Why YA Novels Lack Meaning – A look into morality and humanity

45 thoughts on “Why YA Novels Lack Meaning – A look into morality and humanity

  1. Hey! You’re my favorite book reviewer (if that’s a term!) I just love how intelligent your analysis is! Thanks a ton!

  2. I so agree with you. The hunger games was what drew me into YA because I couldn't stop thinking about the messages after putting it down. I was left kind of disappointed when I read other series and books (with some exceptions). They were fun and occasionally well-written, but few of them managed to give me the feeling that I loved: of learning and growing as I read and changing my way of thinking for the rest of my life. Lately I have seen a trend of books with a political message (against homophobia or racism or you name it) and I appreciate that a lot, but they're often too surface-level to really light a spark for me.

  3. It makes me sad knowing so many trees are cut and turned into paper only to be used for printing things like twilight

  4. 7:14 "The author has to have something that they want to say"
    This is the statement from this video that I have the biggest problem with

  5. I honestly love antagonists that are right in their own way. I didn't love Voldemort as a villain because his reasons for being one didn't feel good enough. I really loved for example the villains in The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King especially. Their actions made perfect sense yet they were disagreeable to an extent where the protagonist would feel strongly about opposing them. I know this series has some hate surrounding it but you can't deny that it does gray morality very well

  6. actually morality is BLACK AND WHITE. The only reason why people think it shouldn't be black and white is because most people don't want to follow rules. it is human nature to want to be their own god – to be the one to decide what is good and bad for them. If you give them a standard to follow – despite the logic it presents – people will find flaws and the flaws are often because the rules or standard is in conflict with what they want to do, what their flesh wants. that's the absolute truth.

  7. Globalization and globalism are actually different things. I think PragwrU explained this.

  8. I really enjoyed this video, I think you should do more scripted ones because it shows that you put a lot more effort and thought into it.

  9. imho, a true art doest try to make a statement; it makes you THINK.

    It's more important for a book to be entertaining that to have a "deeper meaning" – nobody will read you book if its boring, no matter how deep you think it is.

  10. This video was very well written. Just a heads up, from an editing perspective, keep your eyes forward and open when you finish the line, that way it doesn't cut as you're looking down or blinking. Even-though we all know there's a jump cut, the human brain has a funny of seeing the split second of seeing your eye positions change and getting irked by it for whatever reason. Lack of closure, or something.

    But yes, I definitely agree with a lot of the points made. One of the aspects of YA that draws in new readers is the exploration of identity, and I feel that subject is something that a lot of young people are increasingly struggling with, particularly white kids.

  11. The funny thing is that Edward brought up a lot of occasions where he was like “yo, fuck off, we’re gonna kill you” and “we literally aren’t human or moral” and Bella goes “but you’re pretty so we’re gonna ignore that”. I just think Stephanie was almost too lazy to explore these ideas deeper. (Even though I kinda love Twilight bc it’s like reading somebody’s dream (which it is, Stephanie literally dreamt it)

  12. I know those feels
    I remember a few months back I read Darren Shans Demonata
    It SUCKED
    But I'd have ate it up n my boyhood, bc gore and senseless violence even for YA novels
    Yet still, bad morals, some feels so shoehorned, like in the end the girl wants to spare a demon king because she made a deal and excuses it as "evil needs to exist", it just feels so forced and the twist isn't earned at all conflicting with the events surrounding it, like those books are trash and has so many instances of that jfc
    At least it had skull crushing violence, demons eating brains and guts and wearing the skin of their victims? Hell yeah…

  13. In Twilight,

    Edward does say to Bella that he is the world's most dangerous predator and that everything about her draws him in. She doesn't care at all that he is dangerous.

  14. I have to disagree a little with the premise that a story has to have a moral or examine humanity to be good, have longevity, or be worthy of thought. My first example being that of Final Fantasy XIII. The video game world pretty much universally dubs this game one of the worst of its generation. However the story it tells does a lot to examine humanity and specifically its relationship to nature and religion. The problem that this story runs into is that there is a lack of focus. We barely know our own main cast, the world they live in, or the terminology of their universe by the time we are really supposed to care about them and what they are going through. I don't really care to think about the game and barely remember most of it despite this Nature vs Religion relationship that the narrative tries to tell.

    My second example being a title from your neck of the woods (YA Fiction) being the Darkest Minds. It might be able to be said that this books series looks at the human condition in the face of adversity and learning the importance of family and that it isn't only the people whose blood your share. But these aren't exactly hard hitting or even all that thought provoking of ideas. However this book series consumed my thoughts for months after I finished reading it for the fifth time. There really isn't much to think about besides the status of the in-story universe itself and the fate of the characters. Yet, I was also completely satisfied once it was done and could only say that I wanted more because I didn't want to be out of stuff to read from this universe and not because it felt incomplete or hollow.

    Thirdly I would point out the TV show Psych (and most comedies in general). The nature of comedy is that it entertains you. However, I became so immersed in the concept of Psych (a man pretending to be psychic and solving crimes as a consult for the Santa Barbara Police Department) that it too made me obsess over its existence for years.

    So here is my thing… I don't think that there is anything wrong with being without a moral or examination of humanity. I also don't think that every story HAS to make you think in order to be good or have longevity.This is primarily because I also don't believe that lacking these things removes the ability for them to have 'meaning.' Don't get me wrong, I think that there is a lot to be liked in stories that do have those things and that they absolutely have place in the world, but I just think that it is a bit short sighted to try to elevate them above anything else when they are just different category of entertainment.

