But why VC Andrews will not be on Bridget's list:
VC Andrews books were basically what the Twilight series is now, bad formulaic writing that makes copious use of the sexualization of young girls. It is pre-teen porn. Everyone good is beautiful and blonde, everyone evil is either ugly, or slutty. There is no subtlety, every moment is overblown and dramatic. The plots exist solely to railroad you through to the end, jumping from sexy scene to violent scene to sexy scene. But all with a veil of Wrongness draping over every Louisiana bayou scene. It is WRONG to do these things, it is WRONG to be sexy, it will lead to you being kidnapped, tortured, or murdered if you are sexy, being a young girl is Wrong and Dangerous.
...And you know, if adults want to read that stuff, fine. I don't even think there's a problem with smart well read kids reading it every once in a while. Everyone picks up a romance novel or a pulp horror novel sometimes. But when I was young, I was reading one, maybe even two books a day. Most kids don't do that. And when they are only reading a book occasionally, I don't think they should only be reading trash. Because it doesn't encourage them to read good stuff later, it just guarantees they will keep reading trash.
...And the really bad part about these books is that you don't learn anything from them. You don't learn about sex. You don't learn about people. You learn nothing about the real world, or science, or imagination. In fact, you don't even learn how to properly fantasize about sex or relationships, which is ridiculous, at least if the books did that they would have some defensible purpose. Maybe, MAYBE, you could argue it builds vocabulary. But they use the word bosom in Jane Eyre too.
There's this idea that as long as kids are reading, and it's a young adult novel (which of course is perfectly safe), then it's better than nothing. I hate that idea. What you read as a child impacts your life in such a heavy permanent way. It dictates what part of culture you're going to identify with, what you'll choose to read when you're older, and what kind of interests you develop. It changes how you'll do in high school, what kind of friends you'll make, what kind of conversations you'll have with strangers. It's fucking important.
So that's why I hate VC Andrews, and also why I will be the aunt who buys books.
Read the rest of Bridget's post here.
Do you have Bridget bookmarked? You should. Consider me like your aunt (which I would never be because I am nowhere near old enough and never will be, so just pretend) giving you a gift. She should go on your list!