Yes, today I want to talk about violence in literature. More specifically, my thoughts on it in YA literature.
I personally think teens are capable of handling much more than most people give them credit for. Yes, violence in a story can be awful but as long as there’s justification for it in the narrative I don’t see what’s wrong with including it. If it becomes gratuitous (i.e. there’s no real reason for it other than to gross the reader out) I think that’s a little too much for Young Adult literature. It’s too much even for adult literature when it becomes gratuitous.
Basically, as long as the violence is ‘justified’ (makes sense in the context of the story and either conveys character or plot elements) I’m generally okay with it. Sometimes I have to put a book down because it’s so disgusting, but in general I don’t think I’ve ever come across that in YA.
So what do you think of violence in literature? Do you think the amount of violence in YA should have limits simply because of the target age group? Or do you think it’s the parent’s job to monitor what their kids are reading?