The author of the article, Max Leone, says:
The first problem with many books for teens is archaic language. Seriously. It is the kiss of death for teenage boy literature. Any book infested by it is destined to become an eternal object of derision around the cafeteria lunch table….Okay, I don’t have any teenage boys (or girls, for that matter) in my house anymore. I do know I like Harry Potter and I read Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. But I’m not a teenage boy.
Another giant, oily blemish on the face of teenage literature (that was entirely intentional) is whatever urge compels writers to clumsily smash morals about fairness or honor or other cornball crap onto otherwise fine stories….
And then there are the vampires and other supernatural creature that appear in many contemporary teen novels. Vampires, simply put, are awesome….The vampire was always depicted as a menacing badass. That is the kind of book teenage boys want to read. Also good: books with videogame-style plots involving zombie attacks, alien attacks, robot attacks or any excuse to shoot something….
Finally, here is what I consider the cardinal rule of writing for young adults: Do Not Underestimate Your Audience.
Any writers of male teen fiction out there who’d like to comment? Any teenage male readers? Any parents, cousins, grandparents of teenage boys? If you go back and read my post on “manfiction,” you may agree with me on this point -- teenage boys don’t seem all that different as readers from grown men.