Sunday, July 4, 2010

I hate [insert genre here]

We all see it sometimes. In forums, on blogs, on twitter. Sweeping generalizations, often backed up with fake statistics, like "90% of all YA is the exact same, and [insert insult here]."

This actually makes me really sad. Okay, so you're not into paranormal romance (this genre seems to be the one that takes the hardest hit, because of--I'm assuming--a couple famous examples with passive MCs). That's fine. But be respectful to all the people who write amazing, gorgeous, unique paranormal romances. Or whatever your hated genre of choice is. Just because you don't enjoy it doesn't mean it's all bad.

In fact, I'd wager that if you think all YA is the same/terrible/clich├ęd, you are probably not reading enough YA. Because yeah. I've read some things that made me wonder what publishers were thinking. But I've also read some things that were so good I wanted to read them again and again and again. My copies of THE GOLDEN COMPASS and several others have been read so many times they're falling apart. I actually had to get a second copy of THE GOLDEN COMPASS so I wouldn't abuse my poor first copy anymore. There are so many books out there. So many amazing books. Making decisions about entire genres based on one or a few books is just...painful to watch.

There's a difference between personally disliking a genre and deciding that every book in that genre sucks, and forcing this opinion on everyone in sight. Every time I see something like this, I feel like I've been poisoned a little. Maybe that sounds like an exaggeration, but that's honestly what it feels like to me. Every writer in whatever genre is being disrespected all at once, whether they deserve it or not.

So I guess I don't know what the point of this post is, except to say, I wish I could one day venture out into the online world and witness a little less bitterness, and a lot more love.


Jess said...

GREAT post, Kaitlin! I totally agree!

Annie McElfresh said...

I so agree with you!! I've seen so many posts where people totally slam books I love and yet rave about ones I hated. People's tastes vary, and while everyone who says they hate XYZ, there are just as many people who love it. So no matter what, I try to stay positive on my blog and try to find points about a book that others may like even if I am not crazy about it. Like agents say sometimes when giving R's: This ones just not right for me, but another agent may feel differently.

Amanda Hannah said...

I hate seeing any genre get bashed. People forget that somewhere, someone DID fall in love with a book. And quite a few someones, because it takes an agent, a pub house, and an editor to get that book onto shelves. We're all unique and our tastes differ. And that's a good thing!

Great post :)

Kathleen said...

I adore this post. I want to compose sonnets in this post's honor.

In all seriousness, this is something which drives me crazy--especially on forums.

I fully admit that it stings me a bit when people complain about urban fantasy or paranormal romance (and the debate is still out on what category I fall in) because I pour everything I have into writing within those genres.

Veronica Roth said...

Awesome post! I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because I've recently read a few paranormal romances (and liked maybe half of them), and they were so vastly different from each other that I find it difficult to even put them all in the same category, let alone funnel a load of hate on that category. The more widely I read, the less genres matter to me when I choose books. So you're totally right-- the haters aren't reading enough YA. Seriously.

Michelle Hodkin said...

This paranormal romance writer thinks you nailed it.

*golf claps*

You are dead on, my friend. Dead on.

KO said...

Great post-- the heart of the matter is that it is personal. Even among my closest friends we agree on some movies/books/music, and totally diverge with others.

I just read a book in a genre that is not one I enjoy much these days (horror) but I feel like I was able to separate that from my assessment of the book.

Kara said...

This is a great post. I get really annoyed when people claim they hate an entire genre simply because one book or series left a bad taste in their mouth.

Emilia Plater said...

SO true on everything! Especially on not reading widely enough. Truth is, we'll always have a plethora of original books at our choosing - it's just a matter of looking past the bestsellers and seeking them out.