Posted by Sari
There has been a lot of disucssion in fandom about this years different awards nominees and the large amount of books categorised as YA among them. Some think it is good thing, some think it is a bad thing, some think it is an irrelevant thing. As I do read quite a lot of genre YA and get paid for it, I want to ask something else. Why are some of these books categorized as YA? What makes The Knife of Never Letting Go an YA novel? it can't be just a young focaliser, because then What Maisie Knew would be YA. It can't be a didactic approach/style because most YA novel's don't have that. It can't be the that the narrative is about young person growing up and learning, because then all bildungsromans would be YA. Or has the world changed so that if Dickens would publish Great Expectations now, his publisher and bookstores would market it as YA? Because for the life of me, I can't see how such a harrowing, linguistically ambitious and political novel as The Knife of Never Letting Go which makes you feel sick inside is especially aimed at YA reader? Or Earthsea books, what on earth is there in Tombs of Atuan or Tehanu that makes it an YA novel? It is not that teenagers should not read these books, I just don't see what makes it a novel especially suited/written/marketed for them instead of adults.
Frank Cottrell Boyce says it here much better than me.