Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for...Zombies, Angels, Werewolves, And Other Things That Distract from Contemporary YA

Controversial Song of the Day: "Zombie" by The Cranberries

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating. 


Taken from bibliogrrrl.com
Zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, angels and demons...where does it all end?! Let's get one thing straight, we LOVE our paranormal novels...Pam's a big Cassandra Clare fan (like on stalker status almost) and I love the Shiver series and all, but we are contemporary lovers at heart. And sometimes, only sometimes, we feel like contemporary YA often takes a backseat to the paranormal and dystopian/apocalyptic novels out there. So, we're ending the A-Z challenge with something that is not necessarily a controversial topic that you find in YA novels. BUT we do think that contemporary novels are often overlooked for several bigger and larger concept books.


We write contemporary novels with real teen voices about problems that teens go through now (not saying that some of the big concept books DON'T have real teens and real teen problems), and we want these books to make a come back! 


Here are a few contemporary novels that we think are shining examples of why contemp books are AMAZING!


* Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


* The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth


* Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Let us know if we're wrong, PLEASE! Do you think contemporary novels are just as raved about and praised as the big concept paranormal or dystopian/apocalyptic novels? 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yearbook Superlatives: Cliches in YA

Controversial Song of the Day:  "Paper Cliche" by Action Action

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from www.ryan-patrick.com
Imagine a world where the jocks and cheerleaders rule the school. Where quiet loners are shoved into lockers at every turn. Where the rank in popularity is apparent by the seating arrangements in the cafeteria.
 
You say this world doesn't exist anymore? I say you're right...kind of.
 
No, the cliches from the eighties don't exist anymore, and I think that the new 21 Jumpstreet movie does a fantastic job of proving this. It isn't so cool to be--well, cool. The students that go against the grain are in now--the ones that love the environment and want to do well in school.
 
But only in some areas.
 
I've worked in public schools for six years, and let me tell you, you can walk into a classroom and notice which students are popular and which are not. It's not always apparent. The popular kids aren't wearing letter jackets, and the outcasts aren't in trench coats or eyeglasses. But that divide is there--it's just more subtle.
 
Here are some YA novels that take a look at cliques:
How do you all feel about cliches and cliques in YA? Do you think they still exist in real life?

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for...eXams, AP Classes, and Geeks, Oh My!

Controversial Song of the Day:  "Tested and True" by Secondhand Serenade

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from elanorascorner.blogspot.com
First of all, yes--we totally copped out on the letter "X."
 
With that said, let me tell you something about Quita and me. We both took honor and AP classes in high school; we were both in chorus in middle school; we'd almost cry when we got a "B" on an assignment; our ideas of fun was visiting the guidance office during lunch to look at the college brochures. Were we geeks?
 
Probably.
 
But so are PLENTY of other people in high school. They study for the SATs to get a near perfect score. They play the tuba in band like its running out of style. They run for office in the Student Council Association with the same fervor as a prom queen/king campaign.
 
So where are all the novels about these students? My Project J features a very unconventional leading man. Jonah plays the trumpet, constantly speaks of his love for Harvard University, and tutors his classmates to prepare for the SATs.
 
I have heard plenty a debate about the lack of honor classes mentioned in YA novels, so I scoured the Internet to show some geek pride:
I'll be honest...it took me a while to conjure up this list. Did I leave any novels out? Also, what are your thoughts on including "smart" or "different" characters in your writing?

*BTW, we by no means think that being smart makes you a "geek." We just love the word. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for...War

Controversial Song of the Day: "This is War" by 30 Seconds to Mars

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating. 


Taken from nas.sagepub.com
War is definitely a topic that teens should read about. Not only to know the history of their country, but also to understand what their peers go through if they are part of the military (several teens are enlisting in the military since they can sign up when they are 17 and due to incentives like the GI Bill) and they are involved in a war. 


Not only do teens need books about war and the military because of their peers, but also because they may be the child of someone who serves in the military and may be sent to war. Pam works with several teens who are in military families and they struggle to adjust to new environments and usually act out when a parent is deployed. Having a novel they can turn to can make them feel a little more comfortable with this part of their life.


