Welcome to your fortnightly YA news update with your host, Katie! I’ll be rounding up all the top stories of the last two weeks in the YA world (including the *ahem* soap that took my timeline by storm this week).
Let’s start with #soapgate, shall we?
So… where to begin? This week bookstagram and book twitter where shaken by the news that a book subscription box, Bookish and Stuff, included a, *ahem*, soap shaped like an anatomically correct piece of male genitalia- or as the internet is dubbing it- the soap dick- in their most recent Illyrian box (which did come with a 18+ warning before purchase).
I have included a photo below which I don’t think is toooooo graphic- seeing as it’s still in it’s wrapping- plus also, it’s a soap- but viewer discretion is advised…
Neadless to say, twitter had more then a field day over this, I’m talking like a field week. Everyone had something to say-
Whether you think it was funny or grossly inappropriate, it has started up the conversation about the importance of correctly age rating books when they are released. For instance- this box was based on the book series ACOTAR, which is pretty smutty, let’s all admit, yet for some reason it’s classed as a YA book and as such is listed as a ‘Children’s Bestseller’!!!! For a book series I wouldn’t even be able to read aloud without blushing!
It seems that retrospectively placing age warnings on the back haven’t achieved anything either; the books are still stocked with YA books either way- so really can you really say the soap dick was inappropriate for the age group of the readers when it’s more or less in line with the books contents (albeit in a tongue in cheek way)?
Bookish and Stuff have commented on the controversy to say that the debate really comes down to whether ACOTAR ‘should really be YA or NA’ but the fact the series contains ‘graphic sex scenes’ is a fact we are all aware of, and they did warn consumers ‘multiple’ times to the 18+ nature of the box’s contents, which amounts to what is normally sold as a ‘bachelorette joke favors in the real world’.
They added most of their feedback from their costumers has been positive and ‘with everything in life there will always be those that are scandalized. If the box scandalized you, it wasn’t for you’.
Personally, I agree. I was quite shocked when I saw the pictures of the unboxings, but as I read further my opinion changed when I found out this was no rogue dick situation- consumers knew what they where getting themselves into. The argument about whether ACOTAR is YA or NA isn’t within their control, but they had warned people this box wasn’t suitable for teens. I’ve seen people say this is adults encroaching on teen space by oversexualising teen literature- but come on, ACOTAR sexualises itself!
Overall this has proved the age old adage that no publicity is bad publicity, I’m sure this box will see a pick up in sales in the future.
Though if anything in the box was crossing a line for me, it’s the fanfiction which was bound like a booklet and sold- something which really isn’t legal or appropriate.
We all know authors and publishers have more or less turned a blind eye to the rise of all of this unlicensed merchandise- I’m talking candles and pillows, etc- in the past- but there is a line, and that line is fiction. You cannot sell fanfiction people! You just can’t! Put it online for people to read for free as much as you like, but don’t sell it.
Whether or not Bloomsbury will react to any of this remains to be seen, but what happens in the next couple of weeks could end up changing the things book subscription boxes can get away with without the approval of the rights holder and publisher- or maybe in a month this will have all blown over. We’ll see.
Leigh Bardugo announces new magical yearly planner!
This week we got exciting news from the Six of Crows author, who announced this week she has been working on a grisha/ magical journal/planner!
We even got a cover AND a release date, all in one go!
The Severed Moon is on sale from the 29th January 2019, and you can preorder it here!
The most exciting thing about this release is what it means for YA books- is this a new trend? If it is, would you like to see more yearly journals with quotes, inspiration and snippets from your favourite books, or would you rather save your money for real books? I think this is an interesting direction for Leigh to go in, and I’m sure if it’s successful other authors will follow.
Happy release day to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix!
The movie adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is released today on netflix, and has already been receiving critical praise, with Variety commenting-
If John Hughes were alive today, he might very well make a movie like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which doesn’t talk down to its audience about subjects such as sex and dating, but instead treats them as young adults, demonstrating how anyone’s initial attempts at romance are like learning to walk: We’re all a little bit wobbly at first.
Last week I counted down five books you should read before their movie adaptation is released, so even though you are out of time for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before you won’t miss out on the rest! You can view that list here!
Holly black finishes her first draft of Queen of Nothing- Cruel Prince #3!
Even though we’ll still have to wait until January to get our hands on the second Cruel Prince book, The Wicked King, Queen of Faeries Holly Black has been hard at work finishing the first draft of the final book of the trilogy- Queen of Nothing.
She tweeted this week-
To think that right at this very moment, somewhere on a hard drive, is the whole third and final instalment of this series! I’m very excited by this news, though I imagine I will be a great deal more excited when I actually get to the end of The Wicked King!
Authors on Tour!
Laini Taylor has announced she will be on tour to promote the release of Muse of Nightmares from October 2nd to 19th. She will be visiting CA, MO, TX, MN, WI, MI, IL, NJ, NY and OR! See the details here.
And that’s it for this fortnight! I’ll see you again in September for the next book news round up!