Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What I Want To See More Of In Young Adult Literature

The New Year always brings fresh starts, right? This year, one of my blogging resolutions is to include more opinion pieces/discussion posts.  I've been wanting to write this post for awhile now, because even though I will always love YA and be a big supporter of it, there has been some things that have turned me off from reading it as much as I would have in the past. Each year, I have been reading more and more adult reads, because lately really GREAT young adult reads have been few and far between. 

So, with that said, here's my wish list for young adult literature in the new year.  Here's what I want to see more of:



  • Parents that are present - Ok, so I know there are some absentee parents out there in real life, but in many of the young adult novels I read in the past few years, there have been an overwhelming amount.  Parents that aren't home, parents that don't talk to their kids, parents that let their kids do whatever....it's tiring, because I don't think that's the majority of parents in real life.  I feel like you either see the absentee parents or really overbearing parents to the point where it isn't healthy.  How about we see more caring parents that actually talk to their kids? Parents that are around.
  • No more dystopias - I love me some Hunger Games and the like, but I'm over it.  I don't want to read about the end-of-the-world anymore or anything similar to that.  It's been played out.
  • Boys that respect girls - In 2015, I read many young adult books that had many young men in it that were straight up disrespectful to young women to the point where it was really bad. Sure, this happens in real life, but how about in young adult literature, we include "popular" guys that also respect young women and don't just judge them based on just how they look.
  • No more insta-love - I have been saying this for sometime; heck, everyone has been saying this, so, can we agree to get rid of this? Insta-love has been played out, but I still find it pops up in young adult literature.  Is that because teenagers are more susceptible to infatuation? Possibly. But either way, I'd like to see more relationships blossoming after a strong friendship or at least let some time go by before they declare their undying love. *cue my eye roll*
  • Love triangles done well - Ok, so many people have issues with love triangles. They don't want to see them at in young adult literature; however, I think if it is done well,  I don't mind it as much.  Some of my favorite books have love triangles in it and I think if the author is talented he/she can make this work.  
  • Girls that support one another - I am SO, so, SO over mean girls. I am over girls in young adult literature that don't have a single girlfriend.  I want a female heroine to have a BFF who supports her and doesn't take part in backstabbing. I think it would set a good example.
  • Independent young girls - I have been seeing more of this lately, but I want even more.  Ok, so I am probably being greedy, but I don't want to see anymore girls suffering from Bella Swan syndrome. I want more kick-butt heroines that go out and grab life by the lapels.  If a heroine has a love interest and someone who cares about her? Then great, but she doesn't need to be saved by a young man every.single.time.
So, that's my wish-list for young adult literature this year.  Share with me some other things you would like to see in young adult literature and feel free to share some things that you would rather not see.   Let me know what you think! 

17 comments:

  1. I love the Lorelai GIF! She was a great mom (with flaws) on that show. I completely agree about the whole absent/bad parent thing. I think it panders to the teen demographic that wants to see their parents and other adults as clueless (such a 90's teen word I know).

    I am not a fan of love triangles or instalove and like you I am through with dystopia. I am enjoying some of the fantasy novels that have been released as well as historical fiction and suspense. I'd like to see more novels like Emery Lord's that usually have those strong friendship and better developed romance. I also wouldn't mind some novels without romance. My coworker and I were discussing The 5th Wave. He really enjoyed the book but didn't care for all the romance in it. We discussed how it was given so much page time to make the story appeal more to girls (which is sad). I haven't read the book but it sounds like the basic story would appeal to girls and guys.

    I like the idea of independent heroines but not the kind that can almost magically do everything and don't need anyone's help. By that I don't mean being rescued by a love interest but the idea that the character would have friends and other support in their lives. Even Katniss needed help from Haymitch, Cinna and others :)

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    1. I thought she was a great mom too and one that always cared, showed up, etc.

      When I was thinking about what I wanted to see more of in YA, Emery Lord's novels popped into my head. It think she does a good job with all of the things I'd like to see more of. I am glad you agree!

      Yes, I agree. There needs to be a balance from being a damsel in distress to being too independent and doing everything on your own. I think Sarah J. Maas does a good job in Throne of Glass of portraying a kick-butt heroine. Thank you for visiting, Christina!

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  2. Yes, yes, and yes! I hate it when the dude treats the chick like dirt, and she *still* puts up with his sh** - dump his ass!

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    1. Yes, I see that a lot in NA novels, which is why I tend to avoid many of them. I'm glad you agree, Cee. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. These are such GREAT points, Christina! I don't read a ton of YA, but I do wonder where the parents are; it feels like watching The Peanuts - ha! I, too, am over dystopia and I think there should be some strong female characters OUTSIDE of the dystopic tales. Great list!! Hope someone is listening - ha!

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    1. Haha. YES! The Peanuts. The parents are so absent, it's laughable in a lot of them. I'm glad you agree, Tara. Thanks for visiting.

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  4. Great list. I do think dystopian books seem to be a waning trend. I love present parents but also feel like absent parents are sometimes a necessary plot device so that characters can get up to all the things that parents would not let them do (and I don't mean sex, just running around doing unlikely things instead of boring homework...)
    And YES to independent girls who support each other. More of that would be fantastic.
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Yes, I definitely have seen absentee parents used as a plot device. I wish it weren't used as often though. I'm glad you agree about independent girls...would love to see more of that as well. Thanks for visiting, Jen!

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  5. I agree with everything on this list EXCEPT the dystopia one. I wish people would stop reproducing the exact same story, but when it has a unique world/plot, I am all for it! Like, Wither, Delirium, and The Hunger Games are all very different books (at least in my opinion), so I love that.

    I think every now and then the absentee parent trope is acceptable. The reality is that some people do have parents who are never around. However, I don't like it when it's merely a plot device to give a character more freedom. I like when it is acknowledged that the parents suck at parenting and it screws up the child in some way. But, for the most part, I prefer parents that are present. I enjoy reading about close families (since I come from a very close family).

    AND YES TO THE LOVE TRIANGLES. I know people hate them, but they can be really intense and really wonderful if written properly.

    Fantastic post!!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

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    1. Good point, Lefty about dystopias.

      I see a lot of absentee parents used a plot device...you are right about that!

      I'm glad you agree about love triangles. They can be annoying, but if done well, they definitely add something to the story. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. It would be so nice to see books with parents actually being present! I'm always reading and thinking "if I was in that situation my parents would be in a frenzy" yet so many books have YA protagonists where the parents don't even show up, nor are they mentioned. I also think that a lot of dystopians are starting to seem the same. :/ It sucks, because I've made my blog as Downright Dystopian and I don't exactly want to change the name, but I do way more than review just dystopian books!

    I also don't mind it when love triangles are done well. There's just way too many books out there right now where the love triangle features another person who just shows up with so much instal-love.

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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    1. Haha, yes, Krystianna! Me too!

      Yes, a lot of the dystopias are definitely derivative. I definitely wouldn't change your name, because there are so many good ones still out there! Plus, I love your blog's name.

      And yes, you are so right about insta-love. Thanks for visiting!

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    1. Thanks, Becca! :) I'm glad you agree. Thanks for visiting.

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  8. I so agree (well, except for the love triangles. There is nothing I hate more, well done or not!)! It kind of ties into the parents one, but I want to see more siblings that treat each other like siblings, rather than a surrogate parent type of relationship.

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    1. That's a great point! I agree. I'd like to see more of that as well. Thanks for visiting!

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