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YA for Everyone

A couple of weeks ago I was alerted to a website that reviewed and recommended books for school libraries. While they loved and recommended FAIRY TALE and SLEEPLESS, they couldn't, because of the sexual nature of some of the discussions, recommend STARSTRUCK.

I'm not someone who takes this lightly. After all, I knew exactly what discussion they were talking about, and I cringed as I wrote it. Would my mother read this? Or my daughters, when they get older? What would they think? While there is no sex in any of my books, some of the popular kids at school do TALK about it. And I felt like it needed to be in there, because the whole deal with STARSTRUCK is "What YOU do you want to show the world?" And the popular girls were so wrapped up in letting the world think they were experienced and knowledgable about, among other things, sex. I felt it was important to the story, to show that though these kids talked a good game, they really weren't as put-together and sophisticated as they wanted other people to think. And while I contemplated a long time removing that scene, I realized that I simply could not.

And I suppose that if I absolutely needed to, I would put sex in my books. If it was absolutely necessary to the story, and if it was right. I never put anything into my books for shock value, or just to have it there, or because it's what everyone else is doing.

Whenever I go to events, I get concerned questions from mothers who want to know whether the content will be okay for their 12-year old. There is no way to answer that, because every 12-year old is different. The covers of all my books state that they are for age 12 and up, but really, I see FAIRY TALE and SLEEPLESS and being PG, whereas STARSTRUCK is a little more PG-13. Because parents know their kids best, my recommendation to parents is always to read a book themselves and decide if it is good for their child and whether they can handle the material.

Anyway, I am still fully mortified over that passage in STARSTRUCK. Which is probably why both TOUCHED, DEAD RIVER, the book I have on submission, and the one I am writing, while containing romantic elements, are ALL PG-rated. Whew, I feel better now.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
If you don't think it's a cheek, would you mind telling me which review site you were talking about? :)
Nov. 8th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
I think it was called Kiss the Book. I can't really keep track of review sites because there are so many, but that one came up for me on Twitter.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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