Saturday, May 5, 2018

Readers Thoughts + Guest Post by Kara Lynn

Hello Fellow Rebels!

It's super important to know that while YA is primarily focused on the teen audience, it is supported by much more than just teens. Parents and grandparents also have a strong desire to see clean literature grace the shelves for their children/grandchildren's sakes. Here at RW, we are seeing not just our peers starting to take on the filth of YA, but multiple generations engaging in the fight. 

This week, we have two guest posts from our readers that reflect the multi-generational reading and writing community that we are a part of. Enjoy!

I'm no longer young, but I am a retired bookseller. When I see what's on the young adult shelves at the public library, I'm appalled. It was almost as bad 40 years ago when I had children at home. My adopted teen preteen daughter had a lot of emotional baggage from her birth parents, since she didn't go into the system until she was seven. Her birth father had molested her. On those occasions when we went to the library, she passed over all the wholesome books and went straight for the dark ones that were not healthy for her.

After my nest was empty and I started selling books at school book fairs and online, I received a lot of publisher samples. I was appalled at what I received that was targeted for teens from major publishing houses by Harper-Collins. Some of those books seemed to have no point except that drugs and promiscuous sex were just part of the teen life. Needless to say, I never purchased any of these to sell.

Yet there are some very good books that remain for young adults. Many were written decades ago, and some are relatively recent. Although my own book review sites do include some books written for adults that I wouldn't recommend to teens, I am rethinking that policy. It's unfortunate that most of the best mystery and thriller writers for adults put things in their books I often skip over or find offensive -- especially the language and sexual scenes that go beyond being suggestive. I've had to face the fact that most adults today expect police and detectives to use foul language. When I review such books I do mention the parts I could have done without.

But more quality literature for young people and "young adults" needs to be written and marketed. I personally have recommended many books published by Bethany House intended for adults that are quite appropriate for teens. These are some I have reviewed: Ann Tatlock's A Room of My Own (set during the Depression), Return to Harmony by Janette Oke, and Janette Oke's series that begins with The Tender Years -- one of my favorites. Bethany House was very generous in sending me review copies, and I read almost all of them. I chose to stock most of them.

I'm behind your rebellion 100% and hope more young adults will pick up your attitudes and standards.

About the Comment:

Back in January of this year, Ms. Barbara Radisavljevic wrote this wonderful comment on our Website Kickoff post. We were so inspired by her story that we decided to re-share it as a Reader's Thought. We're extremely grateful for all the support that these like-minded parents and grandparents give us!!

As a writer, ENFP, and psychology enthused young adult, I tend to see the world and people as a complex puzzle, each of us fitting into a bigger picture. I adore personality quizzes- namely Myers-Briggs - which means I share a personality type with Tonks from Harry Potter and Olaf from Frozen (if you wanted to know).

Nothing thrills me more than analyzing character development and emotional complexity in novels. I often rant and rave to my family members about how amazing so-and-so's emotional breakdown led to this event and matured their thinking. Or how so-and-so's moment of crisis led to such and such decision which let to this other person's moment of triumph.


Okay, so maybe I'm a little too enthused (I'll be the first to admit it). But, so often new writers (and even long-time ones) can carelessly put people in certain boxes. It's easy to see the pastor's kid as rebellious, the book nerd as quiet, the electric guitar player as loud, and the villain with yellowed teeth and only blackness where his heart might have once been.

But characters (and real people for that matter) are much more complex then that. We are all wildly unique in our own special ways. Aslan's gentle whisper that things never happen the same way twice, is true in every relationship, for every person, and every life.

No two people are exactly alike.

Every main character, every side-kick, every comic-relief, every best friend, every villain or antagonist, is so much more then simply his or her title.

I love a good, out of the box character. I hate seeing sex in so many YA books which gives an unrealistic view of love and relationships. I hate seeing the quiet person as always shy, the cold-blood villain as only a dark heart, and so on.

My favorite books are the ones with complex characters, emotionally and mentally. They're the ones that don't always stick with the pattern and connect with US emotionally. The timeless classics like Lord of the Rings or Les Miserables or Sherlock Holmes, is proof that we adore wildly unique characters that aren't afraid to go against the grain. Life isn't a Hallmark movie. You won't solve all your problems in 90 minutes or less, and you won't always have the answers by the time you reach the last page.

Life is rarely so clean cut. It's a process of continually falling and getting back up. It being yourself in a world that hands us boxes to conform to. It's being honest that you don't have all the answers. It's seeing that the smallest person can change the course of the future. Because it's not always the strongest who wins. Because sometimes we fail. Because sometimes the end chapter doesn't wrap everything up in a neat bow. Because sometimes the girl who dresses like a punk rocker, watches I Love Lucy and reads classic books for fun.

Because we're human.... 
and that makes us complex.

Just like we were created to be. Nothing more and nothing less.
That's how to not only be a great writer, but a good one.

About the Reader:

Mentor and blogger, Kara is passionate about surprising plot twists and characters that show light in their brokenness. When she's not being a disaster in the kitchen or dreaming up another book plot, you can often find her over-analyzing her favorite TV shows and novels. You can visit her blog Beautifully Broken HERE

What wonderful thoughts and posts! Lots of thanks to Kara Lynn and Ms. Radisavljevic for these insightful words! We dearly love to hear from our readers, and we appreciate the time that they give us in commenting on our posts and writing for us.

Would you like to contribute a guest post? Click on the Collaborate page and submit the Google Form! Note: There is a glitch in the Form where guest posters are forced to fill in the Book Review page before it will submit. Just put in 1 star and N/A where applicable (unless you care to give us a review - then we will showcase it in the next Book Scout Bulletin!).  


  1. I love the fact that parents and grandparents are supporting us as well as teens! Y'all are super important to us!

  2. Love this! And so yes to complex ;)

  3. Thank you to all of those who shared their thoughts, both on the book world today, and on the complexities of characters! We appreciate everyone's support so much. <3

  4. Excellent thoughts! Great idea to highlight them this way so we who may have missed them originally get to see them!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing my post - it really warmed my heart this morning and I so appreciate it. <3

  6. This post made my heart happy. <3 A big thanks to those who submitted and all those who support us! :D

  7. Beautiful thoughts, both of you! Thank you so much for sharing! We really appreciate you.