The Fault In Our Perceptions of YA fiction
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John Green, the best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, scored another success at the end of 2017 with Turtles All the Way Down. Eagerly awaited by legions of fans, it has already spent weeks in The New York Times bestsellers’ list and has already been optioned for a film adaptation. But what does that matter? It’s just a book for teenage girls, right? That dismissive attitude has been expressed by literary critics, and you can see why that might be. We’ve all seen the stacks of Young Adult (YA) fiction in bookshops with similar covers: pastel colours, bubble-writing, promises of romance and angst. The storylines can seem predictable, repetitive even, with the age-old boy-meets-girl, often with a twist, sometimes with a happy ending. Frequently, someone dies. As someone who believes passionately in teenagers reading to challenge themselves, I know that most of these books are not going to expose them to the kind of quality literature they’re going to come across in school.
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