I was innocently scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw a link to an interview with Chloe Grace Moretz, who is playing Mia in an adaptation of Gayle Foreman’s book If I Stay. Obviously, I had to read this article because I cannot wait for this movie to come out this summer as this book is one of my favorites. As I’m reading the article, I found myself getting angrier and angrier to the point that I actually began seeing red. I can’t even compose a coherent sentence on the first try right now because I’m seething over comments Moretz made about Young Adult literature.
Some special tidbits from the article.
“Forman’s novel might occupy a certain part of the bookstore, but Moretz doesn’t love the “young adult” designation. She thinks it diminishes the book’s value” (Bahr, 2014).
And here’s a gem from Miss Moretz herself:
“What’s interesting about Gayle’s novel is that it’s not really that YA. It deals with issues that are much bigger…it’s much darker than I think most YA is,” says Moretz. “I want people to walk in and feel like they actually felt something, and learned something, and realized something different about life that’s more than just, ‘Oh, I saw this love triangle and it’s super sad because she chose the guy I didn’t like. And then the movie was over.’ And you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s pathetic.’ You want to watch something that actually means something and makes you feel and makes you want to be involved. That’s what I wanted to make and that’s what I strive to make” (Bahr, 2014).
Let’s see if I can rant without completely losing my mind.
First of all: Gayle Foreman’s novel is absolutely YA. The protagonist, Mia, is a teenager dealing with teen issues, A.K.A. high school, college applications, a boyfriend, best friends, etc. While, yes, this novel does have a darker premise (Mia’s in a coma after a horrific car crash that killed her parents and brother, and now must choose whether to stay alive or let go to be with her family), it does not make it better than other Young Adult novels.
And now I shall acknowledge the extremely ignorant comment disguised as an eloquent critique. Young Adult literature does not diminish any book’s value. EVER. This makes me question whether Miss Moretz reads at all. Did you even read If I Stay before you found out it was being adapted into a movie, Chloe?? Did you? Do you even read at all? Young Adult literature does involve romance and some love triangles, but you would be a moron to believe that is all those books are limited to. YA tackles friendships, family, drugs, sex, love, high school, college, politics, religion, along with any and all issues that are related to those mentioned.
So many authors do a fantastic job creating characters with layers upon layers that readers need to peel back throughout the course of reading the book in order to understand the characters they are reading about. My latest author obsession, Melina Marchetta, writes characters with so many levels that I find myself falling in love with each one repeatedly as I’m reading. Just because the protagonists are teenagers and the book is about their adolescent lives, does this mean the writing, characters, and story are not as developed and fleshed out as “adult literature”?
Fantasy, science fiction, dystopian novels, paranormal romance. Books in all of these genres should not be dimissed simply because they are geared towards young adults. Most books address similar themes and issues discussed above, but they set them in imagined worlds (which take a level of genius to create that I can’t even fatham) or futuristic settings that allow readers to immerse themselves into different scenarios. Again, these writing styles do not take away from the books’ value.
I don’t think I can write (rant) anymore without sounding like a maniac.
Here’s the link to the whole article: http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/03/28/chloe-grace-moretz-if-i-stay/
You are dismissed, Chloe Grace Moretz. DISMISSED.