what to do with YA ingnoramuses?

 Y·A·L ig·no·ra·mus
(Young Adult Literature Ingnoramus)
1) a person who has read little to no YA books but still insists on discussing them in a authoritative way. (ie: "I've read Twilight and the whole YA genre is terrible.")
2) Often can be found spewing the following: "YA is badly written," "YA is not seriously written," "Everything in YA is lacking in complexity," "Adult fiction is so much better than YA," etc.
3) someone who complains about YA's content, usually for the purpose of saying (hysterically) that innocent young children are being corrupted by YA authors.
4) a person who can somehow make the phrase, "Oh, you read YA?" equivalent to, "You are an unintelligent and immature human being, and also I don't like you."
5) someone who finishes off a negative review of a YA book with  "But what can you expect? It's YA."

I think we've all encountered a YA ignoramus, in real life, on the interwebs, or both. Unfortunately, they are not one whit like nargles, as they're quite real, quite common and seem to crop up everywhere. Also, they are generally unpleasant individuals, quite vocal in their complete disdain for YA, and usually argumentative when you jump in to protest that YA is not at all as terrible as they think.

My response to YA ignoramuses has always been to chirp in with something along the lines of  "But YA is really a very diverse genre that is not easily dismissed and categorized. Of course there are some bad books, just as there are bad books in every genre. YA doesn't make much sense as a genre anyhow, there's mystery books rubbing shoulder with romances and literary books and everything you could possibly find in one contained area in a bookstore. People who write YA aren't always in agreement with what it is, other than it should (mostly) have coming of age themes. Don't you see how silly it is to say all YA is bad?"

I might as well be speaking in another language when I say the above.

Lately, if I encounter a YA ignoramus on the internet, I try to point them to this article (Are You Reading YA Lit? You Should Be), since it is far more articulate than I am. I don't know if it's working, not because the article isn't great, but because it seems like YA ignoramuses are content to be willfully ignorant.

I find the whole cycle baffling:

Most of these people haven't read any YA. Or very, very little of it. They read Twilight (or even hear of it, secondhand, the information regarding YA blurred and distorted as it would be in the game Telephone) and suddenly they're educated enough, experts even, and feel the intense need to discuss YA and make broad, often misinformed generalizations about the whole genre. They're qualified to write ridiculous posts on the internet. Or worse yet, articles (and yes, this did happen a while ago, but I have a feeling it will happen again due to YA's increased popularity) in places like the Wall Street Journal or Slate.

It's not that I'm against discussing YA in a critical manner. I've written some discussion posts that do point out things I wish there were more of/ less of in YA (ie one on YA romance, YA high school dynamics, and older YA protagonists), but I don't mean those posts as a definitive statement on all of YA, and I certainly believe that YA harbors some of the most wonderfully written and communicative and fully emotional books being published today. Of course there are duds. YA is a genre, not a gurantee of quality.

So I wanted to ask you all, what do you do when you encounter a YA ignoramus?

The YA community, when united, is capable of responding in a vociferous and wonderful manner via tweets and blog posts, as in the "YA too dark" debacle. But when you encounter a YA ignoramus individually, how should you respond?

In  an ideal world, I would get every YA ignoramus to read some of the best YA books out there, such as Jellicoe Road or Looking for Alaska. I would like them to come back to me after reading maybe a hundred YA books currently being published (not just the ones published 5-10 years ago) and say that they still believe all YA is inferior to adult literature [insert other silly comments here].

But this doesn't happen often, as far as I've experienced. I link articles or suggest books, and I don't really see any evidence of change.

Would it be more productive to simply ignore them?

I've considered this, but not getting involved is a hard thing to do when you witness a YA ignoramus facilitating a discussion in YA on an online forum and disseminating their silly ideas to other people.

I guess there are several options:
a) ignore them completely
b) jump in and argue with them
c) jump in and smother them with book recommendations and/or informative articles

I feel like c) is the most positive response.

