Many of my colleagues in the book blogging world got to this before me, but better late than never, I hope. Frank Cottrell Boyce reviewed his fellow competitor for the Guardian children’s fiction prize Patrick Ness’ book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, in the Guardian on Saturday. And much as we were all interested in the book, it was Frank’s opinions on young adult fiction that has got everybody flapping.
Never mind age-banding, it was all ruined by whoever invented the young adult concept. Instead of going from good classic children’s books to adult books, albeit to a “young” variety, readers are now kidnapped by YA books and end up stuck in some awful ghetto for years.
Frank reckons Patrick’s book should count as adult. At least as adult as Huckleberry Finn. Or The Catcher in the Rye. They may have been written as adult books, but even in my youth they were YA books, although we didn’t know it then. In fact, I consider Huck Finn to be a children’s book, and I thought Catcher in the Rye was something 16-year-olds read.
The only reason I’m sitting here blogging away like a mad witch, is that I got caught by what Frank calls demographic. I found I liked YA books so much, that I don’t have to waste my reading days with adult books. Not unless I particularly want to, anyway. Why do we have to assume that the YA tag will put people off?