Friday, July 29, 2011

Bookish Questions: Is there such thing as being too edgy in YA?

YA has kind of been given a bad rap lately. Why? Well, a lot of people seem to think its "too edgy." That there's just too much "tough stuff" in YA lit, and teenagers can't handle it. So I've decided to pose the question: Is there such a thing as being too edgy in YA? 

Personally, I like a lot of edgy YA books. Growing up homeschooled for my entire life has caused me to be fairly sheltered from a lot of things in the world. Drugs, eating disorders, suicide, they all seemed like a mystery to me. Sure I knew they existed but reading books about them actually made the issues become real. Drugs? Ellen Hopkins. Eating Disorders? Laurie Halse Anderson. Suicide? Jay Asher. The list goes on and on. Yes, a lot of these books are dark and fairly mature, but never for a moment have I regretted reading any of them.

Of course there are always some edgy YA books that I'm not going to read. For example I never read The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. I've heard its an amazing book, and I'm sure that it is, but I'm not really into books with a lot of sexual themes, so I just decided not to read this one.

Basically what I'm trying to say here is that I think it doesn't matter how "edgy" a YA book is. What does matter is that people use discernment when choosing the books they read.  Not all books are going to suitable for all people. But that doesn't mean that you stamp a label on a book stating that its "too edgy" for all readers.

So those are my thoughts on edgy YA. I'm super curious to know your guyses opinions on the subject. Do you agree with me? Or do you think that some YA books are just too edgy for teen readers? What are some of your favorite "edgy" YA reads?

Julia :)


  1. One of my favorite "edgy" YA books would be Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler; it's an interesting take on anorexia.

    I don't read books that center around some kind of subjects, but I don't really think a book can be "too" edgy. It's just for a certain group of people who like those kinds of books--if people object, then they should avoid them.

  2. We completely agree! It's not about edgy or not; it's about what a reader wants to learn about, what moves them. Just like movies, or games, or music -- we all have different tastes.

    One of our favorite "edgy" reads lately is The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, which is about a girl coping with the unexpected death of her sister. Sounds like it would be sad, but what we love about it is that it's written in such a beautiful way and the characters are so fun.

  3. Awesome question!

    I don't think there is such a thing as 'too edgy.' I'm a teenager and I'm surrounded by this stuff a lot. In high school there's bullying and eating disorders and the school runs programs to prevent suicide. I know plenty of kids who do drugs and drink.

    I think that it is a person's limits that make a book too edgy for him/her. But as a whole I don't think there is a limit because there is no limit in real life.

  4. I think that as long as the teenager as someone to talk to about these books, to clarify things, it's ok to read edgy books. It can help understand a lot of stuff about what you can live during your teenage life, and even after. :)


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