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My first YA, which was a romance, was published a little over 20 years ago, back when YA romances ruled the YA bestseller lists (and I was just learning to crawl ;) ). I remember many librarians complaining about the genre, saying teens should be reading more "serious" books. (Just for the record, one of my first books--that did get published--was initially turned down by several YA romance publishers for being "too serious" or "too negative," which surprised me. Though I knew it didn't totally following the "requirements" down to the last detail, it was, to me, a very upbeat story.)

Anyway, when the YA romance trend started to slide, YA horror was then the new bestselling genre--and librarians were all ga-ga over how, even though it was genre, it got kids to read! I thought, how interesting, stories about relationships are somehow not good enough, even though they also got kids to read, but stories about blood and guts are just fine! :eek:

Mysteries seem to be the most "acceptable" genre for any age. Whenever a famous person, be he or she a politician, movie star, religious leader, whatever, is asked about what books he/she reads, there is often a list including a lot of literary titles, but then the comment about "the guilty pleasure of reading a good mystery." (As if anyone wants to read a bad mystery!) So, the mystery genre seems to be the least picked on and the most acceptable.

Sorry for the long lead-in, but I felt a little background was in order. :D

What do you think is the most "picked on" genre, and what is the most "acceptable," especially for kids/teens, but any age, too.
 

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I think romance, adult and YA, does get picked on a lot. Maybe because people feel like the books are more "fluffy" or without a lot of substance. But I don't necessarily think that's true.

Horror gets picked on some too, I think. And erotica definitely gets picked on.

Suspense doesn't seem to get any flack. :)

Vicki
 

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Mine! (trash fic). Everyone looks down on trashy novelists (except the millions of readers) :p But yeah, when mentioning them, people make sure to add how they're a guilty little secret, and most writing communities disregard them altogether. Love it.
 

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I go one further on the Romance which yes is most ridiculed and includes everything from YA, contempo, historical, suspense etc.
I think part of this is that its a genre written mostly for women and by women. And I firmly believe that some of this not taking serious has been ingrained since the early days of genre romance novels. That comes out especially when you see today so called articles and comments talking about heaving bosoms and manroots. Terms that are not only long gone, but have been used in the past to belittle women reading them.

YA romance just falls right into that same preconceived and incorrect pit. But hey, Romance is still the most selling genre out there so someone is laughing to the bank.  ;D
 

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Atunah said:
That comes out especially when you see today so called articles and comments talking about heaving bosoms and manroots. Terms that are not only long gone, but have been used in the past to belittle women reading them.
I swear, the reporters who write these articles have probably never read a Romance...or at least haven't since the 80s. Terms like "bodice rippers" and "heaving bosoms" and "manroot" just aren't used today. Not to mention, these articles pretty consistently include photos of covers that I'm fairly certain are either fake, or are from 30 years ago. When is the last time you saw Fabio on a cover? Yet it seems every single article prints Fabio covers.

It's nauseating, and just perpetuates a stereotype.
 

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I agree...Romance is definitely looked down upon.  Erotica is usually pilloried too.

Yes, mysteries...and also thrillers...seem to be the most "accepted" genre.  But who wants to be "accepted?"  Not me.  :)


Angelina
 

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Christopher Bunn said:
Doesn't religious fiction/christian fiction get picked on a lot? eg., in terms of being preachy and more interested in conveying a message as opposed to story-telling?
Yes, religious fiction does get picked on too. Good point.

Vicki
 

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I think adult romance (non-erotica) novels get picked on the most, in the sense that you define it. Definitely more than YA romance, though perhaps not by a long margin.

But here's why I think this happens:

I blame Silhouette and Harlequin, and their book packaging/marketing strategies.

Specifically, the way they put out 3-4 novels a month (I think at one point in the 80s or 90s, you could even subscribe!) in a line of romances... virtually none of them by the same author, and all written to a specific formula and length. It gave the books a very generic feel and made the authors seem anonymous, even though listed by name.

