Morally Complicated YA

Twitter exploded yesterday after the announcement of Scott Bergstrom’s 6-figure deal for his debut YA novel The Cruelty. The backlash came in reaction to his comments in his interview with Publisher’s Weekly, which YA authors have categorized as “misogynistic” and “bashing the YA industry.”

The main quotes that lit this twitter fire and birthed the hashtag #morallycomplicatedYA are:

“Gwendolyn faces “all sorts of morally ambiguous choices,” and often shoots first, asks questions later. “The morality of the book is more complicated than a lot of YA so I wanted to try doing it on my own,” Bergstrom said.”

And when explaining the content of his action “YA Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Bourne Identity” novel, Bergstrom describes his heroine as “a Jewish, slightly overweight 17-year-old, who is transformed into a lean warrior with hair dyed fire-engine red.”

Jenny Han Tweet

The hashtag #morallycomplicatedYA has set off a twitter storm of upset YA authors, and kicked off some fantastic conversations!

Ally Carter Tweet

Alison Stein Tweet

heather Huffort tweet

The backlash definitely brings up some questions about gender politics in the industry, as well as how we construct female characters in our work. A lot of great discussions have started on both reader and author blogs. Be sure to checkout posts by: Victoria Aveyard, Laura Tims, and this related article from Jennifer Weiner.

However, one of the amazing side effects of this discussion is the INCREDIBLE list of books that authors and readers are sharing online. Look up the hashtag #morallycomplicatedYA and you’ll be overwhelmed by book suggestions that will challenge and delight you!

Examples of MC books tweet

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Check out that Barnes & Noble article here: 7 Morally Complex Works of YA Fiction You Shouldn’t Miss

Yup, here’s a little something to chew on before the big holiday. Please check out the discussion on twitter with the hashtag #morallycomplicatedYA and share your opinion in the comments.

Happy reading everyone!

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