Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another Dumbass Review By Someone Who's Never Read Any YA Lit

Why are so many YA reviews condescending. Invariably, once a month some critic starts off with "The Clique novels suck! That's all young adult literature is! But this one I'm reviewing is surprisingly good!" Great job researching the thing you're reviewing, ass hat. It's like stumbling across The Great Gatsby or The Sound and the Fury and saying "Usually fiction is just a bunch of Danielle Steele novels, but these are surprisingly deep!" If you no nothing about the genre which you're reviewing, don't review it. I wouldn't review a hip-hop album because I know zero about the genre, except that you can dance around to some of it. So don't act all condescending in the first fucking lines of your review.

Such as the beginning of this review for Paper Towns by John Green:

"The young-adult genre has been riddled with uninspiring novels that lack any kind of creativity or originality. Shuffling through the mundane “Gossip Girl” spin-offs and “Twilight” rip-offs has made finding a substantive novel as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. John Green is one of the few young-adult authors who has the ability to really tell a story and captivate the reader."

The review goes on to talk about how good the book is. I actually haven't read it yet, but I've heard good things. Of course it's good. But it's not good because it's so different from YA lit. It's not Twilight (thank God) but there are tons of amazing books marketed specifically toward teenagers.

Check out:
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party by MT Anderson.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Giver by Lois Lowry

The His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

There are all amazingly thoughtful, well-written books with fully conceived characters and complex plots. I'd even wager than they're all better written than half of what you'd find on the New York Times Bestseller list. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Go read a book, Monica Watson.