June 16, 2011

Thursday's Question of the Day!!!

In the publishing world, a Young-Adult book is normally written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents, roughly ages 14 to 21.

Lately though, Y.A. authors have been testing the boundaries, writing books that contain: drugs, gangs, crime, violence, sexuality, incest, oral sex, and female/male rape.

Some critics would say that these novels encourage destructive or immoral behavior. Others would say that portrayal of teens successfully dealing with difficult situations helps readers deal with real-life challenges.

Me, personally...I'm on the fence. I love YA novels, and I feel like some violence is okay, but there are some books that are just way to descriptive - books that I don't think I'd let my kids read!

So: How much violence is too much in a YA book? Should there be limits? LET ME KNOW!!!!


  1. I think YA books with a dark side is okay as long as it's tastefully done because it happens in real life.

    However, because there are parents who will pick up any book from the YA rack for their children, it might be wise to have some kind of rating on the book spine. I think it's unfair for authors to catch the heat for writing dark YA when the parent didn't bother looking up info on the book before purchase.

  2. I think nobody can stop a book from exposing 'dirty details' and violence. I can't imagine my mom wanting me to read such a book when I'm 10-13 but then again, she would probably have screened the book first before anything.

    I think that for the most part, YA is safe. There should be a warning though if the book is more geared towards mature young adults. Because I think the authors are writing that for 15-18 year olds, which would be an appropriate age.

  3. I have two sisters that are quite a bit younger than me-- they are 13 and 16-- and I have reviewed quite a few YA books that I would NEVER want them to read. I think that if it is geared for teens, it should stay fairly clean. You never know if it's going to be a 12 year old or a 25 year old picking it up, so I think it sould be appropriate for either. I agree with Jillian's comment about a warning if it contains mature content, although I don't know that it should be in the 15-18 range. I think 15 is too young for mature content. But maybe that's just me.

  4. I don't know to be honest...

    I feel that the more violence, the more the book just seems a little real to me. I am okay with dirty details and violence. I just can't handle violence if it's like a young girl being raped or something... it sort of throws me off and I can't read it. lol

  5. Hmm, interesting question. I am 17 with 13 and 11 year old sisters. I read a lot of YA and I am always thinking about whether or not to give it to one or both of them. When thinking about that, violence does not influence me nearly as much as sex. I can hand my sister (the one who is 13 at least) a book with almost any amount of violence so long as it is not overly brutal, but I would never give her a book with a scene of rape or descriptive sex. Even children's books that everyone reads to their small children have violence, but I really think sex should be kept to a minimum. I would let my sister read a book with a scene where it fades away before anything happened, but nothing more and I would prefer it if there was not that much. I wouldn't give my 11 year old sister anything that went further than a few kisses.

    My mom gave up pre-reading my books when I was 10 because I simply read too much for her to keep up with, so I read a lot more adult content as a young teenager than I perhaps should have, so I am glad that I am a fast enough reader to keep up with my sisters and I frequently pass on YA books that I think they would like.

  6. I agree with 'thefictionalbookshelf', there needs to be some type of rating system that publishing companies all agree to use. It can be similar to the TV ratings or the movie ratings. For example, a book could be PG or PG13, based on the amount of violence the book contains.


Thank you for stopping by! We love reading your comments and we try to reply back to each comment. So make sure to check back with us.