Things I’m Tired of Reading Of in YA

Hi ya’ll! First of all, I wanted to officially say “hi”, since last week I just posted a review and didn’t really get a chance to introduce myself. :)

I don’t bite, I promise :)

Anyways, do you read a lot of one genre? I do. The only genre I basically read is Young Adult (YA). While reading YA, I’ve realised something: there’s a pattern among some YA books. I’ve noticed how there are many elements that keep getting used over and over again. Sometimes they’re good, but sometimes they are really really bad. Below is a little list of some things I really wish would stop getting used so frequently:

  • Love Triangles: I’ve never felt comfortable with love triangles in general. If I loved someone that was torn between me and someone else, I’d tell him to choose the other person. I have enough self-respect not to be someone’s second-choice, and I definitely do not like being “put on hold”.  I understand being confused, I just don’t understand being led on.
    • Instance where this was GOOD: The Falconer by Elizabeth May: In this book, the love triangle wasn’t about how she was in love with both guys at a time. It was more about which guy should she be with? The one she loves or the one she’s duty-bound to be with?
    • Instance where this was BAD: Matched by Allie Condie: This love triangle was all about “I’m so madly in love with guy 1, until guy 1 isn’t in the picture. Then I’m definitely in love with guy 2. Oh gosh I love them both and now they’re at the same place at the same time. Who should I love?!”.
  • Bad Boys: I get really tired of reading about these bad boys who’ve slept with every single girl in the student body. What’s so special about these guys? That they’re walking, talking STDs?
    • Instance where this was GOOD: Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare: Oh man, I love that boy. He’s so swoony. He’s gorgeous, with a bad boy attitude. However his attitude doesn’t make him a bad person.
    • Instance where this was BAD: Jude from Crash by Nicole Williams: While I loved the book, Jude as a bad boy annoyed the hell out of me. He was overprotective and temperamental. He couldn’t think straight when it came to “his girl”, and he preferred running away than actually confronting the problems at hand. Not to mention he’d apparently screwed over almost the entire female student body and no one even batted an eye. Did I mention the walking, talking STDs? It seems Jude is it.
  • Dead Parents: I don’t want to be insensitive here. Honestly I don’t. But dead parents in YA is apparently a must have. We’ve seen this time and time again, and most of the time kids with dead parents are unrealistically portrayed.
    • Instance where this was GOOD: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins: This book, while having dead parents, still managed to provide a parental figure in the main character’s life. It delt very realistically with the issue.
    • Instance where this was BAD: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G. Tucholke: The parents aren’t necessarily dead, but they’re completely out of the picture. The children are minors that stay alone for MONTHS at a time and I still don’t understand how Social Services hasn’t yet interfered.
  • Good Girls who Change: I hate it when this “good girl” decides that she needs to change because her life “sucks”. YOUR LIFE DOES NOT SUCK GET OVER IT. Want to change? DYE YOUR HAIR! Don’t start taking drugs and having random sex everywhere!
    • There are no GOOD examples for this one because I’m still not entirely sure there’s a “good” portrayal of girls gone “bad”.
  • Extremely shy girl with extrovert best friend: this is becoming more and more typical in YA books and it actually scares me. I understand these friendships where they’ve known each other forever so it doesn’t matter if one likes reading on the weekend while the other likes partying and whatnot. I don’t understand these friendships where the extrovert best friend constantly criticizes and pushes the other girl to change.
    • Instance where this was GOOD: Pivot Point by Kasie West: I really loved the friendship between these girls, and despite their differences they had a genuine friendship. They supported each other even if they liked different things, and despite all that they were still really good friends.
    • Instance where this was BAD: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G. Tucholke: (Yes, again). Violet & Sunshine (yes, those are their names) are really unconventional friends. Violet constantly slut shames Sunshine because she likes to flirt. Sunshine always tells Violet to change her ways because she’s so “boring”. It’s annoying.

So, here are a couple of things I’m extremely tired of reading. If you have this in your book, it doesn’t necesarily mean I’m going to write it off, but it does mean I may thread a little bit more carefully.

Do you agree with me? Are these some things that appear in your favourite genres as well? Let me know in the comments :)

LoveMarianne

Comments

  1. says

    I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I read a LOT of YA in a short period of time (that year I read over 300 books and at over 200 of them were YA). That experience left me pretty burned out on the genre for several of the reasons you listed above-especially the love triangles, ugh. Now I still read YA in small doses, but I’m much pickier about what I read-if there’s a love triangle in sight I’m out of there :p

    Finley Jayne recently posted…Discworld Series Feature: {Interlude #1} Cities of NoteMy Profile

    • Marianne says

      300? Wow that’s impressive! I got burned out last year with dystopians. I used to love them and only read that. Now I scarcely read them. Most of the time I try to avoid love triangles, too. XD

    • Marianne says

      300? Wow that’s impressive! I got burned out last year with dystopians. I used to love them and only read that. Now I scarcely read them. Most of the time I try to avoid love triangles, too. XD

  2. says

    HI
    *waves*
    LOL i have to agree with this entire post because a lot of your issues with YA are like mine, especially the whole quite best friend thing and extrovert best friend (not all YA readers are quiet in shy, hell i’m the most extrovert out of all my friends yet i’m always reading about quiet, shy girl) It’s such a bummer.
    Lily recently posted…Five Ways to Fall (Ten Tiny Breaths #4):ReviewMy Profile

    • Marianne says

      *waves back enthusiastically* :D

      Yeah, it’s disappointing when this happens because if you can’t relate to a character, how are you going to like them? I’m not an extrovert, but I’m not quiet and shy either.

