Saturday, June 06, 2009

Dark & Viral

Thirteen Reasons Why, and teen literature in general, received some interesting mentions in the media recently.

Daisy Whitney's New Media Minute says "the young adult genre is taking the lead with new creative experiments in Web video to promote books..."

And The Wall Street Journal has an article called "It Was, Like, All Dark and Stormy" which talks about the tone of several current bestselling teen novels. But Liz B., over at A Chair, a Fireplace & a Tea Cozy, has a few gripes with the article.

BTW, no, I haven't heard of any librarians who wanted to take my book off the shelves...and Hannah is a junior in high school.


Liz B said...

You know, if librarians want it off the shelf, you'd have heard! I really wonder where she got that from.

Jay Asher said...

It was definitely a weird thing to say. But it fits the stereotype of teens wanting what adults don't want them to have. And stereotypes don't need to be sourced!

It's also a strong statement to throw out there without addressing the other side. Why highlight imaginary librarians who "may" want to take a book off the shelves without mentioning that the book's been given awards by actual librarians? And why highlight "alarmed" parents rather that those who see books as a great way to begin important discussions?

But maybe I'm a little biased...

(Oh, and my book came out in October, not March.)

Suzanne Young said...

Yay for Daisy! I watch her series ALL THE TIME! She's brilliant. :-)

jim O said...

The Wall Street Journal article expressed concern that the best-selling young adult books dealt with death, desperation and tragedy, but concluded that most of the books are actually uplifting,ending with "wholesome and old-fashioned redemption that involves principles like triumph over adversity and affirmations of integrity."
Regarding your book, the article points out that Clay reaches out to another girl who seems headed for the same fate as Hannah. I'm certain that most young people who read you book pledge to treat others with greater sensitivity, the obvious intention behind "Thirteen Reasons Why." Your novel really didn't belong in an article about gruesome and gory books, but the references to its success were more of a pat on the back than a stick in the eye.

Jay Asher said...

Yes, Suzanne, Daisy rocks!

Jim, I do think the piece was positive in what it was trying to say overall...if the reader makes it to the end of the article. But since it's mostly adults who read the WSJ, it's frustrating to see so many inaccuracies used to define what's going on (and been going on) in teen literature.

And I'm still pissed off about that librarian comment. Because I was talking to that same made-up librarian, and she told me something totally different!

Brandi said...

All the books mentioned in that article sound really interesting to me. I'm so tired of looking in the YA section and seeing "happy bubbly" books. I think teens need to have books about things that affect them. Not talking about these things, isn't going to make them go away.

I love your book!

Liz B said...

The WSJ has posted a correction for 13 Reasons Why -- both the publication date & Hannah being a junior.