Opinion

Guest Post: Pema Donyo on YA & Happy Ever Afters

Guest Post: Pema Donyo on YA & Happy Ever Afters

Note: This is a guest post from author & college student Pema Donyo. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn more about her. Also, there are spoilers for the happy endings of several books in this post--you've been warned. Another CEFS post dealing with similar concepts was written by Laura a couple years ago--check it out over here. 

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Ruth Graham's "Against YA" op-ed in Slate caused many eyes to roll and many heads to nod. But a particular passage from the article has stayed with me:

These (Young Adult novel) endings are emblematic of the fact that the emotional and moral ambiguity of adult fiction—of the real world—is nowhere in evidence in YA fiction. These endings are for readers who prefer things to be wrapped up neatly, our heroes married or dead or happily grasping hands, looking to the future.

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Storify + Some Tips: Library & Bookstore Access Isn't Universal

Storify + Some Tips: Library & Bookstore Access Isn't Universal

Last week, as a response to an author's tweet (guys, this upset me so much that I can't remember who it was--I blocked it out, I suspect) insinuating that people who didn't shop their local independent bookstore were, basically, cheap and lazy, I had a bit of a mini-rant I had to get out on Twitter. 

I've been chewing on whether to post it here, because I know that this is a sensitive issue. Honestly, it's a sticky one for me, since I work primarily with small, independent business and try to support them as much as I can. 

With that said, there are some loaded assumptions that come with the sorts of flip comments like the one I saw. It assumes the people live in an area with bookstores, with libraries and have transportation access to get to those places. Those are pretty big assumptions. 

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Ten Reading Wishes for the New Year

Ten Reading Wishes for the New Year

At the beginning of 2013 I wrote a post about hopes for the new year, and I thought I'd continue that pseudo-tradition for 2014. Looking at last year's wishes, a number of them still stand, particularly the need to end the denigration of books read by women as "mommy porn" and the like; my weariness over the dramarama train in the book world still stands; and I'm still fed up with the digital versus physical reading debate, which seems to have no end in sight and is utterly unproductive. 

In the next couple weeks I'm going to talk about some deliberate changes I'm hoping to make to my reading (and writing about reading) habits in the new year and we're pulling together our 2013 List of Awesome at the moment. And, we already have a super-fantastic guest scheduled for a podcast later this month, so things are happening around these parts.

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Reader Expectations & Authorial Intent: What Matters?

Reader Expectations & Authorial Intent: What Matters?

Laura and I recorded a podcast on Monday which will be up on iTunes (Don't forget to rate us, yo!) and blog in the next few days in which we discuss the topic of reader expectations and reactions, particularly in the context of series and authors with large backlists. While Laura and I go in depth into the topic on that podcast, I know not everyone listens to it, and the discussion just keeps morphing online.

The reader expectations discussion erupted earlier this year when Charlaine Harris finally ended her Sookie Stackhouse series. Readers were unhappy that they'd invest 13 years into reading the series, watched Sookie float from love interest to love interest and finally end up with a partner who was, to them, rather unexciting.

Then we had the whole Divergent debacle in which some readers were incredibly upset about the choices author Veronica Roth made in the final book in that series, Allegiant. 

More recently, Gayle Forman has been criticized by readers frustrated with the companion novel to Just on Day, Just One Year

And there was also the brouhaha in the romance world because an author and reader (because--shocker--people can be both) "live tweeted" her reading of Susan Elizabeth Philips' Nobody's Baby But Mine (Janet detailed this on Dear Author earlier this week). 

This type of response isn't anything new, and it's not exclusive to reading.

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