You've also probably already been reading the #YASaves tweets.
If you haven't read the article, it's full of the same old "OH NOES, YA IS ALL DARK AND DEPRESSING AND HORRIBLE AND IT'S BRINGING ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD AND IT'S PROBABLY THE CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING AND THE FACT THAT DAIRY QUEEN NO LONGER OFFERS COFFEE ICE CREAM!" that we hear every couple of years. It's the sort of article that is usually produced by someone who does minimal research and who chooses to make sweeping generalizations about the realm about which they are writing.
(You know: Like the "Comic Books: They're Not Just For Kids Anymore!" article that gets trotted out every so often.)
But this is an odd case, in that the article's author is the regular WSJ children's reviewer. So one would assume that she'd be aware that suggesting the YA industry is all about "bulldoz[ing] coarseness or misery into children's lives" might be going overboard. Especially in a piece that isn't in the opinion section.
But hey: Apparently not.
So, the author talked to a mother who was "thwarted and disheartened" because she couldn't find anything for her 13-year-old daughter in the B&N YA section other than books about "vampires and suicide and self-mutilation". Because I'm sure that B&N doesn't carry Meg Cabot. Or Maureen Johnson. Or Lisa Yee, David Levithan, E. Lockhart, David Lubar, Tanita Davis, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Elizabeth Scott, Stephanie Perkins, Shannon Hale, Hilary McKay, Ally Carter, Catherine Murdock or any number of other authors.
(I'd have mentioned Sarah Dessen, but, you know: Her books might be too heavy. Then again, Ship Breaker is listed in the sidebar recommendation list of the article (but just for boys!), so it's possible that the author and I are working from different definitions of the word "dark".)
None of this is to say that there aren't plenty of books published for the YA market that deal with tough stuff -- there are. And none of this is to say that those books are for everyone -- they aren't. But to suggest that publishers are trying to cram The Darkness down anyone's throat? Or to suggest that that's all there is in the YA section? That's just silly.
[ETA: Also. Was it just me, or did that article come really close to encouraging people to challenge books? It's the WSJ's article, the author's voice and their prerogative to argue whatever they want to argue*, but yowza. I do not agree.
*Though, again, it might have been better suited to the opinion page.]