Thinking Out Loud [8]

Posted April 9, 2015 by Kim in Thinking Out Loud / 10 Comments

Thinking Out Loud is my version of a discussion post and/or a place to just get things out of my head and off my chest. I have no plans for it to be a weekly feature, but more of a space that’s here when I have something to say.

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Saying Goodbye to YA … Sorta

I’ve been wrestling with the decision on whether or not to continue reading and featuring young adult books for awhile now. It’s not that I don’t still I enjoy YA books. I do. For the most part, anyhow.

For the last few months, I’ve been *very* selective about the YA books I choose for review. As with any genre, there are amazing books out there… and there are others that are just mediocre to me. As a thirty-something woman, I’m finding more and more mediocre YA books and fear part of it is just my inability to any longer relate to characters that are half my age.

So I started thinking. What would I miss if I stopped reading and reviewing YA? The answer is… a lot. I think back to some of the most recent YA I’ve read – The Start of You and Me, I’ll Be There, The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things – and some of my “most favoritest” – Eleanor & Park, Anna and the French Kiss (and the others in the series), The Fault in Our Stars, My Life Next Door, Open Road Summer, the Bloodlines, Dark Elements and Shatter Me series, and soooooo many more – and I realize I’m not totally ready to give them up. I thought about just not accepting/requesting them for review any longer, but I knew there would be books that would make me regret that decision, too.

The other thing that’s been running around in the back of my mind as I tried to make this tough decision was the other books I review and promote on my blog. I enjoy a good, dirty romance. I’m not even going to pretend otherwise. There are some pretty explicit teasers and excerpts on my blog. And, honestly, the idea of a teen (or younger) visiting my blog because of a YA book and stumbling across a hot ass Brazen teaser makes me a little uncomfortable. Of course, I’m not naive enough to believe they’re blind to sex in the world around them or that they’ve never used language, but still. I’m trying to do my part. Haha.

With all this in mind, I reached a compromise I’m very comfortable with. I will still review YA books. I’m still going to accept (some) YA books for review and request those I’m most excited about on NetGalley and Edelweiss. I’m still going to review YA books I purchase. I’m still going to talk about YA books in Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday posts. What I’m not going to do is participate in tours, blitzes and other promotions for YA books. (Ok, ok, there might be times that I break this, but it would have to be a pretty special book by a beloved author for me to consider it.) I figure there’s a much greater chance for someone to stumble upon my blog because they’re following along with a tour schedule than there is that they would find me because of a review I’ve written on a YA book. I’ve already been doing fewer promotional posts this year anyhow, so this will help to that end as well. It gives me more time to write reviews and participate in other non-meme, non-promo things and makes me feel a little better about a new, younger reader maybe finding something they shouldn’t when they drop by.

A shout out to Tonya at After Hours at Lilybloombooks for her post on why she started a second blog to focus on non-YA books. I’d already been contemplating possible solutions for my own dilemma when I read her post and it gave me even more to think about.

Do you review books for multiple age levels? Do you ever worry about a younger reader stumbling across something clearly meant for someone older? Am I just ridiculous? Let me know below. 🙂

Saying Goodbye to YA ... Sorta

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10 responses to “Thinking Out Loud [8]

  1. I think that’s a good compromise. I couldn’t give up YA books either. Sometimes I find that the writing in YA books can be more beautiful and poetic than NA or adult books because it isn’t weighed down by the need to please those readers looking for hot, steamy romance. Case in point…Shatter Me and Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

  2. I read everything from middle grade to adult. I’m in my 40’s. When I rate the books on good reads I tell you if it is for mature audiences. I will always also mention it as well on my youtube channel. I find YA easier to read and since I have a bad attention span I’d rather read something that keeps me interested.. Glad you aren’t giving up YA. I enjoy your reviews even if I don’t comment each time. Thanks for all the facebook kindle deals too so appreciated.

  3. There is SO much thought that goes into whether or not get rid yourself of YA. I think even if you give the “proper” warnings, the younger crowd will read it anyway. I actually had a librarian tell me that she couldn’t and WOULDN’T recommend my blog because I had adult content on there. It was kind of shocking and eye opening. (this of course, was before the kiddo was going to review on the blog)

    Personally, I read YA because a lot of what they deal with and go through, I didn’t. So, it’s a way to life vicariously through them ya know? LOL Plus, I have always thought that the character growth in YA was more pronounce vs adult, but that is changing. But lately, most YA has me raging, and maybe it IS because I am getting older? That’s why I don’t like FLUFFY young adult. (like, the start of me and you)

    Anyway, I am rambling. I will support you no matter what you decide to do <3

    And thank you for the shout out!

  4. I have also quickly digressed from reading YA. I also thought for a while of two separate blogs, one I could have my students visit with books and content that was applicable and relevant for their age, and one where I could read any genre. I would still love to do that, but I know it will be just too much work. If I could somehow create a team of bloggers among my students to supplement reviews, it could really take off. I just don’t have the time to run and plan content for two separate blogs. On the flipside, I have been nervous about one of my students or parents finding my blog and certain reviews where I have blasted a character with some colorful language. (I did have one student, whose mother works with me, find my blog. I don’t know how, but she hasn’t said anything about it to me.)

  5. For a little while I was wandering away from YA too, but when I think about the books that I truly love, most of them are YA, so I definitely can’t give them up! However, I do totally understand what you mean about content. I do review adult books on my blog, but I specifically don’t choose anything with particularly racy covers and I never choose excerpts that are explicit (in fact, I rarely put any excerpts at all in my posts for adult books). This is because, just like you, I feel a certain responsibility toward younger readers who come to my blog. It’s a delicate balance, though – and there’s no perfect answer. (Except maybe Tonya’s? But I just can’t manage two blogs right now).

  6. Great post Kim! I know we briefly talked about this on Twitter, and while I had stepped away from YA for awhile, I found I missed it because of those great ones out there. As a 30 year old myself, I do understand that some YA’s are just not for me. They are too young and don’t convey the message I want them to, so I feel annoyed. My readership has changed alot, as I have changed and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I also can’t advertise my blog to my students because I review so many adult novels. It’s a hard decision that’s for sure, and maybe doing a complete change isn’t what you need, but starting out small like you said, might be just the right thing for you.

  7. I’ve actually been getting a bit tired of reading YA recently. I only read YA paranormal but every one seems to have school bullies, insta-luv, love triangles and airhead MCs all of which get on my nerves. So now I limit myself to YA dystopian and only if I get it free or bargain priced.. I’m just finding YA is so cliched now.

    If I finish, or DNF a book but have lots to say about it, I upload the review to my blog regardless of genre. If I DNF too quickly to have much to say about it, I just post the review on Goodreads. Every genre I read goes on my blog but I also promote genres I don’t really read like sci-fi. I don’t read erotica or explicit paranormal romance and I don’t feature promotion for things like that on my blog so I don’t have to worry too much about YA readers seeing something explicit on my blog. I think the important thing is to make sure that YOU are happy with what you feature and read.

  8. I basically read and review everythgin from Middle Grade till steamy Adult. I want to be able to read and review whatever I want on my blog. I know some peopel made a second blog for once, but I already have enough time and effort to keep up with one blog and rather just keep everything in one place, I guess there is a risk that a young person lands on my blog, but then I hope they stay with the MG and YA posts, but even they do not, it’s not like they can’t find the information anywhere else.

    I think you should do whatever you’re comfortable with on your blog and if that is promoting less YA, that’s great. I do like the fact that you still will be reviewing YA books. As I think that if you enjoy some books in that age category you should certainly be able to still read and review those if you want.