Today, on Write Away Wednesday, a few of the things that bug me in YA novels.
MY FAVOURITE BOOK IS A CLASSIC
There's nothing wrong with a teen whose favourite book is PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, but I feel like it's all too prevalent in YA novels. I mean, I was legendary as a child for the number of books I read, and my faves were all contemporary stuff like Encyclopedia Brown and The Baby-Sitters Club (so not even kidding). I went to the top academic school on the island, and I can't think of anyone who's favourite book was a classic. Even my bff- who loves a bunch of literary stuff and all things Tolkien these days- was reading bodice-rippers in the teen years.
I kind of feel like making a teenager do anything = making them hate it. There are a few books that I read in school that meant nothing to me then, but I'm all into the deeper meaning now. There are so many great YA books these days (YA didn't exist as a category in my day) that I can't imagine such a large percentage of teens overlooking TWILIGHT and HARRY POTTER and THE HUNGER GAMES and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and picking a 200 year old book as their fave. Also, I wonder how many teens HAVE favourite books, between teenage indecision and being so busy with school and a social life that there's not that much time to read.
It bugs me whan a main character loves writing, especially where it's not important to the plot or the mechanics of the story. Once again, stories about writers are overdone, and not just in YA. There are so many other hobbies they can have which will colour them in all sorts of interesting ways. Oh, and photography is also out, unless the plot is about them taking a picture that starts a scandal or something.
I'm sorry but I happen not to know any teens whose favourite band is The Beatles, or who only listen to Elton John or Michael Jackson or Sade. As a teen I was really into all of those, but I was a weird kid. And none of them was my favourite group either.
One exception to this rule is the "rebel without a cause" kid who purposely picks some obscure hard rock band from the 60's to love. Or something like that.
GIRL LIKES BOY, BOY LIKES GIRL
Is it just me, or does it feel like 90% of the time a girl likes a boy in YA, he likes her back? Never is it: girl likes boy, boy has never thought of girl before, but she's cool, and he starts hanging out with her. Seriously, I can not think of a single time that happened. And I feel like I saw that a lot in my teen life. Heck, I feel like I see it a lot now.
THE PHYSICALLY FLAWLESS
I am so tired of love interests that everyone agrees is the hottest guy/girl in the school. There's about a zillion things wrong with the implied message there, but I'm not even going to touch that. I'm more interested in the fact that I don't think most people go for the stereotypically hottest guy in the room. We all have our preferences, and often we find people sexy and our friends are like, "he's aiight," or even, "ew!" On top of that, I don't know if there is such a thing as "The Sexiest Guy." If you lined up Brad Pitt, Willy Monfret, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Taylor Lautner and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and told a bunch of teenage girls to run screaming to the sexiest one, they wouldn't all go to one guy.
I can find something sexy in 99.9% of guys, even if it's the tiniest thing. And my characters are like that too. The last MS I completed, the MC's best friend constantly laughed at her because the guy she was cruching on was a "broomstick". But the MC thought that was sexy.
Are there any trends in YA novels that really drive you up a wall? How do you feel about the ones I mentioned?