young people do drugs, and go to parties and get drunk. I respect this persons opinion, but it infuriated me that they almost judged the book purely on what, in my experience, occurs. Young people having sex and swearing and drinking does occur. Not only did it infuriate me, but it made me question. Question why people state things like sex and drugs aren't okay for YA. Question what they would want in a YA. Question not only YA that's published, but the YA that I'm attempting to write, and the YA on WattPad and other sites. I'm not going to lie, the stuff I write is dark, and depressing. It's not jolly. But I keep this picture in my mind of someone one day opening my book, and reading because they need help or they want escape, or because of one of the other reasons people read books.
I turn to books when things are happening in my life that I'm struggling with, and that I can't deal with, in an attempt to find a solution, or help or just to be able to cope. Others read for the same reason, as well as to escape the stresses of the daily world to a limitless world of your imagination, where thousands of adventures are possible with many thousands of different characters. It's a constant, a permanent home. If books didn't exist, I would be able to cope with things that happen in my life, and I know others wouldn't.
I realise that little of what I've said so far is about what's okay in YA. But I think everything should be okay. I don't think there should be limits. Life knows no limits. Nothing is age restricted in life. Anything can happen, and at any age. So why do people insist on restricting books. Why do people insist on limiting these things that provide so much comfort, and hope. A book is paper with black print words that can transport you from your problems, to a new world, and can help you. A book is a home, filled with hope and answers. It's a hiding place and a how to guide. And often a how not to guide.We don't limit adult books, because they're grown ups, but they don't necessarily seek as much comfort or help from books as young adults do, especially when we're faced with a challenge for the first time. But for young adults, YA is a guide to life, and to what to do in every situation, from boys to bras, from sex to seducing, from domestic violence to death. There's a YA book for everything, we just have to let it happen. We shouldn't be reviewing books and judging them because they mention drugs, drink and sex, we should be praising them for doing so, because one young person out there is going to pick up the book to read it for the advice it may contain. If life has no limits, why should YA books? Everything is okay for YA.
Thank you so much for reading this. All opinions on this are my own unless stated. I mean no offence to anybody, and I understand that everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion. This is just mine. Let me know what your opinions are on what's okay in YA. A massive thank you to Cat, Georgia, Orli, Arianne, Charli, Rachel, Rita, Sophie, Nina, Cicely and Amber for giving me an insight into the reasons as to why they read. I hope you enjoyed the post, and see you next week.