A few novels that may help them deal with either being in a military, coping during times of war, or the aftermath of war are:


* Back Home by Julia Keller


* The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen


* Out of the Blue by S.L. Rottman


* Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick


* Soldier X by Don L. Wulffson

Do you think that teens need to read novels where war and the military are front and center? Have you written anything that revolves around wars and/or the military?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for...Violence

Controversial Song of the Day: "Violence" by Blink 182


For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating. 


Taken from coe.int
We've discussed violence a few times on this blog thus far. We've talked about bullying, hate crimes, teen suicide, murder, guns, and cutting. So, what else could we possibly have to say?? Well, violence as a whole  obviously exists in teens' lives and therefore, some YA novels often portray this violence. Yet, there are naysayers who do not want their children reading these books because it either has too much fighting, killing, or general gratuitous violent behavior. 


However, let's not forget that violence can be witnessed just by turning on the news or reading a newspaper or magazine. Some YA books may include violence, but it's nothing that teens are already witnessing on a daily basis.


Here are a few novels that include violence on a large scale:


* The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins


* Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler


* Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts


* Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott


Do you have violence in your writing? Do you think too many YA novels have an abundance of violent behavior?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for...Unreliable Narrators

Controversial Song of the Day: "Liar" by Henry Rollins Band

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating. 


Photo taken from litreactor.com
Unreliable narrators are a rare commodity in novels. Mostly because it's so hard to get this kind of character right. The writer must create a character that readers will empathize with, even when they are aware that the narrator is not completely honest with them.


Although some don't enjoy reading novels where the MC is lying to them throughout the entire story, these people DO exist. So, why can't we write about them? Working in education, we come across teenagers who are compulsive liars. Some of them going as far as telling stories that could harm another person's reputation. Notice, we said we come across teenagers--not just ONE! Since these people are real, it is only fair that they are represented in novels.


Here are a few books where they are:


Liar by Justine Larbalestier
* The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
* Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
*The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


Do you get mad when you read a novel with a narrator who fibs a lot? Does your own novel have an unreliable narrator--in a sense, are ALL narrators unreliable?

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for...Teen Suicide

Controversial Song of the Day:  "Never Too Late" by Three Days Grace

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from epicalliance.blogspot.com
Did you know that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15-24, and the 4th for people between the ages of 10-14 (for other teen suicide statistics, please click here)?
 
When I was in high school, a close friend of mine ended her own life after breaking up with her boyfriend. When Quita was in high school, one of her ex-boyfriends also committed suicide. We couldn't believe it--we didn't want to believe it. But since we know it can happen to anyone--not just to people on TV--this is a topic near and dear to our hearts.
 
We work with teenagers everyday, and since I'm a counselor, I'm constantly on preventative alert. People joke all the time about how dramatic teens are, but any thoughts of hurting themselves is something I do not joke about. When one of my students was wrestling with the idea of suicide, I recommended a book to him (after alerting his parents and using several other counseling interventions, of course). Here are a few YA titles (or books with teen characters) that deal with teen suicide:
Have you ever written about suicide in any of your novels? What other books would you add to this list?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for...Sex (or Shudder) in YA

Controversial Song of the Day:  "I Just Had Sex" by The Lonely Island ftg Akon

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from wallpapersup.net
The "S" word. We've hit some heavy topics over the past few weeks, but sexual content in YA is probably the issue that most gets critics up in arms. And for good reason.
 
Neither Quita nor I are parents yet, but we have a niece who's an avid reader. And she's also tall and gorgeous and recently started dating. Before Gorgeous Niece reached dating age, we had no qualms about including sex in our manuscripts. In fact, there were some areas in my manuscript, Wants, that got a bit too hot and heavy--to the point where I had to simmer down the scenes during revisions. I didn't get what the big deal was--until Gorgeous Niece got her first boyfriend.
 
Don't get me wrong. Quita and I aren't prudes now--and we definitely trust our niece enough to know that she's not going to run out and do EVERYTHING our characters do--but unless you're writing YA erotica, there has to be some tact in handling these moments. And these moments SHOULD be there, depending on your characters (come on, most teens DO think about sex), but you have to think about your audience. Your novel may not ever reach teens if you give a play-by-play of what goes on between the sheets. Quite honestly, most adults don't even want to read anything too graphic.
 
