What are your thoughts on sex and swearing in YA books? Such an interesting topic.

lynn vroman


Before I begin my rant, let me just say if you haven’t read Chuck Wendig’s work, you’re missing out on some uber-fantastic writing. Hands down, Miriam Black is THE BEST MC ever. Ever. Wendig… man, that guy’s a frickin’ word God. Seriously. Check out his website, too. His blog is probably the best writer’s blog out there.

So, rant. While trolling through the reviews for Under the Empyrean Sky, Wendig’s first young adult novel, I came across some comments that irritated me. Mainly the comments came from parents who didn’t like Wendig’s use of profanity or his teenage MC having sex—which, by the way, is off screen, so chill out.


Since when did teenagers quit swearing or having sex?

Here’s my question: Should writers write to the approval of those parents who somehow forgot their teenage years, or should they create realistic, relatable characters their target audience can…

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One thought on “PG-13ish?

  1. One of the reasons I like to read YA is because of the LACK of swearing and sex; I want a good story and I want it clean. Do teenagers swear and have sex? Some do, yes. But not all. Parents have come to depend on the YA genre to be “safe” for their kids to read. If Wendig can’t tell a good story without swearing and sex, then he shouldn’t write YA.

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