I was grumbling last night about revisions making me feel like my WIP is very lackluster when the P-i-C said something that surprised me.
P-i-C: It's a good story.
JEM: Well, I hope so, but I just feel like the writing isn't there yet.
P-i-C: Who cares about the writing? You're not trying to write a great literary work or anything.
JEM: Well, no, I'm not trying to be Tolstoy, but that doesn't mean it can't be well-written.
P-i-C: (shrugs) It's YA. What does it matter?
Ouch, my friends. Ouch. But it occurs to me that many other casual readers have this same opinion of YA. Some of that reputation is deserved and some of it is not. To be honest, when I search my brain for YA books that could stand as adult books, only a few names come to mind - Suzanne Collins, Madeleine L'Engle, Sharon Creech (who is closer to middle grade, but I'm throwing her in there). There are a lot of YA books out there right now that have a high energy plot with clean writing, but no one's going to put those books up for the Pulitzer. Whatever the genre may have been before, it now seems to be about paranormal activities and romance (my own included, ahem). And I suppose it's hard to wax philosophical when you're fighting werewolves/vampires/ghosts/a zombie homecoming queen.
So my question to you, gentle readers, is this: do you think the YA genre has sacrificed good writing for a good storyline? Has it gotten so commercial that a good plot can cover up poor word choice? Or has it ushered in a new way of looking at writing, as a vehicle for the story?