6.8.10

Things That Bother Me About YA

I love young adult fiction.

It's hard to explain why - wait no it's not. I love YA because there are so many sub-genres, so many great books in the genre, so many amazing authors, and being a young adult, as well as a writer of young adult fiction it really is rewarding in many ways.

So yeah, I am a die-hard fan of YA.

But that doesn't mean there aren't things that bother me about the genre, as well as the industry, and what not.

For one, what is up with these female leads these days? I know I rant about this a lot from time to time, but come ON. Females are strong, we can hold our own, and not all of us fall prey to a guy just because they are gorgeous and stoic and (insert cliche description here). Okay, I'll admit there are A LOT of shallow girls out there but when it comes to romance, a real girl wants a guy who actually respects her, and in a relationship the two should play equal roles.

Often in books, the female lead is giving up everything to be with the 'guy of their dreams' while the guy himself, gives up nothing, which really really bothers me because that's not how a relationship should be. I know I'm not a relationship guru or anything, but everyone knows that's how it's supposed to work.

Real girls don't fall head over heels for some guy who has only one good quality, which is their good looks. In some YA books, mostly ones of the paranormal variety, the leads speak constantly of how good-looking the love interest is, and it really makes you wonder. Why does the love interest have to be hot and smexy?

As most of you may know, I am a huge fan of Jane Eyre, both the book and the 2006 movie. I had read the book before I had seen the movie, and while reading I already had a good mental picture of Mr. Rochester. He wasn't handsome, but it was the things that he did and said that made me fall head over heals in love with him.

Looks, I find, are not important when you fall in love. It depends on how fast your heart beats when that special someone is near, it's how often they enter your thoughts, it's how they make you feel, how they don't make you feel, it's how they treat you, and at the end of the day, their face, their outer appearance doesn't matter because you love them, and love is blind.

Or at least it's supposed to be.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where beauty is shoved down our throats.

In order to be beautiful you had to have perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect figures, perfect everything and NO ONE IS PERFECT.

So characters shouldn't be perfect.

I love book covers. They are what pull me in, make me want to see what's inside.

But in case you haven't noticed - there is no diversity in YA. Okay, okay, there is but you have to go on a hunt in bookstores just to find a YA book with a model on the front who isn't white.

I really don't care what color the character is because I was raised to appreciate everyone no matter what they looked like, but still - can we see some diversity on YA bookshelves?

I also can't stand how plain some of these main characters are. I mean, talk about boring. There are some authors like, Courtney Summers, Melina Marchetta etc. who come up with female leads, as well as characters who have great dynamics and are not two dimensional, but three dimensional because they JUMP off of the page.

And notice that I keep saying female characters - WHERE THE HELL ARE THE MALE LEADS?
I want to read more YA fiction where there are male main characters. That's why I tip my hat to writers such as Hannah Moskowitz and John Green because they do a great job of writing male voices.

Maybe this is not something to be annoyed about because maybe people just aren't writing books with male MC's. YEAH RIGHT. I know there are writers out there who are trying to query books with male leads, or maybe they are on sub but still.... I know that they're out there and for some reason they're not being grabbed up.

Which leads me to another issue I have with YA, some authors of the genre are afraid to stray far from the norm or in other words, they are afraid to be different, take risks. I mean, how many vampire/werewolf/angel novels do you see on YA bookshelves.

I don't know about you but I see a lot.

As I said before, there are many writers out there who are trying to pitch their books that stray from the norm, and for some reason they are not getting any attention.

ONE MORE THING and then I promise I am finished with this. Where are the PARENTS? You know, the people who gave birth to these young adults (well, you know what I mean).

They are pretty much non-existent in the YA world.

And instead of just complaining about all of these issues, I am doing my best to address them in my novels, and make sure that I don't fall into the habit of the norm.

So yeah, what bothers you about YA?

Come on, guys, I know you have a few things that really REALLY annoy you.

Seriously, just because you find a few faults in an awesome genre such as YA, doesn't mean that you dislike it, it just means that you agree that there needs to be a few changes, like everything in life.

So, come on.

Spill.

Looking forward to reading and answering comments. :D

2 comments:

  1. Some great thoughts here. I especially like the ones about how the male romantic leads don't give up anything or need to be more imperfect. Mr Rochester is a perfect example. In fact, so many of Charlotte Bronte's male romantic leads were far from handsome, and I loved those books.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete