It’s List Time!
Things I’m tired of seeing in YA fiction:
- Dumb Adults
- I hate it when a twelve-year-old find the missing piece to the puzzle that an adult should have found.
- Adults were once teenagers, too. They broke rules and knew about drugs and sex.
- Adult Villains Obsessed with the Teenage Protagonist
- I can’t stand when these adult villains have an unhealthy obsession with the teenage protagonist. It’s creepy and begs the question of WHY. Does this trope fill that teenage-girl desire to be wanted to the point of obsession?
- Love Triangles for the sake of drama
- Now, a well-done love triangle is great, but so many have been done HORRIBLY that the entire idea of a love triangle makes some readers gag and roll their eyes. I’m looking at you, Ever the Brave.
- Girls in Combat Boots
- Have you seen girls that wear combat boots in real life? They’re not attractive. On anyone.
- Teens with Unrealistic Favorite Books
- Particularly Pride and Prejudice. It’s not a fun book to read. It’s old, out of style, and boring – I love the story, and I hate to read it. For those of you who’ve never picked up the book, it’s something you’d read in literature class, not for fun.
- Love interests named Jack
- I don’t know why there are so many of them.
- Unnecessary Character Death in the End
- A character death needs to be worthy of the drama, built up, an emotional sucker puck, the uppercut – not there because killing someone off makes it more dramatic.
The last bullet point isn’t so much a bullet point, but an overall lack of depth, of story, of character, and of emotion. I’ve found that a lot of YA fiction books have a “dumbed down” style of writing – the plot is simple, side characters are shallow, and the main characters are cardboard-esk and predictable. (I typically don’t make it far into those, because bleh.)
The Girl Who Drank the Moon comes to mind – a YA fantasy I read a while back. It had a young protagonist, but it also had adults in the story. It was written toward a younger audience, but it didn’t dumb down the story. The adults were smart and aware of their surroundings. The writing was intelligent. The story had heart. If I recall, I scored it 5/5.
Just because a book is aimed at a YA audience, doesn’t mean it should feel like a YA wrote it.