While I can always avoid an Upworthy headline — yup, I can thoroughly believe “what happens next” — I have to give it to Slate for headlines carefully designed to provoke fiery debate among its readership. The latest example: Ruth Graham’s “Against YA,” which spread across the web with the subhed, “Yes, adults should be embarrassed to read young adult books.” Talk about being goaded, huh?
Graham’s essay was prompted by The Fault in Our Stars, the young adult juggernaut that spawned a rabid fanbase not unlike The Hunger Games series or even the Harry Potter series. The film adaptation, released this weekend, sailed into first place at the weekend box office, winning around $48.2 million and an untold count of tissues. But if you’re a bonafide adult reading young adult novels like Fault, Graham says, be ashamed. Be very ashamed.