Over the summer, Slate magazine’s Ruth Graham ruffled some feathers by attacking the great guilty pleasure that is Young Adult Literature. The main thrust of the article involved Graham waggling her shame finger at the number of grown-ups who seemed to be stuck in Neverland — refusing to read “proper” novels in favor of the latest John Green tearfest or a dystopian sexy teen death duel.
What really had Graham up in arms was the fact that these grown-ups didn’t even have the decency to admit that what they were reading was drivel: some even dared to claim that books like The Fault in Our Stars or The Perks of Being a Wallflower had honest-to-goodness literary merit. But she wanted to clarify that she was not unreasonable — Graham stressed that it was certainly possible to write a great book about teenagers (without providing any firm examples), however what she took exception to was the dreamy, nostalgic and uncritical approach that so much YA lit takes.
Where was the retrospective realism? Why was it all so satisfying?