So here’s the deal. Not everyone is going to love every character out there for whatever reason. I hated Scarlett from Caraval, she annoyed me so much mostly because she was such a buzzkill and for me wasn’t an interesting character compared to her sister. There are characters I loved that others hate. Take for instance Tessa from The Infernal Devices, I know some people find her insufferable however I actually absolutely loved her.
I read Young Adult books, which means that not only are the characters mostly teenagers but that is also who the books are aimed at. There is absolutely nothing wrong with adults reading YA books, however when an adult starts to make complaints about a teenager acting like a teenager, that’s where things get annoying.
Teenagers aren’t perfect. But guess what, adults sure as hell aren’t perfect either. I have known adults who carry on like the world owes them something, who have had the chance to build something for themselves and have knocked it down at every chance they get. I know adults who are privileged assholes, who have had everything given to them in life and never had to try hard for anything (and boy don’t they act like it). I know adults who complain about everything and how hard life has been for them, but have done absolutely nothing to make things better for themselves (but are more than happy to lay the blame on everyone else).
So, what is it that is wrong with teenagers and how they act compared to adults, who are supposed to know better? And also, do you remember what you were like when you were a 16 year old? When I was 16 I was full of hormones that made life super confusing and I was either laughing, crying or seething. I complained about my parents, teachers, and people more privileged than me. I listened to music that explained exactly how I was feeling and would write quotes in my diary that were written by other people but could have been written about my life. I felt misunderstood and not taken seriously. I thought boys were evil but at the same time I wanted them to notice me. I wanted thousands of friends and to go to parties and be cool. I wore a bandana and glasses because I wanted to stand out and be unique (even though now I look back at pics of myself and think WHAT A LOSER). I wasn’t perfect. I’m still not.
The last thing teenage me would have wanted to read about was perfection. I would have wanted to read stories where the characters are going through the same internal conflicts. I would have wanted to read stories that made me feel not so alone in the world, like I had some fictional friends in another world I could visit when life was feeling hard or scary.
Which then brings me back to reading YA. There are adults who don’t like to read YA because they don’t want to read from a teenagers point of view, and that is absolutely fine. There are probably even teenagers who don’t like to read YA for the exact same reason. Each to their own I say! However, if you are reading a book that is aimed for young readers and you are getting angry because the characters are acting like young people, I would seriously suggest you look at reading books aimed at a higher age bracket.
I finish with this. Stop expecting perfection from teens whether fictitious or not. Not only is it unrealistic, but it puts so much pressure on young people when they already have the weight of the world on their shoulders as it is. I have never known an adult who is perfect, and even if they came across that way they are just doing a good job at covering up their flaws (a singer comes to mind, initials T.S…but that’s an argument for another day).
Anyways that all from me for now. If you want to add your 2 cents please feel free to hit me back in the comments below 🙂