Here are the new books I got this week:
Tease by Amanda Maciel
The Treatment by Suzanne Young
Four Seconds to Lose by K.A. Tucker
An Evening with Tanya Byrne and Lauren Kate
On Tuesday I went to a book event at Waterstones Picadilly with Tanya Byrne and Lauren Kate! Both authors were there to sign books, but they also discussed taboos? in young adult books. They also had a fun US vs UK discussion! Some of the questions asked included:
- Are there any topics that shouldn’t be discussed in YA books?
The consensus was: no. YA books should be able to discuss or mention anything, as long as there’s a place for it. For example, throwing in a swear word in YA “just because you can” won’t work. But if the situation calls for it, then it’s totally fine!
- Should we talk about sex in YA books?
I loved what Tanya Byrne had to say about this. She really made a point about how she tries to normalize sex. A lot of books, parents, authors, etc. turn sex into a HUGE deal. Suicide is a huge deal. Depression is a huge deal. Drugs are a huge deal. But sex? Sex is normal. Sex is something that happens and teenagers do it. There shouldn’t be tons of drama because someone had sex or didn’t have sex. It should just be a thing that happens (or doesn’t happen) and teens shouldn’t be pressured either way. So in short, sex in books is okay, as long as the message they’re sending isn’t “YOU NEED TO HAVE SEX!” or “YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE SEX!” It shouldn’t even be highlighted as a huge thing.
- How do the US and the UK differ with YA books?
The general opinion was that the US is a bit more conservative. UK books can be grittier and be more open about taboo topics.
I didn’t stay around for the signing afterwards because I’d already met Lauren Kate at BEA (and got Teardrop signed) and I wasn’t going to buy Tanya Byrne’s book. But the main reason I didn’t stick around was because I picked up a cold and I was REALLY not feeling that well. I actually almost regretted going because hopping on the tube, being cramped in the underground, and walking around London had made me feel a lot worse (and exhausted!) by the time I even got there. 🙁