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This isn't just a swipe at Sarah's books; it's a swipe at a huge swathe of YA and, frankly, at teen girls.

Are Dessen's books no good because teen girls like them? Or are teen girls no good because they like the kind of stories about love and friendship that Dessen writes?
That's troubling on so many levels.

Not all teen girls read the same things. Teen girls are certainly not the only people reading books like those Dessen writes.

If all teen girls were reading Shakespeare would folks be arguing Shakespeare was not worthy?
Are books like Dessen's objectionable because of the upbeat endings? Because they're romantic? Because they're popular? Because there aren't 10-page disquisitions on metaphysics?

What books are worthy? Is all YA out or just upbeat YA?

I have so many questions.
I'm not angry with the woman quoted. Sounds like she's barely past being a teen herself.

I'm more depressed at the way we teach everyone to dislike and ridicule "girly" things and, ACTUAL LIVING GIRLS, and that so few question it.

Misogyny is not okay.
The treatment of Black teen girls is on a whole other level. If you haven't read Monday's Not Coming you need to. It's brilliant.

Here's the article the quote's from. Surprise! there's no romance on the list, 40% of the authors are white men & 60% men.

Of the books I've read all are excellent but deeply serious. There's not much light on the list.…
Correction: the woman quoted may have been not much past her teen years when she first kept Dessen's books off the list but no longer. I still feel more sadness than anger.…
So of course this conversation is being misrepresented.

Hating books like Sarah Dessen's is fine. There are genres I don't enjoy either such as cosy mysteries.

Hating books like Dessen's cause they're about teen girls & a big part of their audience is teen girls is problematic.
Regardless of how you feel about a genre, making sure no book of that genre makes it onto a list is messed up.

Romance is not inferior to other genres. YA is not a lesser category. There's great work in every category & genre.

Literary snobbery is tedious and often misogynist.
Of course no one can agree on what the great work is.

Personally I would set Moby Dick and Catcher in the Rye on fire. Along with the complete works of Hemingway and Henry Miller and do not get me started on Philip Roth.
Well, except that the same list had a YA title on it by a man: Ready Player One.

Um, who considers Sparks work to be "great"? He mostly gets scant respect from the mainstream. That's why he's so adamant that he doesn't write romance. That he's not one of *those* writers.

I agree with him. You need a HEA and talent to write romance.

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