Never mind the fact that many writers who got their start writing Silhouette and Harlequin titles have actually gone on to prove themselves very fine writers. Tami Hoag is one I know of. I think Heather Graham qualifies, too... other people would be able to list them off better than me.

But none of these folks were really recognized during their Silhouette/Harlequin years because those companies were such book mills...
 

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I'm happy about all of my awesome reviews for Cross My Heart, but one reader calls it good "for what it is" and in parentheses says (A YA novel).

What does this even mean?? ::)

I just have to laugh.

Anyone who picks on YA novels hasn't read enough of them, and, if that's the case, I'm not writing for that particular reader, anyway. :)
 

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Ann Herrick said:
What do you think is the most "picked on" genre, and what is the most "acceptable," especially for kids/teens, but any age, too.
I definitely think romance is the most mocked genre but not specifically YA IMO. Possibly paranormal romance. I'm not sure what is the least "picked on" genre. Possibly thrillers. I've heard a lot of genres mocked: fantasy, sci fi, romance... But I've never heard anyone not take thrillers or mysteries seriously. :p
 

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I think YA seems to carry an implication that it's not as serious as its adult contemporary counterparts as well as not as educational as those aimed at the age group below them.  Many YA titles that are much respected today were also seen as fluff back during the time of its release, but ultimately - the good ones prevail and stick around for a reason.

I do think romance is most picked on regardless of whether or not it is a YA title.  It's perplexing considering what drives most people in their actions is love and what they would do for or because of it. 

It's a complex emotion that can fill millions of pages.
 

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I hear a lot of snippy comments about paranormal romance, anything that resembles Twilight in any way.  Writers make snarky comments about how they could get rich quickly by churning out something with angsty teens and neck-biting, but they won't lower themselves to that level.

Sword and sorcery gets a little bit of flack, but nothing worth complaining about.
 

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I agree with those who said Romance. It's been mocked for as long as I can remember.

<rant>
People read fiction to be entertained, so I don't get why it matters enough to other people for them to knock it. If you don't like it, then don't read it. When's the last time you read a good book that didn't leave you feeling satisfied or in a bit of a lighter mood? Isn't that a *good* thing, regardless of genre?
</rant>
 

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I've never heard religious fiction picked on, but I have heard erotica or romance picked on by people who love religious fiction  :p.

"Why don't you put down that smut and read something Godly?" sort of thing.

Ironically, I'm a God-fearing woman, too!  I just like my romance hot and spicy  ;).  Like Song of Songs...
 

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Atunah said:
I go one further on the Romance which yes is most ridiculed and includes everything from YA, contempo, historical, suspense etc.
I think part of this is that its a genre written mostly for women and by women. And I firmly believe that some of this not taking serious has been ingrained since the early days of genre romance novels. That comes out especially when you see today so called articles and comments talking about heaving bosoms and manroots. Terms that are not only long gone, but have been used in the past to belittle women reading them.

YA romance just falls right into that same preconceived and incorrect pit. But hey, Romance is still the most selling genre out there so someone is laughing to the bank. ;D
I agree with this.

Anything written for and by women couldn't possibly have any value, could it? ::)
 

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Amanda Brice said:
I swear, the reporters who write these articles have probably never read a Romance...or at least haven't since the 80s. Terms like "bodice rippers" and "heaving bosoms" and "manroot" just aren't used today. Not to mention, these articles pretty consistently include photos of covers that I'm fairly certain are either fake, or are from 30 years ago. When is the last time you saw Fabio on a cover? Yet it seems every single article prints Fabio covers.

It's nauseating, and just perpetuates a stereotype.
I haven't heard anything from Fabio since he was hit in the face by that bird on the roller coaster opening some them park a few years ago.

And I have tried desperately to include the word "pikestaff", but my editors always take it out. sigh.
 
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