Actually, I think I'll ramp it up more. I'll troll the next "YA is awful" online discussion and post a flurry of moving passages/quotes from great YA books, positive reviews, and shout I LOVE YA on top of my lungs.

Yes, I'll try that next.

In the meanwhile:

What are your thoughts? What do you do when you come across a YA ignoramus? Please share.


things I currently love

I am writing solely out a desire to post something, anything. But mind has been too scattered lately to write a post that focuses on one thing only. Actually, to write at all, but the topic of frozen/vanishing words I think I should save for another post entirely.

To be honest, I haven't been reading much at all for the last few weeks, not because I'm a college kid and don't have time, but because I feel somehow disconnected from books. So I can't really talk about YA and yes I'm a sad excuse for a reader/reading blogger and really I don't blame you if you don't very much care for this blog anymore and I am surprised and deeply grateful that anyone at all still reads this blog (I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU WOULD) but I appreciate it <3

I've been wanting to keep track of things that I'm currently inspired by or things on which my thoughts are turning round and round, sort of in a loop (restlessly) and share it with whoever deems it worth their time to stop by.


Chopin is currently my favorite person in all of time and space. I think it's pretty accurate that he's been termed the "poet of piano." You listen to him and it's just lovely complex heartfelt melancholiness, profound snippets of meaning and intense emotion sounding in your ear and guh I can not even explain to you how beautiful his compositions are I can't even--


Anyhow. I've always, for years, loved Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, and I especially like Yundi Li's interpretation of it, I swear I had tears in my eyes half way through. Also, recently, I've been quite captured by "Aeolian Harp" Op. 25 No.1, the inner melodies do sound very much like a sweet harp, and I'm somewhat lamely currently trying to learn to play it but my hands are sort of limpid and don't stretch far enough quickly or lightly enough (I lack a certain airiness of touch). Which makes me sad.

But. What I'm currently in love with? RUBINSTEIN, RUBINSTEIN.

I don't think even peanut butter and jelly beats the combination of Chopin & Rubinstein.

aasf;dsjg;dlsgkfs;lgf <3 I think I've listened to this the whole day today, I'm addicted.

Also, CELLO. Until very recently I liked the violin the best out of all the string instruments (always have) but I guess my brain did one of those funny reordering of tastes and preferences it's been doing a lot lately and I like the cello's deep somber voice better now.

I like Yo-Yo Ma in this, listen to all four movements while you're doing the laundry or something :D

So yes, I've been sort of obsessed with classical music lately.



Can I just say Downton Abbey?
If you haven't heard of it, it's this magnificent British period drama set in the 1910's and the set and the costumes are just so GORGEOUS. Season two has just started.


Also. I've always loved HORRIBLE HISTORIES. I read those books when I was a kid, that and Roald Dahl and Diana Wynne Jones is what I mostly remember reading when I was young.

And I recently just discovered there's a BBC show dedicated to it.

When I have the time I'm going on a binge. I mean, just to give you a sampling: rapping King James.

I can't even handle the awesomeness.


Err. I haven't been doing very much of that, as I said. 

But I do still have lines stuck in my head that I can't just GET OUT (seriously words, leave me alone).

Such as:

"I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary."

-Atwood, Variations on the Word Love

"All colors made me happy: even gray.
My eyes were such that literally they
Took photographs."

-Nabokov, Pale Fire

"Love set you going like a fat gold watch."

-Plath, Morning Song

And bits of dislocated Yeats:

“disheveled wandering stars.”


“Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea. ”


 I'm particularly struck by the ideas behind this paragraph from Zusak's I am the Messenger.

Sometimes I have related thoughts; wouldn't it be sort of awesome to know who you are and what you're doing at such a young age, like the people listed by Ed? And if you don't, what does that mean? When do you stop being lost in who or what you are,  or is this a continual state, this uncertainty dogging you throughout your life? Why do some people have such a strong sense of purpose and others just don't? Do you need a purpose or is it enough to just go about breathing and eating?


What are some things you're currently in love with/obsessed with/ newly acquainted with?