Controversial Song of the Day: “You’re So Last Summer” by Taking Back Sunday
For the entire month of April, we’ll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.
|Taken from mariashriver.com|
Dang! Sike! That’s the bomb! These are just a few of the gems that Quita and I would say when we were in middle and high school. I recently told one of my students that something they did was the bomb, and they just blinked at me. It was the same confused look I received when I mentioned Freddy Kruger and the Cabbage Patch Dolls to them. And that’s when I realized:
So slang and pop culture isn’t necessarily controversial–but it is something we have to be careful when writing our own YA novels. For example, I started writing Project J almost 2 summers ago, and my lead character mentioned the Wii Fit Board. When I started revising it again a few months ago, I paused at that reference. Um, don’t people use Kinect now? And don’t get me started with how often I mentioned Facebook in stories. Sure, it’s still “hot” now–but we all know what happened to MySpace (RIP).
I think what’s more frustrating is when I go through great details to remove these references from my own manuscripts, and then see them pop up in published books (albeit, GOOD books). What’s this? Teens REALLY still listen to Death Cab for Cutie and think that James McAvoy is hot?
Yet, there are some novels that stand the test of time by not mentioning any pop culture or creating their own slang. Here’s a few:
- Feed by M.T. Anderson
- Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
- On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Can you all think of any other “timeless” YA novels? How do you all feel about pop culture references in your writing?