Young Adult is a genre that has recently exploded into something far beyond what it was when I was that age. With the popularity of series such as Harry Potter, Twilight, The Immortal Instruments, etc., it seems that the YA genre has been growing exponentially both in novels written and the authors who write it.
However, I steer clear of it. Why? Well here’s my list:
Nothing irritates me more than love triangles and that seems to be synonymous with the YA genre. There is so much rage I can vent out about this topic, but I am simply going to say that it is a plot tool that needs to die.
I think my biggest beef with this is because I am able to grasp that polyamory is a very real and normal thing.
One of the most notorious for this was Twilight. I refuse to say anything about the novel beyond that, but it seems to be a popular theme among YA nowadays. I wish people would see this for the toxic trope that it is, but somehow writers seem to get away with it. Not that it’s that hard in our sexist society.
I am deep enough in my nursing program to understand the teenage phenomenon called personal fable. I feel that YA authors tend to play on this a lot but they really need to stop. Instead of making the reader feel special, they just further isolate them from other humans. Unity, not division people.
Lack of POCs
I actually follow blogs who make lists of good YA with POCs. I am not saying they aren’t out there. But, just like YA involving nonhetero couples, the focus of such novels seems to be what makes the protagonist different. In this case, it is their skin color. I would love more YA that involves POCs where the focus isn’t on them being POCs!
Lack of family
This is another tool that authors seem to use because their writing isn’t strong enough to carry the story without it. I understand that there are a lot of broken homes and nonnuclear families, but I would to see more “family” support in this genre. It doesn’t have to be a nuclear family, but it always seems like the parents are negligent if not nonexistent while siblings are mortal enemies. I honestly can’t even remember a YA novel I have read where both parents even exist.
Lack of female comradery
This trope actually burns me up a lot. YA to do this trope where the only females beside the protagonist turn out to be just awful, evil, or the main antagonist. It is just another thing that pushes females apart instead of promoting unity. One of the reasons I enjoyed the Monster High series so much is because of how much the females care about each other and do whatever they can for their friends. I am not saying that all females have to get along, but these novels glorify fighting between females and that females are suppose enemies.
YA isn’t the only genre guilty of this. America itself is guilty with this. For some reason, we are obsessed with unique names. More often than not, YA toes the line of ridiculousness, especially if you can’t even pronounce it. I am not saying name every male Jason and every female Britney, but stop giving us stupid names.
It was about the time that novels started running together that I finally stopped reading YA. At that point, I felt there was some secret syllabus that every YA had that they had to go by when writing their novels. There are certain tropes and ideas that these YA novels fit perfectly into. After awhile, it was just too predictable.
Lack of realistic problems
Don’t get me wrong. Obviously Bella from Twilight is going to have some issues that the average teenager wouldn’t see. However, ignoring YA fantasy, there are just too many ridiculous plots that teenagers in the real world never even come into contact with.
Projected Age Group
I am still unsure what age group these books are suppose to be directed at. When I was in high school, I had zero interest in having sex with boys. Maybe that makes me weird? But if I was a mother, I wouldn’t want my high schooler reading some of these novels. If you take a moment to look through my blog you can clearly see that I am not against sex. But it would be different if the writers didn’t glorify and romanticizing unsafe sex practices.
Oh my I sound like an old person….
But seriously. Erotica is one of my genres of choice, but some of the things these teenagers do in these novels makes me facepalm.
I am not saying that the entire genre is garbage. All I am saying is that I have been burned too often to waste any more time on it. There are YA novels I have read that are amazing and blew me away. Tamora Pierce is one my favorite authors. But with the amount of low quality YA being pumped out, I think I will sit this one out for awhile.
Disagree with me? Tell me why!