With that said, here are some YA novels that handle sex in varying degrees:
How comfortable are you with writing sex scenes in your novels? With that said, how comfortable are you with READING sex scenes (or allowing your teenager to read them?)?

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for...Religion

Controversial Song of the Day: "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.  


Image taken from ufvcascade.ca
I was baptized when I was younger...then when I got to college I was convinced that I wanted to be Buddhist. I was never very religious to begin with. So, when I learned about the other religions besides Christianity that were out there, I wanted to explore. Me and Pam settled on Buddhism and even bought the little statues and a book to teach us what to do. Now, we're considering transcendental meditation. It's not like we don't believe in God--we just struggle with religion and what it all means (mainly because we disagree with so many things that Christians often tell us is wrong--i.e. homosexuality and only eating fish on Fridays).


If we still struggle with religion and what it means in our daily lives, then imagine how teens may feel. I teach several teenagers who are adamant about their faith, and I think that is wonderful, Yet, I also know a huge group of teens who battle with their religion and figuring out if it truly should be a defining factor of their lives. And as a side note, not all of these teens that I speak of are Christians. 


I don't think there are enough novels for young adults that deal with religion, yet the ones that do are often glossed over because the topic of religion is one of those things that no one wants to touch.


Here are some novels that are brave enough to discuss religion:


*Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
*The Girl of Fire and Thorns  by Rae Carson
*Bestest. Ramadan. Ever by Medeia Sharif
*Faking Faith by Josie Bloss
*Strange Relations by Sonia Levitin


Does your novel deal with or incorporate religion? Do you think faith is something that teens find important?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for...Quiet Novels

Controversial Song of the Day: "Quiet in My Town" by Civil Twilight

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.  


Taken from Almightydad.com
Quiet novels are our best friends. Don't get us wrong, we LOVE some of the novels that get mad love, but there's nothing like discovering a gem that no one else has really paid attention to yet. It makes it that much more special. Quiet novels don't quite fall under the same category as our previous posts on controversial YA topics, but we find it important to add in this series because we feel like these books are often overlooked. 


Here are a few of those novels that we think should be more "loud":


*Girl by Blake Nelson (or anything else by him for that matter!)


*Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard


*The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff


*Marcelo and the Real World by Francisco X. Stork


All of the novels above are loved by some, but we feel like they should be loved by MANY. Again, nothing against the novels that people are gaga over (because we're totally gaga over them, too) we just want to make sure that the quieter novels out there are getting love, also.


So, did we leave something off of the list? Do you get frustrated over a book that you KNOW should be uber popular, yet it isn't?



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for...Peer Pressure

Controversial Song of the Day:  "Under Pressure" by Queen

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from cathykeir.co.uk
I'll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes on Twitter, I'll see that everyone loves a certain movie and/or actor, or hates a certain movie and/or actor--and I'll feel the EXACT opposite. What should I do? Go against the grain, or just keep quiet? More often than not, I do the latter.
 
See, even as a *mumbles age*-year-old woman, I still buckle under peer pressure. Of course, the affects of peer pressure reached its peak when I was a teenager--when I laughed at someone else's expense even when I was crying for them on the inside. Or when I used my mom as an excuse as to why I couldn't attend a party (especially when I knew that "bad things" would be at that party).
 
Both Quita and I see some of our "good" students do something silly all because their friends told them to. Peer pressure does not discriminate; it doesn't care about your gender, race, or class. As teens, we were ALL susceptible to it. And here are some novels that take on this topic:
Does peer pressure play a significant part in your writing? Were you easily influenced as a teen?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for...Outdated Pop Culture References

Controversial Song of the Day:  "You're So Last Summer" by Taking Back Sunday

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from mariashriver.com
Dang! Sike! That's the bomb! These are just a few of the gems that Quita and I would say when we were in middle and high school. I recently told one of my students that something they did was the bomb, and they just blinked at me. It was the same confused look I received when I mentioned Freddy Kruger and the Cabbage Patch Dolls to them. And that's when I realized:

I'm old.

