elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

testing...and my .00001 cents

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Although I'm late on this (as always!), there's been a lot of talk about Naomi Wolf's article, "Young Adult Fiction: Wild Things" (printed in the New York Times)

I've read a couple of The Clique books, as well as most of The A-List series, and I found them to be enjoyable escapist reading. In fact, when I read the first A-List book, I thought of Jaqueline Susann's wonderful quote about who she wrote for: ""I write for women who read me in the goddam subways on the way home from work. I know who they are, because that's who I used to be." Part of the pleasure--in fact, I'd say a majority of it--in reading books like those Wolf is so upset about is that the characters in these books have it all...and yet most of the time, they are miserable. (Take Cammie from the A-List series, for example--although she is rich and beautiful, she's also desperately unhappy, and spends most of the books *not* getting what she wants in spite of all her machinations)

Additionally, though I think that all the books Wolf proposes as alterna-reads are wonderful, I think a variety of books should--no, make that *must*-- be available to teens. When I was a teenager, the young adult novels that were available to me never spoke to any of the experiences my friends or I went through, and the few books that might have (like Judy Blume's "Forever") weren't available for me to read, as I grew up in a very conservative community.

The best views on Wolf's article come from teenagers, a variety of response can be found in the comments of Scott Westerfield's blog entry on the subject and I also enjoyed Melissa de la Cruz's response, as well as Sarah Dessen's thoughts.