You may or may not have heard about Meghan Cox Gurdon's article in the Wall Street Journal, "Darkness Too Visible". You may or may not have heard Meghan defend her argument in an interview with YA authors Maureen Johnson and Cheryl Rainfeld.
You may or may not have read countless blog posts, Tweets, or Facebook statuses rallying against Meghan's article. Or maybe you read responses from sources like Publisher's Weekly, YA authors Laurie Halse Anderson, Jackie Morse Kessler, Sherman Alexie, and YA author/psychologist/blogger extraordinaire Sarah Fine.
But you haven't heard from us here at Operation Awesome.
Which leads me to...
You see, according to Meghan Cox Gurdon, contemporary YA fiction is too dark. Bookstores are swamped with books about the bad stuff in life. With books about the brutal, ugly side of reality.
So, in that sense, dark YA books are a bit like this dude:
"I am so evil I DON'T HAVE A PROPER NOSE!"--Dark YA Books/Voldemort
And this is what dark YA books look like when they're purchased:
"What's this? A teenager? LET ME TOUCH YOU AND SCAR YOU FOR LIFE!!!"--Dark YA Books/Voldemort
And this is what a dark YA book author looks like when they spread the darkness:
"ROFL!"--Dark YA Book Authors/Voldemort's Death Eaters
See? THESE AUTHORS ARE REALLY, REALLY TWISTED.
Folks, the Voldemort Effect has been ascribed to YA fiction. Dark books are The Big Bad. It-Which-Must-Not-Be-Read. They are ruining teenagers' lives, filling their heads with thoughts of suicide, homicide, eating disorders, and sex. These dark books glamorize dangerous behaviors and threaten the emotional/psychological well-being of teens. (SPOILER: in Meghan's interview with the aforementioned YA authors, Meghan failed to provide a single shred of evidence that supports her argument).
Honestly? That's all bullpoopy to me, but what I have trouble with is this: what is dark? I just think it's a subjective term, as is every other term ever invented. So that's why I'm leaving it up to you, folks. What is dark in YA to you? If you read contemporary YA, do you think
Voldemort's Death Eaters contemporary YA authors should cut back on the realistic topics? Or do you enjoy their work regardless? Leave your (awesome) opinions in the comments! :)