WARNING: Contains The Fault In Our Stars Spoilers!
So, my friend recently forwarded this article to me because it made her so mad and she wanted me to be mad with her about it. Being the good friend I am I read it and can now honestly say, “UGH! SO ANNOYING!” in unison. The author, Ruth Graham, attempts to make the argument that not only should YA books not be read by adults, adults should be ashamed of reading YA books. Cause shaming people for their reading choices is sooooooooo cool, right?
Link the to full article:
There are a few sections of the piece I have problems with and I explained why below. Of course, everyone’s entitled to their
a opinion, but I think trying to make people ashamed of the “their” entertainment choices is a bit, well, childish.
To begin with Graham makes the claim people should be embarrassed to admit they read
the books like The Fault In Our Stars “because it was written for teenagers.” I mean, does it matter who the intended audience was? How many TV shows made for children have a sizable adult fanbase?
Graham goes on to say “I do not begrudge young adults themselves their renaissance of fiction…But I remember, when I was a young adult, being desperate to earn my way into the adult stacks; I wouldn’t have wanted to live in a world where all the adults were camped out in mine. ” I think Graham is referring to the excitement of being allowed (finally!) into the adult section of the library, which any young book lover can relate to.
Graham also states that YA books “consistently indulge in the kind of endings that teenagers want to see, but which adult readers ought to reject as far too simple.” Um, the attractive heartthrob dies at the end of The Fault In Our Stars. DIES. While you can argue whether or not that ending was expected, what implications it leaves, how it changes the other characters, I certainly wouldn’t say it was what a teenager (or adult for that matter) would want to see. You want to see Gus and Hazel get better, go to college, break-up, get back together, get married, and live happily ever after. You don’t want Gus to die.