Whew! TGIF! Who is ready for the weekend? I know I am! Happy Easter! TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger over at GReads, so a big thanks to her for being a wonderful hostess! TGIF is a little weekly spot where we can recap the week and answer a question from Ginger.
This week’s question is:
How do you feel about explicit language
and/or sexual content in YA books?
I know that this is often a topic of discussion especially in the YA genre. I have some mixed feelings on it I guess. I believe that getting too graphic is not appropriate for a book marketed to the YA audience, there is an erotica genre for that. BUT, discussing or writing about sex, the feelings, the thoughts, the reactions, the desires, the chances, the consequences of it all is appropriate for YA. I don’t think it should be as descriptive or blatant as in erotica novels, but, it shouldn’t be all candy canes and gum drops either. It is real in the teen community and just because they read it in a book doesn’t mean they will be doing it come Friday night. I know that Breaking Dawn and its sex scenes were often a point of controversy and quite frankly I was shocked. I thought that Myer had done an incredible job to make all of the sexual encounters very tasteful. She never really came out and said what they were doing, but there was no mistaking what they were doing. AND they were still very hot, very sensual encounters. I was impressed with how she portrayed their love life.
As far as language, I don’t want to read the F word constantly myself, but sometimes an F-bomb gets dropped and it has usually been at the right point for effect. Sometimes the language is the character and I haven’t come across an author yet that has abused it. I believe that sometimes the language is necessary to set the tone of a character or a book. Do I want my kids running around dropping F-bombs, no, not at all, but I don’t think that reading an occasional dirty word is going to impact their behavior or speech either.
Quite frankly, if you are easily offended by sex or language sticking to middle grade books is probably your best bet. As a parent, I believe that it is your responsibility to screen and monitor what your children are reading, get to know what books they are picking up, read them, use the books to open a dialogue with your child. Odds are, the sex scene that is prompting a book burning is nothing more than an intimate, experimental moment between older teens, which is very much our teens reality. Utilize it as a tool to teach and discuss the issue. Finish the book, find the purpose for that scene(s) in the book and try hard to not be so easily offended.
Always remember, you can control what you read. If a certain book, author or genre is offensive to you, don’t read it. As an individual consumer you have that power. If you are that passionate about it, start a blog, review the books, find and promote books that fit your criteria. As for me, you will probably continue to see me post about the books with a bad boy, a wild side and a little steam!
Happy weekend! Enjoy!
As always, your comments are always welcome!