So slang and pop culture isn't necessarily controversial--but it is something we have to be careful when writing our own YA novels. For example, I started writing Project J almost 2 summers ago, and my lead character mentioned the Wii Fit Board. When I started revising it again a few months ago, I paused at that reference. Um, don't people use Kinect now? And don't get me started with how often I mentioned Facebook in stories. Sure, it's still "hot" now--but we all know what happened to MySpace (RIP).

I think what's more frustrating is when I go through great details to remove these references from my own manuscripts, and then see them pop up in published books (albeit, GOOD books). What's this? Teens REALLY still listen to Death Cab for Cutie and think that James McAvoy is hot?

Yet, there are some novels that stand the test of time by not mentioning any pop culture or creating their own slang. Here's a few:
Can you all think of any other "timeless" YA novels? How do you all feel about pop culture references in your writing?

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for...No Diversity

Controversial Song of the Day:  "Ordinary People" by John Legend

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from diversity.uno.edu
Over a year ago, Nicola K. Richardson wrote an aspiring guest post on YA Highway about Race in YA. So inspiring, in fact, that I had to write my own post about it here.
 
I won't repeat myself but, simply put, if you look at the YA bestsellers list, there is a GREAT chance that those novels do not feature a minority protagonist. Don't get me wrong, I love those books. I'm counting down the days with the rest of you for Insurgent, and I'd read ANYTHING by John Green--even if he was just balancing his checkbook. But novels with minority leads usually release on a much quieter scale (and we'll be talking about "quiet" novels later on in the week).
 
So, does the lack of fanfare for minority leads scare Quita and me? Quite frankly--sometimes. So much so that I used to be scared to have a major character that was just black--they always had to be mixed with some other race. However, Nicola's post changed my mind about that, and I did change an important character in Project J to African-American--and the response to the novel has been pretty great so far. My readers don't care if my character is black or not--they were just entertained.
 
Here's a look at some awesome YA books with minority leads:
*Thankfully, a few of the novels listed above did receive the "hype" they deserved.

So what are some of your favorite racially diverse novels? Does writing characters outside of your race scare you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for...Murder

Controversial Song of the Day: "Getting Away with Murder" by Papa Roach


For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating. 


Taken from  1.bp.blogspot.com
Murder is an unfortunate part of daily life. You can rarely turn on the news without hearing a story about someone who has been murdered somewhere. So, why do some parents not want their teens exposed to murder in YA? Is it too real? Are they afraid their teens will commit murder after reading these novels--or maybe that their teens will become desensitized to the seriousness of murder?


Novels like the following feature teens involved directly with murder:


*The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting


*The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins


*I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga


*Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves


Have you read any of these novels? Do you think the authors handled murder in a respectable manner? What about you--do any of your novels include a murder?



Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for...LGBTQ

Controversial Song of the Day:  "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from delireum.deviantart.com
So one day, Quita and I went to the movies (which could be ANY day because, well, we love movies). I was waiting for Quita to get some popcorn when in walked this lovely lesbian couple. They came in, holding hands and clearly in love (you could tell by the way they kept smiling at each other). After one of the employees took their tickets, he then proceeded to laugh loudly and call his co-workers. All of them laughed and pointed at the ladies, and then had the nerve to look at Quita and me to see if we, too, would join in with the taunting.
 
We never took another step in that theater.
 
LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning) issues in YA have always been important to me. In fact, I wrote guest posts about this topic in detail on both YA Highway and Elizabeth Scott's blog. The manuscript that landed me Sarah LaPolla as an agent was all about girls who find out their respective boyfriends are in love with each other. The contemporary YA I just finished revising is all about my male narrator developing feelings for his school's most vocal lesbian. Quita even makes sure to include LGBTQ characters in her stories, as well.
 
Why do we do this? The same reason we write about black characters, and white characters, and biracial characters, and overweight characters, and characters with illnesses and disabilities.
 
Because they're real.
 
