Where I Opine

Today, I would like to say Happy Book Birthday to Possession, the wonderful novel by Elana Johnson.

I had the pleasure of reading Possession last month when I received a copy from Simon & Schuster.

The book hooked me from the first page. The premise is original and the book had an ending I didn't anticipate. I love unpredictable finishes and this one left me wondering how long I'd have to wait to find out what ultimately happens to the MCs. I don't think I can stand it. It reminded me of how I felt as a youngin' watching Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, being whisked away to God knows where, and wait...I don't get to find out what happens? It's over? That's not fair! A wonderful frustration.

Elana is one of the most generous people I've come to know through blogging and I wish her the success she deserves with this fantastic first novel.

The second thing I wanted to address is the recent Wall Street Journal 
article titled Darkness Too Visible. Today I am commenting as a parent of a thirteen-year-old avid reader. 

No two children are the same, even in the same family. What one teen reads, another may not be ready for and I don't think every YA novel is appropriate for every teen. Age alone should not be the deciding factor. I also believe that no one should be able to decide what a child reads or doesn't read except that child's parent or guardian.

Writing about the darkness in the world does not encourage it, just as removing it from books would most certainly not discourage it.

I read a lot of YA, so it's easy for me to recommend books to my son that I think would interest him. I can usually answer questions that might come up about the subject matter, but if I can't, even better, we research it. What a great way to get a dialogue going with your teen!

I know many parents don't read at all, much less YA, but there are websites out there such as readingteen.net and parentalbookreviews.com that can help them make informed decisions if they would simply take the time to check them out.

I wonder what the writer of the article would recommend as a solution. Book ratings? Who should be appointed to decide how dark is too dark?

Let's just save everyone the trouble because we already have those systems in place. They're called parents. And in the words of Forrest Gump, “That's all I have to say about that.”


Rogue Mutt said...

Good point. Better than some people I've heard commenting on this.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Lisa,

I posted about Possession too... Hurray for ELANA...

As for Y/A I agree with you. Parents should look to see if a Y/A title is appropriate. With the age lines for Y/A running the gamut from 12 and up to 16 and up Y/A writers have to target their audience.

My second novel is Y/A but it's definitely geared for the much older teen. WIth life's darker side portrayed, this would not be appropriate for a young teen. I actually don't have a problem with coding certain Y/A books. But as you said for now parents should get involved.

I must say that parents that are writers are so involved in their children's lives. I admire you all so much. Parents give yourselves a pat on the back ... you so deserve it.

Thanks Lisa for such a good post.

Kari Marie said...

I just started reading Possession and it's awesome.

I am on the fence about the ratings thing. Sometimes I hear an argument for it and think it makes sense, but at the same time I completely agree with you. I'm not a parent, but if I was, I would like to know what my kids are reading. I don't want to rely on a committee who rated the book appropriately. See, there I go sitting on the fence again.

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