So a few of my AW friends have got me thinking about today’s YA novels and the limits of “edgy” YA.
Tons of agents have “edgy YA” on their wish-lists, but what are they really looking for when they use that term? Seems like a few years ago when I was in high school, edgy YA was anything with sex or drugs in it. And yet, so many writers are starting to push the limits so much further. Especially us AW’ers.
We’re dealing with everything from fairy prostitutes to incest to castration, to LGBT relationships and dystopian worlds where killing yourself is the equivalent of getting high.
So please, somebody tell me where the line is now. Because I’ve read some of these manuscripts, and let me tell you, they’re good. Not like, “wow, that’s shocking and therefore slightly interesting,” but Good as in the characters make you think, the social norms make you question your own values, and even the fairy prostitutes are making a statement about the war going on around them.
So WHY is nothing like this on the shelves of bookstores yet? WHY are we all getting rejected by agent after agent, telling us to de-gore, tone-down, un-raunchify, and otherwise ruin these stories? You wanted edgy. Well, we gave it to you.