My Problem With YA Fantasy – PT. 1 (History/Context)

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In this video I go over the context/history of modern Young Adult Literature. This is part 1 in a two part series on the subject. Part 2 here:
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Daniel Greene says:

I do want to point out I have lumped in Middle Grade with YA. That was intentional and will be addressed in Pt2. Before reacting too strongly one way or the other, please wait for the video where I break down my actual "Problem"

OnePumpMan99 says:

The word for "marketing genre" is demographic

Akio Tatsuki says:

I’m 30 and only recently moving from YA to authors like Brandon Sanderson and George r r

AvatarJacksonThinksFrogsAreCool says:

I pretty much only like hunger games in the ya thing

Antifantastisch says:

That stockfootage ate 6:45 is fcking creepy!

Adam 熊さん Shekerjian says:

If eragon is truly pg color me fucking shocked. Literally entire towns worth of people are left in piles of corpses, with like beheaded children on top to maximize shock value.

Freya M-H says:

I’m 40 and still read YA 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

James Fitzgerald says:

What the fuck does YA even mean? how can an age group be a genre? it's entirely a marketing thing because YA sells like hot cakes IMO.

terriblegamer says:

YA IS a genre. It may mostly be used as a marketing tool for Hollywood, but it's still a genre.

bascoaful says:

thinking of Narnia 😀

Ajwadd Anwarr says:

I think YA is great for introducing people to book reading and books like Hate you give, Harry Potter and Hunger Games have proven that it can be deep. You can also read them for pure entertainment, book reading doesn't always have to such a cerebral task.The problem is the market is flooded with them and as a result, the average quality has diminished significantly. The authors also at times enforce some juvenile ideas held by their target demographic rather than challenging them and hence helping their readers grow. That's about it.

Aboleo80 says:

It all has to be a love triangle with 1 girl and 2 guys. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
They should just call it young woman fantasy.

Taylor S. says:

I vividly remember going to Walmart for the midnight release of the 6th Harry Potter book and my cousin flipping to the chapter titled "The White Tomb" and loudly announcing to everyone standing in line that he knows who dies in the book. I, along with tons of people around us, were ready to take him down if he actually said who died (he didn't, luckily)

shea says:

Harry Potter is a name you’re born knowing

Kat T says:

The thing is, I consider a lot of the books you mentioned as Middle Grade (ie. Percy Jackson, Eragon, Narnia, and Harry Potter. Maybe, the latter half of the Harry Potter books fall into YA but the first few, not really).

desertrosereads says:

My Harry Potter story. ⚡️

So I’m 42, born in 1979. The first time I became aware of HP, I was in my second or third year of college (I went to a very conversation Bible college) and one of my bosses at the college library I worked at was reading one of these books. As I came into work, she squealed and was like.. “Harry Potter!!!!” So I’m standing there trying to figure out why this grown woman is reading what looked like a kids’ book. 😂

Very shortly after this, I started noticing our library getting books in with titles like “Is Harry Potter Teaching Your Kids Witchcraft?” 😆 So now of course that made me super curious!! Especially considering one of our librarians seemed to love these books, the controversy made me more curious than I might’ve been otherwise. (If I remember right, only the first 2 or 3 had even been published at this time.)

So anyway, I found a copy at the city library and dove in. The rest is history. 🤓 Best series ever, in my opinion. Hands down. So brilliant.

It truly was spectacular the hype these books got back then. I remember there being actual news stories on network news about these books because of how much they were selling. When do books ever make the news now?? It was truly a culture-changing series.

I never did stand in line for one, but I’d buy one as quickly as I could and stay up all night reading it. There was a good decade or so there were you’d be hard to find literally anyone who hadn’t read this series. Even people who didn’t read had read this series. Everyone was so antsy about the next book too. We’d theorize about what would happen next. I miss that.

You’re so right about the heightened security about spoilers too. That even made it into the plot of the movie Devil Wears Prada. The boss in that movie asks her assistant to score her advanced copies of the new HP book for her kids. That literally would’ve been impossible to do with those books. Advanced copies were just not given out of those. The characters ends up getting them somehow, anyway, because plot reasons… But yeah… just a testament to what a freakin monumental dent this series made in the culture at that time.

Also wanted to say I wish I had these types of series growing up. As you are correct to point to out, YA wasn’t really a thing before that. When I was in jr high in 1992-94, there were a few series that were popular but nothing like what kids have access to now. RL Stine, Christopher Pike, and VC Andrews were huge. Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club were more my jam back then. But for fantasy… nah nothing. I read Narnia and that’s about all there was that I knew about.

Kids today are completely spoiled for choices in good books! Probably why adults like me still read a lot from the YA shelves. 😂 I def don’t read only YA, or even mostly YA, but it’s still a genre I like to keep an eye on because it’s so much cooler than it was when I was that age.

Maria Carolina Malfettano Martinez says:

I was born in 1990 and Harry Potter got me to read so I know what you are talking about! Every release was madness, of the best kind of course. I remember seeing people with Harry Potter’s costumes and accessories and it was awesome 😁😁😁 But I still don’t get some YA branding. For example in some YA books is normal to have some deaths or some kind of violence but when you include some specific curse words (like the one that start with an F) you get the book rebranded as “Adult” . I really don’t get it sometimes 🤷🏻‍♀️

Jane E says:

Im one of those people who refuse to give ya fantasy any chance besides extremely popular ones like harry potter or six of crows

Ander Quiroga says:

My god the YA HOA cover is stuff of nightmares

Liv H says:

I will go to my grave swearing that Harry Potter is middle grade. Like you said, YA grew up, and it grew out of Harry Potter. Harry Potter is just below YA and older middle grade.

Eva Kuehl says:

My dad worked for FedEx during the Harry Potter mania and he had people following him while delivering around bookstores at some point they had to have special deliveries so people wouldn’t try to rob the delivery drivers.

Christopher Vargas101- says:

“It’s not really a genre, it’s a marketing genre”

My inner teen: ahhhhh!!!!!!

Giorno Giovanna says:

Jonathan Joestar

Giorno Giovanna says:

Dario Brando

Kevin B says:

Harry Potter changed my life. It’s not my favourite series of all time, but as a 13-14 year old who hated reading, I read it and was enamoured.

I still hate reading basically every genre. I just don’t connect with the plot or characters or themes. Fantasy (and to a lesser extent sci-fi) is different, though. I’ve read 100+ books in the last decade and every single one of them is fantasy or sci-fi. I owe that to Harry Potter.

Tori Courtney says:

So why is Red Rising not considered YA? It just felt like a Hunger Games rehash to me with labels built in for people to get in personality quizzes.

dimwittedly says:

the only ya i adore is the percy jackson series and harry potter. anything else in my opinion is acotar level of sht.

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