My Guilty Pleasure: Teen Reading

Ever heard of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books? What about the Clique or Gossip Girl series? Or how about Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?
Well, I have a little confession to make. I’ve read them, and I love them. And maybe you have, too.
I do have an excuse for having my nose stuck in YA novels half the time—I absolutely love children’s and YA literature, and it’s my ambition to become an editor and writer of children’s books. Even if I didn’t have that going for me, though, I think I would still love teen books.
They’re irresistible, you know? When you’re 16, it’s so great to read a book that lets you know that you’re not alone in being a drinker/a geek/the biggest loser in school/the most popular person in school/pregnant/generally weird/awkward. There are teen books for everybody.
And the best part is, once you’ve passed 18, you can read those books and think to yourself, “I am so glad I’m not in high school anymore.”
It’s tough to write a teen book, and it’s even tougher to write a teen book that’s successful. Sherman Alexie won the National Book Award in the young people’s literature category this year for his Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but just check out this link to read about all the flack he got from adult authors for writing a teen book.
Here’s a choice quote: “I thought I’d been condescended to because I’m an Indian. That was nothing compared to the condescension I get because I’ve written a YA novel.”
Because I care so much about YA literature, that quote makes me want to cry. But discounting my personal prejudice, I’m genuinely curious about why there is such a stigma surrounding teen books.
CC readers, would you be caught reading a teen book? Are there teen books you like, or do you turn up your noses at them? And most of all—why?

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