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.
- 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 there 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!!!
- 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!!