Did you read the entire Twilight series in less than one week? How about Hunger Games? Did you tear through that like a zombie through living flesh? (Forgive me. I've recently started watching Walking Dead and zombies seem to hold a prominent place in my metaphor catalog right now).
If you, like me, enjoy popular YA series but are ashamed to admit it, then you will find a home in my book club, a safe place to read books that are clearly bad, devour them in secret, savoring every word, and then tear them apart to make ourselves feel better about enjoying them so much. Sound good? I thought so.
Since the Hunger Games really are awesome and I can admit that without feeling an ounce of shame and Twilight is, well, so last year, I decided to go for a current book in the Young Adult genre. I did a little research and ordered this book on Amazon, a highly rated, bestselling YA book.
I finished it in less than 48 hours because it hooked me from the start with its smart characters and clever dialogue. It was great in a way that made it impossible to make fun of. I was crushed. Who are these smart young adult readers and where were they when I was a young adult? Prior to reading it, I knew nothing about John Green and his Nerdfighters. Now I am a die-hard fan. Who couldn't love a guy who said this:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
― John Green
If my children identify as nerds when they are teenagers, then I have succeeded as a parent. Give me a mathlete or a band geek over a jock or a cheerleader any day. Nerds become far more interesting adults.
Suffice it to say, YA is out. The genre has been hijacked by smart people and great writers. Tragic.
I thought about doing romance books, a genre that is overflowing with terrible literature, but 30 seconds in the romance aisle at my local library made me ashamed to be alive. I just can't read a book in which there is a character with the word "Lady" before her name unless it is a Jane Austen book and, trust me, Jane Austen had no place on these shelves.
And then yesterday, a friend told me about a popular new, semi-dirty book series that moms are flocking to like zombies to farm animals. About thirty minutes later, as fate would have it, I came across this article on NPR. Fifty Shades of Grey looks promising, does it not? Ladies and gentlemen, I think we may have a winner! Anyone care to join me on the Trashy Book Express?