Mistborn - is this YA.....? It's totally YA.

Do you thinks it's YA?

  • No

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • It's totally YA

    Votes: 5 55.6%

  • Total voters
    9

Aduiavas Ida

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The original covers I have follow the theme of the books a lot better, with dark background and ash.

Have I mentioned that the opening of Mistborn is one of my all-time favourite openings of a book EVER?
"Ash fell from the sky." Simple, yet sets the mood for the entire first trilogy :D
 
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I mean, I'll put it like this: if it was written by a female author it would definitely be shelved YA :look: I agree Era 2 isn't, though.

I don't know what this means. Do female authors more routinely get branded as YA?

To the OP - @Tree I think Sanderson writes Mistborn in such a casual tone that it ends up feeling YA even if it isn't actually YA? So it deals with themes in a light way - I mean for example Kelsier and his trauma is only briefly acknowledged. The sheer drudgery and awfulness of that world is offset by the light tone that Sanderson uses -which I find specifically amplified when he describes the underlying laws of the Alloy systems.

So whilst I don't think it is YA, it does have that feeling because it is not really a mature book, in the themes it addresses and the way it does so.
 

Leira Galene

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I don't know what this means. Do female authors more routinely get branded as YA?
In short, yes. It's a common thing female SFF authors have talked about on Twitter, fighting to not have their very much adult (i.e., graphic, dark, characters are not teenagers) books shelved as YA.
 
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In short, yes. It's a common thing female SFF authors have talked about on Twitter, fighting to not have their very much adult (i.e., graphic, dark, characters are not teenagers) books shelved as YA.

Thanks - that's not something I was aware of as a problem. I'll read the article and give it some thought.
 

Tree

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I think Sanderson writes Mistborn in such a casual tone that it ends up feeling YA even if it isn't actually YA? So it deals with themes in a light way - I mean for example Kelsier and his trauma is only briefly acknowledged. The sheer drudgery and awfulness of that world is offset by the light tone that Sanderson uses -which I find specifically amplified when he describes the underlying laws of the Alloy systems.
This is a really good insight honestly and I think it strikes well toward that final "what, how old are half of the protagonists in Stormlight?" question. I never thought to question it because of the tone taken with that story/writing. It's never felt trivial or fluffy as some parts of Vin's story have (yeah I said it, #sorrynotsorry). The trauma surrounding Kelsier aside, Marsh! That was horrible and really felt unexamined which does feed into why I would question Mistborn being for grown ups. Seriously- that was some dark sh*t just brushed aside.

In short, yes. It's a common thing female SFF authors have talked about on Twitter, fighting to not have their very much adult (i.e., graphic, dark, characters are not teenagers) books shelved as YA.
Geez... and here is a topic ripe for discussion! @Cinna Vrammar got any numbers?
 

Cinna Vrammar

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So... no. This isn't really something I have numbers about, I'm afraid. I'm not a data analyst; I'm glorified data entry. I can notice funny things about individual books from authors I already know (like Sanderson—so when I saw the YA editions of Mistborn were a thing I was able to investigate further). Women having their writing pushed into YA categories when it doesn't belong there is... a more extensive issue than my work tools would allow me to delve into.

I think the article Leira linked is a great read, though. I know that when I saw what she originally said—that Mistborn would definitely be labeled YA if it were written by a woman—I nodded to myself, because it just struck me as true. Heck, I think era 2 would be labeled as YA if written by a woman, even though most of us agree it clearly isn't. I think I've been noticing this issue subconsciously, even if I haven't had numbers or supporting articles.

What I want to add is that I don't think this is exactly a new issue, but rather an extension or transformation of a long existing one. It is well known (in academic circles, at least) that women's writing has been, historically, undervalued and dismissed. Women have had to fight to have their work be taken seriously among attitudes that women's writing was all "frivolous" or "silly". Some women would write under male or ambiguous pseudonyms in order to avoid stigma—the first to come to mind for me is George Eliot/Mary Ann Evans, but there are many others. Even J.K. Rowling published with her initials rather than her full name at the insistence of her publisher so male readers would not pass over her books—and this was only two decades or so ago, and for a children's series! Here is an article about anonymity and pseudonyms for women writers, if you want to read more. I also remember in college stumbling on frustrating examples of men who would dismiss women's writing as inherently inferior, at least one going so far as to derisively claim he could tell if something was written by a woman just by looking at it. (I can't find that claim now, though I could have sworn it was something I read... it's possible it was actually something said by a professor or classmate... but I digress.) I would think labeling a work of fiction as YA—as in less than adult, or not fully "intellectual" or "real" (whatever that's supposed to mean in fiction)*—just because it was written by a woman (and for no other reason) is a natural progression of this kind of sexist dismissal. This is just one way that the publishing industry shows it hasn't grown out of its centuries-old nonsense yet.

*Please know that I understand YA is a target age range/intended audience, not a value judgement—but in this context, it sure does look like a value judgement on the part of whoever's doing the labelling.
 

Tree

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I know that when I saw what she originally said—that Mistborn would definitely be labeled YA if it were written by a woman—I nodded to myself, because it just struck me as true.
Word. For. Word. Saaaaaaaame.
*Please know that I understand YA is a target age range/intended audience, not a value judgement—but in this context, it sure does look like a value judgement on the part of whoever's doing the labelling.
Thank you. I need to be told this, through no malice- at least not consciously- I have absolutely made value judgements of YA. I'm getting better though- promise! Progress, we all continue to grow.

Regarding women in academia- man, that white tower is still so gender biased it's mind blowing. These over-educated liberals or whatever aren't all that they're labelled and from my personal experience what happens inside academia isn't just women pulling inferiority complex's out of their hats- its socially ingrained already but there are no misunderstandings that it is bred of these places as much as anywhere else. Is this why I didn't get a PhD, no (have you taught undergrads, yeah... yikes!) but does that socially and internally constructed feeling color the experience, oh yes.
 

Sorcha Al'Verdan

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I've never really liked the classification of YA, especially based on tropes or basic plots. Then again, I read IT in 3rd grade, so my perceptions might be skewed. Reading helped me experience so many things without ever actually experiencing them, that I think limiting what people are able to read categorically is nonsense. I'm not saying everyone should let their babies read all about visceral trauma or sex stuff. But I am saying these kinds of decisions should be made by people with knowledge of the individual reader as well as the materials. There are things that I would let my daughter read at 12 that I would never suggest to my son, and vice versa, because they are different people. And it would be the same of I had 2 daughters or 2 sons, they would be steered as the individuals they are.
 
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For me it's really in that sort of grey area between YA and Adult, almost a sort of stepping stone.

I wouldn't give it to a reader whose fully solidly in YA territory, but once they start getting used to handling more weighty books, its not a bad step up into more advanced reading.
 

Teavin Calayna

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I remembered earlier that I'd seen something a while back regarding the emergence of a new genre that falls between YA and adult novels called New Adult though I'm not certain how well that's gotten off the ground so for books that fall through the crack between YA and adult are in this category
 
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