I continue to be really amused (probably a little too easily amused) by blog and Goodreads reviews that use the word "language" to mean "bad language" or "profanity". The usage results in hilarious-to-me sentences like this one, taken from an actual review: "I was disappointed that the author felt she had to put so much language in the book."
HA! HA! HA!
I'm not generally shocked by profanity in YA books--mostly, I don't even notice it. Often when I go back and read Goodreads reviews, I'm surprised if they mention "too much" profanity--I won't even have thought about it. (I'm much more disturbed by any use of "gay" (or similar) or "retarded" to mean "stupid", or the fact that there don't seem to be many YA books without alcohol scenes, even when there's no reason for them.) On the other hand, I'm not enthusiastic about profanity in most middle-grade books, usually because it stands out to me as being unnecessary and unnatural. It's possible that I'm not being fair to the conservative reviewers who want squeaky-clean YA; maybe they think the profanity in those books is "unnecessary and unnatural". But I always sort of assume that they think it sets a bad example for the reader, and I'm not really on board with that thinking.
Do you have a line you draw for profanity? How do you feel about it in YA and middle grade books? Is there a book you can think of that would have been better without profanity? Do you even notice if a book doesn't have any? (I can't say that I've ever thought "oh, this book is so unrealistic--none of the kids ever swear".)