I've talked about YA books on the podcast a little bit, I will continue to. I suppose I’ve thought about doing a YA specific episode, but I don't really see a reason to draw many distinctions between YA and adult fiction. I’m far less interested in the age of the characters than I am knowing what genre the book is in, and what sort of queer content it might feature. And if I’m in the mood for a particular type of story—sometimes I just want some science fiction in my life, sometimes I just want to read about someone coming out--I likely don’t care if it’s YA or adult.
For me, YA generally means a faster read. That’s it! And that can be a positive or a negative.
So the attitude I take and the attitude you’ll see on this blog is this:
1) Read what you want. I may prefer some genres to others, but I also believe all reading is good reading. It engages your mind in a way that other mediums do not, and so if what you want read is mostly romance novels, or YA fantasy, or nothing but mysteries, I say go for it. Doesn't matter your age. You don't owe the world an obligation to switch to adult novels just because you turned 21 or whatever.
… on the other hand!
2) Sometimes try and read a title outside your comfort zone. Yeah, I’m saying that if you only read YA or adult fiction, there’s a really good chance you’re missing out on something you might enjoy. Whether you’re a teenager or an adult reader, YA is great, but there’s certain things that YA publishers just won’t let happen in those books, so adult fiction is always going to offer a wider range storytelling possibilities. If you never read YA—especially if you primarily read queer fiction—I think at the very least you’re missing out on a great way to track how perspectives on queer issues are changing. Not to mention that many YA books can be just as compelling (well-written, thoughtful, exciting) as adult fiction.
The conclusion to all these posts is this: my view on queer literature is broad and welcoming. I tend to think that restricting yourself to certain genres may lead you to miss out on great books that you might love. So the blog reflects this. For the time being I’ll continue to list the books I discuss on the book list, alphabetically, with some genre information. But I think what they have in common—a queer presence—is more important than the things that make them categorically different.