Can you please stop using the word "sexy" in relation to YA novels?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I have noticed this trend of every flipping YA paranormal romance or urban fantasy or dystopia being described as 'sexy' in the blurb or in the puff piece. I have noticed it creeping into contemporary YA, too, now. I don't get it. Here are some reasons why:

1. The characters are like 16, 17. The person writing the blurb or puff piece is 95% of the time a grown woman. I don't care that they're fictional. It's weird. It's creepy. It's just... strange. Oh, so the angel-vampire whatever guy is sexy? I do not get how that matters. Seriously, this is something people care about? God, I've been approaching this writing business all wrong.

2. How exactly is the book sexy? It just seems like an odd adjective to apply. (It's important to remember I am not from your planet and as a result understand very few of your human concepts.)

3. Do you not think we already rampantly overuse the word 'sexy'? Do you not think the entire notion of 'sexy' is focused on far too much in our society? Do you not think these twelve-year-olds (and up) reading YA are not really invested in how 'sexy' a book is? Do you not think YA is geared far too much towards grown women now?

4. I legitimately understand nothing.

5. 'Like such-and-such book but sexier.' I AM THROWING YOU ACROSS THE ROOM NOW, BOOK.

6. To be fair, I was incensed and appalled by The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Thirteen and three quarters or whatever it is, what an awkwardly long title, at the age of ten because there was kissing in it. Disgusting! I've not changed much in the past nine years, to be honest. I don't think YA has to be devoid of sex but 'books that are sexy' and 'books that realistically depict teenage sexuality' are two different things.

7. Just stop it already. I refuse to read any book that has 'sexy' mentioned on the cover, or in the blurb, or by whatever other author is talking about how goddamn 'sexy' it is, especially if it's a YA novel. This is for ages twelve plus, guys. I know basically middle-aged women have hijacked it as a genre but I WILL NOT kowtow to their RIDICULOUS demands of SEXINESS in books about/for TEENAGERS okay?

8. Kowtow, what a weird word. Did you know it's borrowed from kòu tóu in Mandarin Chinese? Neither did I. Thanks, Wikipedia.

9. Don't use the word sexy, really. There are so many other, far superior, adjectives. If anyone cares to explain the meteoric/moronic rise of sexy in the description of EVERY YA NOVEL EVER, please share. Is this what the teenagers demand from their novels now? Has someone done focus groups? Please explain.
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