  3. says

    Absolutely on board with you on this! it’s like new mania. first there were vampires every where, now love triangles and bad boys. It is really became that hard to write a love between two people that will take your breath away!?

    • Marianne says

      I hear you. Maybe it’s just a phase and it’ll eventually get better. I agree, it does make it harder to read a genuine book nowadays. Fingers crossed we find some good ones among the midst of them all.

  4. says

    I definitely agree with everything you stated here, especially the love triangle, the man whorish bad boy and the slutty best friend with the virginal main character. Oh. And the non-existant parent figures too! Those tropes annoy the hell out of me.

    I mean, yes, there are certain instances when a love triangle works really well but I do hate the I love him and but love him too routine. Why would I root for a girl who’s so fickle? And YES about the STDs! Do you really want to be with a guy who’s slept with everyone you know?! That’s hot? Seriously? I love bad boys but manwhorish ones are not a favorite. The stutty friend is something that I’ve lately been annoyed about too. I mean, why do that? Is it to accentuate how special the main character is because she’s so pure and virginal?

    Great post, Marianne! I also love how you gave good and bad examples. These tropes are common but sometimes, they do work but it depends on how these characters and relationships are portrayed. Love this post! :)
    Amir recently posted…Review: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria StolarzMy Profile

    • Marianne says

      Yes to your whole comment. We’re supposed to be reading books that are “realistic” ebough to relate in some way but sometimes I feel as if im reading something completely foreign.

      However I’m always glad when there’s a different way to tackle the subject and when the author takes me by surprise. Thanks, Amir :)

  5. says

    I don’t like love triangles either. It just sucks! But it worked with me in The Moment Collector. And Will Herondale. *gushes* Totally backing you up with this choice of example! <3
    Absentee parents seem to be the norm in dystopians, but if it's used in contemporaries, it feels out of place, sometimes. Fantastic post, Marianne! I love the points you made. <3
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Blog Tour + Review 183 : All Four Stars by Tara DairmanMy Profile

    • Marianne says

      Yeah, sometimes love triangles do work out. Go figure xD Let’s fangirl together over Will, shall we?
      I think in contemporaries is when I most expect parents to be there, so when they’re not I feel out of place.
      Thanks, Dre ♥

    • Marianne says

      The main reason for eliminating the parents is because they “get in the way”, but honestly there’s no need to kill them off. I’ve read tons of books where there are huge parental influences and in no way does it interfere. Buuuut I guess it’s worked before so there has got to be something that we’re not seeing. XD

  6. says

    Great discussion! I totally agree with you (& on Will Herondale too, LOL!)! And speaking of love triangles, I didn’t like the one between Will, Tess, & Jem in The Infernal Devices – I loved the characters but not the love triangle or the ending. I’m also tired of dystopians, even though some are really good, there just seems to be a lot of them. Anyway, great discussion!! :-)

    • Marianne says

      If I were in Tessa’s position I would’ve never been able to choose! They were both so sweet and charming and honestly they both made her a better person. I have not read the last book in the series (yes, I know) but I already think I know what happens and if it does then I’m not going to be glad of how the triangle was solved. Thanks, Tricia!

      • says

        You HAVE to read the last book!! And we should chat after, LOL!! And I should clarify, I did like the last book. It was good, I just had a problem with how the love triangle was resolved. One of my reasons for not liking the triangle was because of how hard it was to choose between the 2 guys – they were both lovable characters in different ways, so it was definitely a difficult choice. :-)
        Tricia recently posted…Things I’m Tired of Reading Of in YAMy Profile

  7. Paula says

    Love this post so much!! Because everything is just spot on! This is why I rarely give 5stars. If I’m going to rate a book and give it a 5, I wanna make sure that it’s unique and that it’s never done before.

    I agree with everything you’ve mentioned, especially with the love triangle and bad boys, I just roll my eyes whenever the book’s blurb mention it. And I gasps whenever parents are actually alive in a book.. haha, I’m like ‘whoah, for real?! Le parents are alive?! *faints*’ Then they’ll die after 3 or 5 chapters.. -_-

    Anyway, fantastic post Marianne! (Will is my book boyfriend btw hahaha)

    • Marianne says

      I know what you mean. Lately I’ve been really hesitant to give out 5 star reviews because of that same reason.

      Hahahaha that’s so true! The parents die suddenly and I feel so cheated!

      Thanks, Paula. Will is so dreamy ♥

  8. says

    So much love for this post.. it’s spot on.

    Like with love triangles? I hate ‘em. With a passion. Personally, I don’t think there is a ‘good’ way of having one (although in my opinion, your example of a good one wouldn’t be considered a love triangle since we know who she would choose :P) and I really wish they would stop becoming such a common occurrence.

