Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wherein We Fisty-Stomps the NPR List

Melissa was the first to bring NPR's Top 100 Teen Novels list to our attention.  The final product that had us dying a little on the inside.  Yeah, sure, some of those books are fine but some aren't even YA and others should be returned to the bowels of bookshelves where they belong.  We couldn't keep quiet and it's only fair we share our unquiet with you all.  Prepare yourselves.

Melissa: As much as I adore John Green, did all of his novels deserve to end up on this list?? http://www.npr.org/2012/08/07/157795366/your-favorites-100-best-ever-teen-novels

Janice: I dunno. Still haven't read him. It could deff be a case of super-popularity skewing the results, but I also usually hear positive things. It's prob a combo of the huge popularity and his actual talent. Can't really strip away the numbers who voted for him just because it was John Green. We shall never know..

Janice: Even my husband who reads like 5 books a year has made one a John Green book this year because I introduced him to the vlogbrother's videos (through the Lizzie Bennet Diaries videos). Them youtubes man..

Nicole: He does have a lot of talent; I'd say they deserve to be on there a lot more than some people. (Sorry, Twifans, but NO.) My sister loves him and she has great lit taste.

Donna: BOTH Cassie Clare series? Really? Definitely a popularity contest. I think Green's a good writer in comparison to a lot of YA authors out there but there's an ego there I'm not a fan of. I'm starting to like Ellen Hopkins less because of the same thing. I had to unfollow her Facebook to preserve what opinion of her books I have left. I still like her books but sometimes the less you know about an author the better.

Melissa: I actually like his vlog better than his books. And I like some of his books as well, but I'm not sure they ALL need to be top 100 material. And the number of series on the list was just obscene.

Sandy: I've only read one John Green book but it doesn't bother me so much that all his books are there. I think that's more acceptable than Cassandra Clare's books... at least John Green's stories are more meaningful. His vlogs ARE awesome though--I'm going to attempt to watch all 987(!) videos... I've only watched the more recent ones.

Donna: It kills me to see so many vampire series on there, Hush, Hush, Fallen . . . WTF? It makes me happy to see quality on there but those crap series make me die on the inside.

Sandy: So the list is half popularity contest, half actual good books. Better than I thought it'd be, tbh.

Laura: This list is a joke. It can't be taken seriously. WHEN YOU HAVE TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ON THE SAME LIST AS THE HOUSE OF NIGHT SERIES....you have some fifteen year old emo weirdo just going down the list and selecting everything with a black cover.

Janice: Well, if it makes you feel better Donna, I was like,"Who is this Ellen Hopkins person?" when you commented about her. I had to google her. I recognized her covers though.

Laura: I feel a serious rant coming on in which I talk about the difference between ENTERTAINING and LITERARY GREATNESS.

Laura: That list pisses me off. It just another two steps back for YA when shit like that comes out.

Laura: It's official. I hate children. Children and stupid people. I still like children's books though. They're ok. Just not children.

Nicole: Children does not equal YA. ;)

Laura: And I love Douglas Adams....but tell me WHEN Hitchhiker's Guide BECAME YA. HOW MANY TEENAGERS can understand his extremely dry, sarcastic wit and find the humor in his pessimistic view of mankind? These are good things mind you, but FUCK.

Laura: Them childrens is anyone younger than me.

Laura: SO YOU.

Laura: I mean Matched is on there. MATCHED.

Laura: And Donna. Donna is younger than me and therefore a child.

Janice: Also DUNE was one I didn't think was YA... Anyways. :) I think Laura is about to hurt someone.

Laura: It's just.....argh...sooo stupid. So many wonderful YA books out there, written by people who can WRITE and they picked books that ARE SHIT and books that AREN'T YA!

Laura: I'm going to bed now. I haven't cussed nearly enough nor am I properly capitalizing all the words that need it. It's unbecoming of a lady. GOOD NIGHT.