  15. The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky are two YA fantasy novels that are FANTASTIC and have very strong messages. I'd recommend them to anyone, any age.
    They touch on feminism, responsibility, growing up, and other interesting, important stuff.

  16. I have no Problem with a clear good and bad in books. Sometimes people are really just evil. Even in Real life. And other people are good.

  17. ive always had a problem with ya fiction and i could never quite pinpoint what it was but you just managed to hit the nail on the head so kudos to you 😀

  18. The Throne Of Glass doesn’t get better. Trust me. I’ve read the first three books and they are so slow progressing and even more about Romance. Now she does find herself more in the third book but the book itself is the slowest thing ever.

  19. With thousands of books published a year there are so many crappy adult book out there as much as YA. And not all YA books are bad, there are so many beautiful, meaningful, good YA books.

  20. I saw a picture of Harry Potter grouped together in the thumbnail and I came to defend my boy lol
    Although I'm a little bummed you didn't mention Dumbledore…

  21. Explore these responses? Should we explore rape and torture sympathetically too? You don't seem to answer the question of meaning. Instead you make some vague platitudes and call it good. Where do you stand?

  22. I want deep and meaningful stories, I also want stories that are just fluff and fun to spend my time, but above all, I want well written stories.

  23. I personally don't think histories need to necesarily have a meaning, if by meaning we understand something like a closed sentence, an answer. Some very good books have no answers. Just the questions. Maybe some differents viewpoints. But not answers. Because a lot of the more interesting questions don't have answers at all. Take ''The portrait of Dorian Gray'' (I absolutely love Wilde) What's the moral learning? Well, none, really. But questions? Now that's another questions. But ultimately, Wilde was simply writing something beautiful (Read Wilde prologue of that book, it's just one page and it's definitely worth the read) Ultimately, what I personally want it's just to give the reader an experience, and have him change with it. But the how, it's up to him. So, I don't agree at that histories should convey a ''clear message''. I prefer to just give the history. The learning, if there's one, is up to the reader. Of course, this doesn't mean I think flat meaningless novels are great, quite the opposite. Also, if you are writing for teens, well, your characters ARE going to be taken as rolemodels. You are, at least partially, responsible about that. Histories whith violence desesitization, normalization of toxic relathionships, etc, are NOT novels for teens (and are also crappy novels generally) But I dont agree with the clear message stuff at all. If so, all of Unamuno's works would be shitty, and he's one of the best writers that have ever lived. Just my opinion, what do you guys think?

  24. Shakespeare, Austen, and Disney are not Romance. Romance as a genre refers to pulp novels that are basically porn for women.

  25. This video was great! I think you managed to point out the reason I haven't read many YA books recently.

  26. I feel like a good example of well-told morality and humanity is Clarke from the 100, in which her decisions are very complicated, sometimes not entirely the right decision and often it's at odds with what other characters consider the 'right' or 'moral'. They then carry on the consequences of those decisions throughout the series and it effects the characters' perceptions of each other in a real way.

  27. I like watching your videos because this is really helping me in where I’m stuck with my book. I want it to have meaning, but I don’t just want to send it out into the world like a ship on fire

  28. Good content, but please speak a bit more slowly and enunciate more clearly. When I don't recognise the name 'Shakespeare' when it's spoken something's gone wrong.

  29. Hello! Justin Marasigan, here.

    I'm an up and coming writer and I've written a Young Adult, half Adult Urban Fantasy series based on an almost all Asian American cast. Have you ever considered looking into the Persona series? They're Japanese Role Playing games but they have some of the most interesting cast of Teenagers I've seen xD and they can get meaningful as hell

  30. I personally, believe that YA novels lack morality and human meaning themes because the target audience IS YA. Young people tend to not care about deeper meaning. Especially, the die-hard fans of series. They're only interested in magic, strength, swords, and power. However, that stuff is just icing on the cake. The actual cake is the themes/relationships/meaning/s that a novel/manuscript is trying to portray. Harry Potter did a good job. Joanne Rowling did this through the character of Hermione Granger. Born of Muggles, she was called "Mudblood" by a LOT of the Wizarding community. Plus, Ms. Rowling explored celebrity by putting in Rita Skeeter. She reported falsehoods to the community about Harry, Hermione, Viktor Krum, and Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid got the worst treatment. However, Hermione was a CLOSE second. Someone sent her undiluted Bubotuber pus in a blank envelope and someone else threatened to put a curse in the next letter. One reason, of MANY, why I am still a die-hard Potterhead. Amazing themes/imagery. Plus, Voldemort was a LOT scarier in the books than in the movies (like most villains/antagonists are). However, in Twilight, Edward was a LOT tougher in the books. His mind reading ability made him Jasper's equal in Eclipse. And, Jasper had a LOT more experience with fighting in regards to the newborn vampires, thanks to his time with Maria in the South.

  31. I'd recommend a Japanese visual novel by the name, 'Umineko no naku koro ni' written by Ryukishi07. In my opinion, its an excellent novel that encapsulates different aspects of the human condition through a mystery/supernatural lens.

  32. You are so right. I’m glad there’s this new movement in writing to be more meaningful? Are you a writer yourself?

  33. I will say Sarah J Maas's Throne if Glass gets a lot better. She should have started out good, but at least she saw what people said and put in patches? It's still not tell most meaningful series, but at least to me, there was an examination of what her actions led to and her morality, especially as she considers stepping up as Aelin and what her past could mean for her kingdom. Again, tbh Throne of Glass still should have had some character growth or meaning, but I still wanted to add this.

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