    I also totally agree about the Bad Boys thing. I don’t usually like the sleeping around stuff because, why? I simply don’t understand. I think it does come down to whether they are done well or not because I am willing to overlook the sleeping around/walking STD thing if I actually like the character :P

    I’ve actually given a term to the dead parents thing :P The Missing Parents Syndrome. It does seem to be a common occurrence because for some reason I cannot fathom, good relationships between parents and children seem to be a bad thing… *shakes head*

    The bad example you gave for friends is a perfect example of something that would make me head-desk. Why are you even friends if you want to constantly insult each other? LIKE WHY? SERIOUSLY. Ugh

    Fantastic post, Marianne!!!! :)
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    • Marianne says

      I guess you’re right about the triangke thing… but I stil llove at the moment how it’s being handled, lol.

      There is ONE bad boy who I love to death even if he slept around and that’s Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I think mostly because he knew he was a guy who slept around but he felt remose about it and had actually stopped before meeting the character. It kind of gives him depth, you know?

      Yeah, Missing Parent Syndrome is the perfect term for this!

      And UGH I KNOW. That’s not even a friendship.

      Thanks, Rashika! :)

  9. says

    This is fantastic Marianne, what is with the absent parents thing? It’s really annoying! Or parents who seem to be absolutely clueless at what their teen children are doing. Ugggh the whole good girl gone bad thing was really annoying in One Tiny Lie. I just didn’t know why that was necessary. And why are love triangles necessary? Fair enough when they are done well, like in Throne of Glass, but other times they don’t need to be there. Super great post hun!
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    • Marianne says

      Right? I’m pretty sure I could never get away with HALF the things these kids get away with because my mom is really perceptive, lol.
      I really have to read the Throne of Glass series but I keep procrastinating because I feel like I’d be really biased. I’m glad to know the triangle is well developed!
      Thanks, Jeann! :)

  10. says

    “I have enough self-respect not to be someone’s second-choice, and I definitely do not like being “put on hold”. I understand being confused, I just don’t understand being led on.” –Hear! Hear! The big question here is: where do you draw the line? I think this is where it gets pretty subjective so if many readers don’t like it and if it doesn’t contribute to the story, why use this trope in the first place, right?

    Then the bad boys. This could turn into a very bad character or a good, vulnerable character. And I think I’m fine with dead parents just not the almost nonexistent ones.

    And oooh, I remember reading about this girl that is so boring her best friend practically needs to drag her out to go to parties. I just can’t remember what’s the title of the book, but it definitely pissed me to no end. I’m more of a house person and when I say I will not go, I will never changed my mind. Even though you’re my best friend and I love you, you can’t drag me away.

    You basically summed up all my pet peeves. One thing I might add though, if I have a list, is the made up words. Do you ever get so annoyed by having to remember so much made up words in a book that it detracts from the reading experience. Like if it’s a mermaid book, they’d call their phones, shellphones and such. Ugh. This irks me a lot.

    Anyway, brilliant post Marrianne! :)

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    • Marianne says

      Oh man, made up words click with me some times, but others I just hate them. Especially if they’re made up swear words. Ugh. Just write whatever you intended to write in the first place. It makes me feel childish to read made up words.

      Thanks, Sarah! :)

  11. says

    Awesome post, love! I actually don’t mind a love triangle as long as it is written well, like Cynthia Hand’s THE UNBOUND series, which is pretty similar to the one you mentioned as good, because the girl was wondering if she should go with who she loved, or who she was destined to be with as dictated by the heavens.

    As for bad boys, they never really get to me… most of the time. Usually, they make me crazy because most of the ones I’ve read just don’t have any respect for the girl :( But there was this one bad boy that caught my heart huhu, and it was Reeve in Fire With Fire by Jenny Hans. Check out that series when you have the chance!

    And DEAD PARENTS! I hate how they’re almost, in, like, 90% of YA. It’s such a lame cop-out of escaping parent-teen relationships, when in the real world, they still have vital roles in the teenager’s lives.
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    • Marianne says

      I loved that series by Cynthia Hand! And I was totally happy with the guy she chose at the end. However I would’ve been content with either choice because both guys were pretty good for her.

      I bought Burn for Burn by Jenny Han, so I can’t wait to meet Reed :D

      It’s a shame that most parents are eliminated from YA books because they could be SO useful for many storylines. Instead of having a random “deus ex machina” person, why not have the parents actually help? Not all parents are in the way!

      Thanks for stopping by, Faye!

  12. says

    I can get tired of love triangles too when it’s abused of and unnecessary!! It’s weird though because there are many things that I let PASS in a book but the stuff that I can’t bear are 1) slow-pacing at its maximum (I know there is no real link with your post…) and 2) mean main characters or the ones that judge people and are negative. Like this book I’ve finished not so long ago called Open Road Summer. The MC was negative and I hated her. ;) There are always exceptions though!! ALWAYS. Really nice post and, yeah, YA is the genre I read the most. I read 80% YA, 19% Adult, 0.5% New Adult and 0.5% Middle Grade. lol, it’s an average though. ^^
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