Nicole: I have a lot of problems with the list. AND IF DONNA IS A CHILD THEN I AM AN INFANT. though not by much.

Laura: I woke up. I'm still angry.

Nicole: At a list chosen by voting? I can't imagine how you feel on American Idol season finales.

Laura: The same. I stopped watching after the make up dude with the hair lost to the short guy with the guitar. Then.

Nicole: I assume you mean Adam Lambert? ♥

Laura: If he looks like the guy in my head, then yes. :)

Nicole: HIM

Laura: Yes. Make-up Dude with the Hair.

Laura: He was awesome.

Nicole: I love him. Definitely go check out his albums. He is ah-mazing.

Donna: I think we should YAck this list and expound on its awfulness for our YAck home. And Laura can stick my Barbies.

Nicole: I would be more than happy to comment. Mainly to RAGE about how many adult novels got on it and to point out to people RAGING that Catcher isn't a YA novel that it actually is, thank you very much.

Melissa: 1) I am very glad I am older than Laura, and therefore not a child.

Melissa: 2) I agree about the adult titles on the list. Seriously??? Just because they have a child as a protagonist (which Hitchhiker's Guide does NOT), doesn't mean they're automatically a "kid" book.

Melissa: 3) Throwing fuel on the fire. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/why-do-female-authors-dominate-young-adult-fiction/260829/ Another friend pointed out that in the top 25, it's 8 women and 17 men.

Sya: You have all made excellent points. I don't really have an issue with all the John Green books (although I don't necessarily think they should be so high up on the list). However, Chaos Walking at 85??? WTF? It's some of the best writing I've EVER read - adult or YA - and certainly deserved a higher placing. Also, there's no Melina Marchetta which is ridiculous. Also, any list that even features House of Night (the only book I've ever thrown across the room in disgust) and Hush, Hush is pretty much null and voided in my mind.

Nicole: YEAH WE'RE NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ATLANTIC ARTICLE. I've already met my quota for Why Must We Shame The Women In Our Society for today and it's not even 10 am.

Sya: I should't have read that article. It's just put me in a bad mood first thing in the morning. It seems to be full of half-speak and faux controversy with little actual solid ground illustrated. It's like they had to fill space on a page and thought they'd just try for some good old woman's issues. I also resent the implication that woman dominate YA (which I was not aware, nor am convinced, they do/did) because of the "simplicity" of "children's" books. Gar. Thanks, Melissa - now I shall have to stomp about the house being mad for at least AN HOUR.

Melissa: *slinks away, repentant* (mostly)

Donna: I think NPR needs to re-do the list, not take it upon themselves to arbitrarily remove titles based on their own ignorance nor allow blatant popularity to sway the votes. I have no idea how to pull off the latter but I'm pretty sure it could involve essay questions and people's ability to THINK about something for more than half a fucking second.

Donna: I'm YAcking this, BTW. Throw your pennies at me now because it's going up ASAP.

Laura: I have a post in me somewhere...going back to the whole ENTERTAINING VS GOOD BOOK bit. I plan to insult select groups of readers and alienate myself from authors and publishers alike. I plan to call people STUPID.

Donna: How is this different from any other day?

Laura: I plan to open with "With all due respect"

Donna: Well now you're just lying to people.

Nicole: I have a post coming about this in a week or so.  :)


  1. I like how this ends with a promise of a post from me. ;)

  2. A lot of the classics were definitely not YA. Some of the titles were definitely questionable. I think Green's Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars is right on, the others can go. I wrote blog posts about the lack of diversity and 10 titles I wanted to see on the list on my blog www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com But in the end, I appreciate anything that gets people talking about YA. This post was hysterical.

  3. Okay, you ladies crack me up. And you are brilliant. What you had to say about this list is right on the money, and I won't tell you which authors I agree with you about, but let's just say I was nodding my head like a bobblehead chihuahua.

    Thanks for the smiles this morning!