Another blogger asks for my thoughts on this NY Times article about contemporary girls' fiction. I don't know what to say, really: these crosses between Sweet Valley High and American Psycho are even more disturbing when one considers that the audience for YA fiction is typically a few years younger than the characters. This means that the girls reading these persecution and consumption manuals are probably middle schoolers and are thus at their peak stages of meanness and impressionability. I met enough of the grown-up versions of these girls in Cambridge to be thoroughly exhausted with them, from their thousand-dollar outfits to their tiny designer bags to their equally tiny designer noses; I'm sure they could have more acutely honed their superficiality had they been weaned on books like these.
Any girl mature enough to read this trash is mature enough to read real adult fiction. Some Edith Wharton might be nice, or some Fitzgerald.