What's Up in YA

Disability Representation, YA Political Correctness, & Adaptations Galore

Welcome to August, YA fans!

harmony coverThis week’s newsletter is sponsored by Harmony from Europe Comics. 

One day, Harmony wakes up in an unfamiliar basement having completely lost her memory. All she now knows of the world is the name of her “host,” the mysterious voices in her head and a newly discovered talent for telekinesis. She’s going to have to get her memory back pretty quickly in order to face the dangers that await her. There are so many unanswered questions, and the fight has only just begun…


Let’s take this week’s newsletter as a giant catch-up on recent YA news, interesting pieces from around the web, and adaptation updates. There has been a lot of exciting and thought-provoking linkage that’s hit my radar lately, and I hope you find a thing or two or ten that’s interesting.



  • Sarah J Maas fan? You’ll be treated to 6 (!!) more books in her Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as 2 more in her Throne of Glass series. Wowza.





  • I really appreciate how The Guardian encourages teenagers write pieces. This one, about whether or not YA is too politically correct, has been on my mind for a few weeks now. The piece struggles to separate the idea of political correctness and diversity, suggesting that some authors do the second by relying too heavily on the first but….I don’t see it. I think through my adult eyes and my experience in reading YA for many, many years, I don’t see the push toward political correctness, nor do I see the push for diversity (a phrase I loathe!) as a means of checking some boxes. In order to have YA that explores the vastness of teenhood and teen experiences, there needs to be YA that explores topics that are, for the lack of a better phrase, “politically correct.” But “political correctness,” is a bs term. It means not being an asshole and/or embracing the idea that other people’s lives and choices are valid and worth listening to. I think what this piece is trying to get at is that we should consider the idea that YA could benefit from more conservative characters and situations. And if that’s the case, I’ll still argue that those books are there. What’s not there, and what never should be there, are books which are offensive, degrading, and hurtful to entire classes of people. We have a long way to go, though, considering how frequently we’re still seeing books where characters “play Indian.”




Here’s the latest in YA adaptation news to know about:



  • The final film in the “Divergent” franchise won’t be hitting theaters. It will instead go to television and have the option for a miniseries to go along with it. This article at Salon is interesting, though I don’t think it necessarily conveys some of the other issues I’ve seen mentioned in this changeup. Namely, the second and third films in the series didn’t pull in a lot of money (see the YA newsletter from May on this), breaking up a trilogy into four parts has a lot of challenges to it (including the fact that a “hot” franchise in 2012 is going to look different in 2017…and teenagers who might have been 14 when the books hit are no longer 14 later on), and, perhaps on a shallower level, a lot of critics have gotten tired of white girls on the big screen (and, perhaps, tired of Woodley playing so many of the roles in these films). The Salon piece does talk about the challenges this change presents in terms of seeing powerful female leads on the big screen, which is worth considering. Though, if you keep an eye on rights acquisition news, it looks like there’s going to be more of them coming….more of them written by female authors….and a wider range of genres represented.









And here are a few pieces from Book Riot the last couple of weeks to check out:







Thanks for reading. As always, if you’ve seen something about YA lately that’s interested you or you want to say something about what I’ve shared here, you can always hit the reply button. “What’s Up in YA?” will hit your inbox in another two weeks, with a bit of a focus on what we’ve been reading and raving about this year so far.

If you want to, click here to share your favorite YA reads this year. I’ll use what you share here, as well as what was shared with me a couple of weeks ago, to compile your recommendations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *