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Let’s discuss: YA – yay or nay

 

Let's discuss_ YA - yay or nay

 

I’ve received quite a few comments, both here and on Twitter, from people saying “your blog would be better if you reviewed YA books”. Firstly, I appreciate when people take the time to leave comments, and the feedback is much appreciated. Secondly, I cannot stand YA, which is the main reason it’s very rare I read any books from that genre. As this is my little corner of the interweb I’m only really focusing on books that I want to read. If I didn’t I don’t think this would be fun anymore, and without me actually enjoying it, I’m pretty sure my online presence would slowly – but surely – fizzle away!

Why do I not like a popular and broad genre like YA? Well there’s many different reasons. But mostly I think it comes down to the overuse of annoying tropes, annoying habits and damaging relationships.

 

 


 

 

LET’S BREAK DOWN THESE TROPES AND HAVE A LOOK AT EACH ONE:

 

LOVE TRIANGLES.jpg

 

To me it’s rare I find an author that manages to pull off love triangles, without me wanting to quit the book and slap the main characters silly. I always feel like it’s the exact same thing!

  • Protagonist can’t choose
  • Protagonist won’t choose
  • Protagonist get’s annoyed when anyone dares to expect them to choose
  • Protagonist can’t see (or refuses to see) how the lack of choices affect those nearest and dearest.

 

It’s a clear example of wanting the cake and eating it too. The protagonist always seems to want to be friends with the one that isn’t chosen, and seems to get their feelings hurt badly if the other party doesn’t want so. Normally, that would be perfectly acceptable and understandable. But never in those books, because no one should upset the protagonist.

 


 

 

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.jpg

 

When the protagonist meets her love interest, it always reminds me of the setting from a Disney movie.

  • There’s the increase in heart beating
  • Trouble breathing
  • In-explainable blushing

 

And in many cases, all this is followed by some kind of clumsy act. All this kind of makes sense in a paranormal setting, if the love interest uses their powers. But that just never seems to be the case. It’s purely caused by raging hormones.

 


 

 

A BREATH THEY NEVER NOTICED THEY WERE HOLDING.jpg

 

 

The first few times I read this sentence, I wasn’t bothered. It was an okay description of how captivated the protagonist was in something, or by someone. But by now it’s just one of things that really annoys me. Sometimes it’s for such a long time that professional swimmers and pearl divers would envy the ability. When most people holds their breath, it leaves them (surprise, surprise) out of breath. But the protagonist never needs to catch back up on her breathing.

 


 

 

PARENTS ARE ABSENT (WHICH ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE VERY CONVENIENT) (1).jpg

 

 

Absent parents always seems to very convenient for the protagonist. But in the real world, the protagonist would probably have been removed from their parental guardian, if anyone knew just how much time they spend on their own. Of course this differs from book to book, but in some cases the lack of supervision is quite extreme.

 


 

 

CONVEYING WORDS AND FULL SENTENCES, SIMPLY BY LOOKING INTO SOMEONES EYES..jpg

 

 

I wish I could look into my friends, family and boyfriends eyes, and convey full sentences. And of course, that they would understand this with no trouble at all! How handy it would be, sitting at the table enjoying our morning coffee, and from one look suddenly know what we’re both up to that day, what’s for dinner, and who’s fed the cat. It would make my mornings a lot easier, that’s for sure! But since that’s not really the case for anyone, this only makes sense if the protagonist and those they interact with are paranormal beings. But that just never seems to be the case!

 


 

 

PROTAGONIST DOESN'T REALISE THEIR OWN BEAUTY, CONSTANTLY THINK OF THEMSELVES AS WEIRD OR UGLY, WHILE EVERYONE AROUND THEM SWOONS AND THE COMPLIMENTS NEVER DRY UP..jpg

 

 

The protagonist always seems to think of themselves as ugly, weird, flawed and an outsider who doesn’t fit in. This is despite the fact that everyone around them swoons, and the compliments never seems to dry up. Yet, it’s never until the love interest makes the protagonist feel valued and loved, that they get any self-esteem. It might be the feminist in me, but I really don’t like when a woman needs a man to feel happy. This level of power is ridiculous, because the protagonist always ends up feeling like a nobody or a failure, of the love interest doesn’t spend every minute of every day with them.

 

 

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These are just the main reasons why I usually stay away from YA books. But I could probably go on for a lot longer, if I also started talking about the lack of diversity, abusive relationships, the treatment of characters, lack and the special snowflake syndrome would probably require a post on it’s own.

