Adult vs. Teen Fiction

So in an effort to check out the competition, and to procrastinate (I’ll admit it), I have been reading a large volume of young adult books.  Some have been published by the NY publishing houses and others are indie authors on Amazon.  Something I’ve come to realize in my reading is that the big name publishers backing a book does not make it good, and the indie self-published books are not necessarily tripe.  It is hit or miss on both fields, but the odds are high in the favor of strike outs, generally speaking.

I’ve bought a number of books because their covers were fantastic, the synopsis intriguing, only to crack it open and realize after two chapters or so that I have been had.  Bad.

I was a teenager once and I don’t remember being some insipid, whiny, crap-for-brains boob that seems to be the prevalent protagonist of so many of these books.  I also read adult books from middle school on, for the most part.  Awesome fantasy like that of L’Engle and C.S. Lewis I read earlier.  Sort of like my eight-year-old reading the Harry Potter series right now.  By the time I got to seventh grade I was pilfering from my father’s collection of Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  Sidney Sheldon rocked my world.  They were action packed with just the right amount of blood and guts, and no lack of sexual situations.  I’m still a sucker for something that moves fast with a slice of romance stuck in there.  And I can’t imagine I was the lone teen who read that stuff.  In fact I know I’m not.

Teens read adult books, too.  And adults read teen books.  I love them (if they’re done right).  But it seems that so many people writing for teens these days must think that they are vacuous, self-centered, label fixated pieces of fluff.  Don’t get me wrong, some of them might be, but those teens probably aren’t reading much anyway.  And there is guaranteed a certain amount of that cruddy stuff in everyone, but that is in no way all that makes up the average teen, is it?  Can’t some of these YA authors give them a little credit for having an ounce of depth?

I recently read a book that shall remain nameless that had so much detail about hand holding and whether the hand holding that happened was “real” or just a sign of reassurance from the love interest.  Really?  Hand holding?  I hadn’t thought that much about the details and possible implications of hand holding since being forced to do it in gym class for square dancing in, like, sixth grade.  And this was supposed to be a modern sixteen year-old obsessing over holding hands.  Are you joking?

Now, please don’t think that I am a proponent of graphic sex in teen novels.  Heck no.  Save that for the adult books that your teens will be slipping out of your room when you are out.  But I do think that a dose of reality is needed.  I guess fluff sells, but for me personally, I am really sick of buying it.

Laziness is my arch enemy

I was just thinking about starting this blog and how I read in a book that new authors need to build their platform.  I consider this part of my platform.  Of course the visual I get when I think of this is The Cat in the Hat balancing on the ball with all of that crap in his hands.  This is one piece of my crap.   I figure I’ll see how many things I can pick up before I come crashing down.

Although it could just be me procrastinating finishing my book.  And not wanting to play hide and seek or ‘the kitty cat game’ (and yes it is as painful as you might imagine, but not nearly as bad as when my oldest wanted to be called “Pupster” for about a year).

No, I’m looking at this as my character building.  If there is a fork in the road and one way  shows a sign that reads “Easy” and the other “Ball Buster” for some reason I always go the harder way.  Usually it involves a better work-out, for one.  Plus it builds character.  An added bonus is that there are less crowds on that road and I am reclusive by nature.

So, anyhoo, laziness and I don’t jive.  So hopefully this self-publishing business is a good fit for me.  The only thing that trumps  laziness IMO is bad oral hygiene, but, really, the two probably go hand in hand.  True that halitosis can be a medical ailment, but green fuzzy teeth are avoidable as long as you have at least one hand.

Okay, that’s all the enlightenment I’ve got for now.  Stay tuned for more pearls in the near or far future.  Whichever.  I make no promises.  And it probably won’t be enlightening either but it may be good for a chuckle.  Maybe.