We like to write about real people. So we'll keep plotting "coming out" stories (which, I'm sorry, there's NEVER enough of), or tales where we just happen to have a bisexual character because we're being authentic. And here are a few novels that feature LGBTQ characters:
Do you all include LGBTQ characters in your own writing? What are some of your favorite novels that feature LGBTQ characters?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for...Kissy Face: Dating in YA

Controversial Song of the Day: "Kiss Me Through the Phone" by Soulja Boy

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.


Kissy face = the disgusting couple that you see on the street that can't keep their hands off of each other. You watch them, with your lip curled, wondering: really? Do they truly love each other that much?? Sometimes, the same goes for YA novels. 


When me and Pam read a book and notice at the beginning of chapter two that the protag and the hero/heroine are in love, we often say: HUH? How did it happen that quickly? Is it realistic? There are some adults who feel like the romance in YA novels can get a little too intense. But, if you know teens, you know they DO sometimes fall hard and sometimes they fall fast. The question then is, are books like the following accurately portraying teens in love?


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (sans the vampire, of course)


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (again, sans the werewolf)


Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce


This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen




While doing this post we noticed the books that feature teens falling hard and fast are mainly paranormal. Can you think of more contemporary YA fiction that showcases "kissy face" behavior? How do you feel about the way dating is portrayed in YA novels?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for...Jailbait

Controversial Song of the Day:  "Hot For Teacher" by Van Halen

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from shutterstock.com
Jailbait. Yeah, we hate the term, too. But the fact is, teenagers are engaging in rather adult relationships with...well, adults. Cut on the TV and you'll see the latest scandal involving a well-respected professional fraternizing with someone much, MUCH younger than them. When I was in high school (which seems like forever ago), I had classmates complaining that they couldn't bring their boyfriend/girlfriend to prom--because said boyfriend/girlfriend was IN THEIR TWENTIES!
 
So, just like most other real issues, when these taboo relationships are mentioned in YA novels, a couple of feathers get ruffled. Here are some YA novels that feature teen-adult pairings:
*Please note that the list above features relationships that are both predatory and consensual.

How do you all feel about these taboo pairings? Were you ever uncomfortable about reading about these types of relationships?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for...Incest

Controversial Song of the Day:  "The Sweetest Taboo" by Sade

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from cutcaster.com
So we've hit some pretty taboo issues during the first week:  drugs, eating disorders, and guns. But incest? In YA novels? Yeah, we can already see parents fainting.
 
There are no hardcore statistics to give you on incest because...well, people just don't talk about it. Yet, there are PLENTY of authors that do not shy away from this topic (at least according to Library Thing):
I will admit to reading Forbidden, and it was so beautifully written that I immediately looked up the author to find her other books. In fact, it's probably one of my favorite books now--but I made sure to read it in the privacy of my  home. I worried that if someone caught me reading it, I'd have to explain what it was about (I know, I'm awful).

So, why do you all think that incest is such a "hot topic" in novels? Can you think of any other book that hints at this issue?

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for...Hate Crimes

Controversial Song of the Day: "Hate Everything About You" by Three Days Grace

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.


Picture taken from crimesafety365.com
With the recent murder of Trayvon Martin, the fact that hate crimes is a problem in our country has become even more apparent (even though WE are not saying this was necessarily a hate crime). Unfortunately, hate crimes are part of American culture, so much so that several states have laws that protect individuals from being discriminated against or violated due to their gender, race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. 


I deal with teens on a daily basis who make comments that they don't realize could be considered a hate crime--saying things like what another kid is wearing "looks gay" or asking if someone is black just because they have a name that sounds ethnic. I try my best to educate these students, but I think if they read a few novels, they might learn a little bit more.


There are several YA novels that they can turn to:


Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwan


The Hate Crime by Phyllis Karas


Shine by Lauren Myracle


What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum Ucci


I haven't outright heard anyone complain about the discussion  of hate crimes in YA novels. However, I am sure that are several parents who would not want their children to read books about gay teens being bashed by fellow classmates. It's too negative, too harsh, too...real.


What do you all think-- should YA writers keep creating novels focused on teens and hate crimes? Is your novel centered around this topic?