Rant (kinda): What I want more/less of in YA

I think it’s safe to say that I am predominantly a Young Adult reader. It is the first section I head to when I go to the book store and where I will then spend most of my time. My bookshelf is filled with YA – The Hunger Games, Throne of Glass, The Mortal Instruments…to name a few. And while I absolutely love YA, I feel that there are things I would like to see MORE and LESS of. I therefore thought I would compile a list, because lists are fun.

Image result for list gif

MORE

  • Male main characters – I never thought I would say that, but while I do love reading from the female point of view, there really seems to be a lot less male MC’s than female.
  • Diverse Authors – sure there are definitely diverse authors, I’m not saying there isn’t. However it is no secret that there are more white authors than non-white, and even worse…white authors writing “on behalf” of non-white. People of colour should be allowed to share their own stories, not have someone write it for them!!
  • Diverse characters – A certain author has copped a lot of flack for the lack of diversity in both of her YA series. Not every character needs to be white and straight. Not every character needs to be “healed” with no scars or disability remaining. I want representation for EVERYONE from all backgrounds, beliefs, skin colours, sexualities, disabilities etc.
  • Childhood sweetheart tropes – I don’t see enough, in fact I am pretty sure I have only seen this once or twice. I don’t like instalove, and the one way you can ensure that won’t happen in your story is childhood sweethearts. It’s so sweet to see two people who have known each other have feelings for each other, it’s slow burn and I LOVE that!!
  • Mermaids – ok this is a bit of a random one, but thereΒ seems to be an abundance of fae, magicians, vampires etc. but I WANT MORE MERMAIDS!! By the way – if you know any mermaid books please tell me so I can read them.
  • Friendship – Does every single story need to turn into a romance? No. In fact, I LOVE books where people can just be friends instead of that need to turn into lovers. I will always be disappointed that Cassandra Clare coupled Clary and Simon up for that tiny bit. Like, whyyyyyy!!!

LESS

  • Macho male characters – Why does every guy need to be the “alpha”? I want more male characters who aren’t all rippling abs and smoulder. Not every male character needs to be absolutely, breath-takingly beautiful. Looks aren’t everything. I will take brains, humour, wit and heart over looks any day!!
  • Skinny and perfect – I’m so sick of “Mary had a perfect smile, perfect eyes, perfect boobs, a perfect skinny body that took no maintenance” and “on top of that Mary didn’t even need to train, from the time she was a baby she could run marathons and parkour”. Um yeah, we see enough of this crap in magazines with celebrities made out to be perfect, like we need FICTIONAL CHARACTERS making us feel insecure.
  • Instalove – Fair enough if you are someone who loves it when 2 people fall in love after 2 seconds, I am not one of them. Fun fact: if you fall in love with someone after 2 seconds it is most likely lust. Unless you are a mind reader and know every single thing about the other person before speaking to them. By the way I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with lust, but let’s be realistic here.
  • Sex without consent/protection – I shouldn’t even need to put this one in here and I don’t really feel I need to elaborate. The amount of books I have read where neither happens is pretty disappointing.
  • Unhealthy relationships – Liiiike Twilight. Sorry, I really don’t mean to drag this book all the time however if you want a good example on how NOT to portray a “loving” relationship this one really takes the cake. Edward is possessive, controlling and just an outright creep.

That’s all I can think of for today. I have probably missed a hundred thousand things, so if I have missed anything let me know. Do you agree/disagree with my points above? Let me know!!

Steff xx

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31 comments

  1. What a great post! I totally agree with diverse characters AND authors!!!
    AND YES to childhood sweethearts 😍😍 that is one of my favourite tropes but I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a book that had that in it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • littlebookynook · May 15

      Thank you!! So far I’ve only seen the childhood sweetheart trope in the Grisha Trilogy. I need more!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah right, Mal and Alina! Although, I really didn’t like how that turned out in the end πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • littlebookynook · May 18

        Yeah…I was a bit like “what the?”. But then I guess they were 2 characters who were very reluctant heroes so the quiet life probably suits them. But to lose all their powers, booo 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tatiana · May 15

    I agree to everything here! I’ve only read second chance summer with childhood sweethearts and I absolutely loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynn Thaler · May 15

    I agree. I don’t understand why they push unrealistic expectations and unhealthy relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · May 18

      Neither do I, it’s very frustrating. But then again, back in the day I loved Twilight and didn’t realise how problematic it was because I thought it was “romantic” that the guy saves the girl. I think those days are gone, and women are starting to feel more empowered and don’t need to be saved by men anymore. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. MommyMonster90 · May 16

    Love your post…. I agree on a lot of what you said but the one that stuck out was the Skinny & Perfect that is a big one i have had an issue with!

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · May 18

      Ugh I know!! I’m sick of all these characters being absolutely perfect and beautiful. Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • MommyMonster90 · May 18

        We need a character that has some love handles and she loves her body. Not a problem πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie · May 16

    Lovely post! I LOVE childhood sweethearts as well, definitely need more and more of that in books! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. brisbooksite · May 16

    I agree with your mermaid point! Mermaids are cool. Why aren’t there more mermaids?πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · May 18

      I know, mermaids are awesome!! I am currently **trying** to write a mermaid story, so who knows maybe there will be one extra mermaid story out there one day πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh yes I agree with you on more male main characters- there seem to be an awful lot more female leads and it would be interesting to read another perspective. And always less instalove!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Azia · May 16

    Great post! I agree on all the things you mentioned for more in YA. I definitely would love more books from the male perspective and also, more diverse characters and authors would be a blessing. I love mermaids, so thank you for mentioning that one too! The one YA trope I really can’t stand right now is instalove. My god I’m so tired of it haha. Childhood sweetheart or platonic friendships that bloom into romantic relationships would definitely rectify that! Love this post πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · May 18

      Thank you!! I’m not sure why there are less books from the male perspective in YA…is it maybe because there are more female readers? Either way, I would definitely enjoy reading from the male perspective just for a change. Ohhhh I hate instalove hey. I’m all for the slow burn!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Azia · May 19

        I’m thinking that might be the case, but it’d be nice and refreshing to have more male perspectives in YA. And it might inspire more boys to read, too! And yay! *High five* Slow burn is the best haha

        Liked by 1 person

  9. journeyintobooks · May 17

    Great post I totally agree that we need way more diverse characters and authors and death to Insta love

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Zoe · May 18

    OMG YES TO ALL OF THIS. Instalove is the bane of my existence and I would love more diverse characters as well. And friendship always seems to be overshadowed by romance in YA, so I’d love to see more strong friendships as well. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · May 19

      Friendship really does get shadowed by romance hey. I hate when 2 best friends and then the author feels the need to make a romance between them. It’s ok if it feels natural, but sometimes it feels really forced and I don’t like that. Thank you so much for reading, I’m glad you liked it πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Yes, totally agree with this list! Diversity is getting so big, though, that hopefully someday it won’t make the “I wish there was more of it” list anymore πŸ™‚ *fingers crossed*

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · May 24

      Diversity is definitely getting bigger, and I think because of social media authors get called out on it so much more now. So yeah, fingers crossed πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Pingback: One Year On: Little Booky Nook turns 1 | Little Booky Nook

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