Sunday, May 13, 2012

Is Hunger Games 'Ditz Lit'?

I just saw an article that was pretty interesting. In it, the author claims that genres such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and YA dystopian are catering to emotionally stunted teens and presents a base theme that teens are the heroes and portrays adults as the villains. I am simplifying the gist of it.

According to the author, the writer targets teens using modest and overly simplistic emotions and reflects an overall point of view that stunts emotional growth...(perhaps attempting to keep teens in a state of arrested development, so to speak?)

He specifically names the Hunger Games in his article obviously because it is topical and extremely popular right now. He is suggesting that if the trend continues and we use movies to promote books, we can expect all literature that is being churned out nowadays to target the high school young adult and all other literature will fall by the wayside. And let's face it--who has more time to read and disposable income on their hands? Again, I am not saying it is wrong at all, just seeing a logical trend and thought I'd share it with you because it was extremely interesting to me as both a writer and a reader.

I am not going to share my opinion on this at all, so I will let you all decide and perhaps be so bold as to share your opinions. The article can be found here if you want to read it in its entirety. I found it interesting at least...did you?

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  1. Is it so bad that such books are so popular? I just read the article and my opinion has changed over the past few months since blogging about YA fiction. I was so against YA fiction a few months ago. Thought it was immature, pointless and just dealing with material, teenager-ish things. I still think that to a point but I gave the Hunger Games a chance and I loved it and I'm now on the last book of the trilogy. Yes it isn't the best piece of literature ever but it is thought provoking, discuss society today even though it it's set in a dystopian future and just has a really good story. It doesn't delve very deep into the characters' as in some adult books but the content is very much an adult one.
    Sorry about my babbling! It's just in my opinion I think any literature that makes more young adults and teenagers read is good. It is so important and whether people pick up a classic or a paranormal book isn't really important. It's that people are reading. I personally have picked up a few YA books to read and my opinion might change even more or I might think that I'm reading such terrible work that I never pick up a YA book again.
    I found it an interesting article though and a great subject to debate.

  2. Hi, Becca and thanks for dropping by! I appreciate your opinions. You are not babbling, so feel free to express yourself in any way here.

    So, that being said, I think the author's point of view was not that reading is bad, rather that he believes the book is pandering to teens (as opposed to marketing to teens) by expressly using in-your-face wording meant to elicit a response from a certain age group...again, just my opinion. I believe that he is looking for respect for authors who are unrecognized for their talent at conveying the subtle emotional responses--perhaps a more sophisticated style of writing. At least, that is what I got from it. And understand that when anything is popular, people are going to take shots at it and pick it apart, so...take it all in with a grain of salt!

    I for one will be happy with people simply reading more and, hey, we all have to start somewhere (my first reads were comics!)

    I am simply glad that you are engaged in the discussion here and hopefully we will see more people come by to share their views! Thanks for comment and I certainly would love to hear more from you and other readers as well.


    PS. If you have friends that would like to weigh in, please point them in this direction!

  3. Hey Gary,
    My two cents...Every book is written for a specific audience. Every worthwhile book will elicit emotion. Looks to me like a writer attacking a genre that he hasn't been able to capitalize on, yet using tags of popular works and genres (that he dislikes)to achieve more traffic to his site where he can then market his own book at the bottom of the page.

  4. I actually read the article to which you are referring. It caught my eye because I had never seen the term "ditz lit." It's long been known that the young adult audience is critical to movie studios. For large publishing businesses to partner with movie producers to develop products for this demographic is logical. From my perspective, trends like this just prove the importance of independent writers who put work out there based on reasons other than "will this pay for a movie studio?"

    I also consider the point about casting teens as heroes and adults as villains entirely valid and rightfully appealing to teens. If you really look at the world, it is all the evil adults who are mucking everything up and foisting it off on the next generation. Say what you want about teenagers, but the mess the world is in is not their fault. Also look at history. Think of all the millions of teens that older people have forced to go slaughter each other in wars. They were just bodies to throw on the fires to run the profit machines of others.

  5. Jeremy, thanks for stopping. I couldn't agree with you more in that it could be a ploy to drive traffic. It is topical though and I found it an interesting read. We all certainly need to market ourselves to an audience if we want to make sales, though!

    Tracy, I had never heard of the term either. I thought it was a bit harsh, too, quite frankly. I appreciate your voice here and I think you bring up some valid points, too. You obviously have a strong opinion, so thanks for sharing!