 

When I think back of the YA books I’ve read (and there’s many), I can only think of one series where none of the above bothered me: TWILIGHT. I know this series is ridiculed and looked down upon. And if I read it for the first time now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it. But I read it at a time, where that was just exactly what I needed. So, despite the fact it pretty much contains every trope I stay away from now, it worked back then.

 

 

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Lets chat

Do you like YA books? What’s your favourite book and trope? Or do you like me stay away from them? If so, why? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

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18 thoughts on “Let’s discuss: YA – yay or nay”

  1. I agree with a lot that you have to say here. I think YA is particularly troublesome and annoying, but it’s written for teens. I work in the youth services department of my local library and I will tell you getting teens involved and reading is like pulling teeth. They need the petty drama and fast developing romance to keep them interested.
    Now that’s not to say that teens aren’t smart enough to read more well crafted novels, it’s just what feels good to read at that age. I look at the books I used to read as a teen now and shake my head, but at the time it was exactly what I wanted.
    Also will note that the genre has vastly improved since I was a teen and that was only five years ago. I think since the genre is getting more notice, we’ll start getting more diverse writers who are creating more meaningful stories.
    Loved your post and the discussion it created!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is such a valid point!! If I went back and read the books I read as a teen, I think I’d cringe now lol. But you are completely right, because I used to really like love triangles back then.

      Of course teens are smart enough, but as you say it needs to “hit the spot”. And different age groups look for different things. I do agree that the YA as a general have improved a lot, and there seems to be a lot more diversity now.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post, and thanks for adding your 2 cents 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First Bibi…WTH? Your blog would be so much better if … Really the gall of some people! Now about your tropes they are all true but only some of them bother me like …love triangle! Some authors can make them work but most of the time I can’t stand them! Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah… I never know what to say when people say such things lol. So decided to go for polite optimism 😛

      I agree love triangles CAN be okay, if the author makes it work in a good way. But for me there’s few and far between those books.

      Like

  3. I love YA if written well… Actually I don’t even bother to check ages of the characters if the book is written well. I don’t like to characterize them in that manner because they are books which take me to a different world.
    Breath hitches – mine does too when I see a hunk… You should see me stammer… Sheesh… And some days I am totally a girlie girl to enjoy such inane tropes… Because I am the same in real life… Can’t choose and won’t choose…
    I read according to my mood… And how I feel… I read cozies and gained weight so I am off them.. 😂 😂 Now I am on thriller till I feel I am twisted inside.
    Sorry my comment went in a tangent Bibi… But in any book I don’t like a simpering dumb floozie kind of a character who doesn’t grow up. I don’t think men grow up ever (I just got ghosted so I am off them)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is really interesting, Shalini! I, too, read books depending on my mood, but I think it’s cool that you’re not paying attention to whether its YA, NA or whatever age. I wish I could do that.

      And I agree, no matter the genre a simpering, dumb, floozie kind of character is exasperating and just SO incredible annoying. That’s not only in YA. In my experience it’s just mostly in YA you find those kind of FMC. Unfortunately, there’s also quite a few in my beloved RH. And I dislike them just as much as if it was YA!

      Like

      1. Have you read those chick-lit… Omg they are the worst and those mills and boon, damsel in distress kinda females who swoon at a man…
        Psst.. I too swoon and become a propah giggly floozie at times simpering at the manly man 🙈🙈😂😂❤️❤️ but I do it… At least I did it when I last went on a date 3 years ago.. 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For me chick lit can be great, when done correctly. But there’s so many over the top ones too! Haha I’m not judging people for being like that, involuntary gasp or blushes happens. I just don’t like that it’s almost become the crush trademark amongst heroines 😂

        Like

      3. Me me me – I did the act of simpering idiot today and I am so embarrassed 😳 and the guy was not even looking at me.. Kill me, kill me now Bibi… Luckily, my work mates were no where around.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love young adult. I like a good enemies to lovers and best friends to lovers and in love with siblings best friend stories.

    I often get told I shouldn’t read young adult because I’m 31 years old.

    I think people should feel free to read whatever genre they wish. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depending on my mood, I do sometimes enjoy a friends to lovers romance. Some authors really pull it off! But I still prefer the MCs to be at least new adults.

      I don’t believe in letting your age dictate what you enjoy and I agree, that people should feel free to read whatever they want to 🙂 There are also some YA or NA books, that are still aimed at a more mature market, even though they can still be enjoyed by teenagers too.

      Personally, I think there’s a lot to be said for individuality. And even if 2 people of different age groups read the same book, they can both still enjoy it, whilst getting completely different things out of the experience 😀

      Like

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