Ranty rant: Adults aren’t perfect, so why do teenagers have to be?

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, butΒ 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 πŸ™‚

Steff xx



  1. Adoptabookaus · July 10

    I agree πŸ™‚ There’s a lot of times I realise I need to step back because I was exactly like that as a teen so I cant really complain about the characters xD the main reason I don’t read YA thriller and Mystery is coz I know I won’t like the characters I’m to old for them and that’s okay. I mean there’s still a few that I love but it’s not meant for me, I feel a lot of people forget this when they’re reading YA and it’s a bit sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · July 17

      Oh yeah I can’t read YA thriller and mystery either for that exact same reason! Yeah I see people complaining about immature characters in YA, forgetting that they are reading YA. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree so much with this post! A small thing that really stuck out to me though was the concept of connecting with characters and being a teenager myself I find myself doing that so many times! Like she did or would’ve done that in this kind of a situation and it’s like having someone who’s watching your back. I absolutely loved this post! -Avi

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · July 17

      Thank you so much! Yeah I think a lot of people forget to put themselves back in their teenager shoes when reading YA. Yay I’m glad you liked it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely agree! It really annoys me when I see negative reviews that are solely based on a character’s behavior and how the reader “couldn’t connect” with them. Well, if said reader is 30 years old, then yes, they probably won’t be able to connect with the character at all! Unless they somehow manage to remember how they were at that age and relate to that younger self (which is pretty cool).
    I guess I’m not completely without fault in this department, and I might have done my share of judging a teenage character before. But I always try to acknowledge that I’m being unfair and maybe that character is simply acting the way any teenager would under the circumstances. It always boils down to circumstances, I’m afraid. I might not agree with their behavior, but I will accept it as natural.
    Sometimes I actually enjoy the “immature” characters more than the mature ones. They seem to have a life of their own, a spark. Whiny characters are definitely harder to enjoy but they can be nice in their own way.
    Great post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · July 17

      Yes!! I think being adult and reading YA, you need to remember what you were like as a teenager – otherwise you aren’t going to find any connection with the characters at all. I agree, I have done my fair share of judging teenage characters, but for me I find it is mostly to do with the characters overall personality rather than the age factor. And yes, I love some of the more immature characters, they can make a story so much more interesting…Sevro from Red Rising comes to mind with that one. Thank you so much!!


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