Good morning/afternoon/evening/midnight to everyone. I hope you are well (if you’re asleep, you may ignore this salutation and continue snoozing). So far this year, as of the 24th of January, I’ve read 13 books. Woah! That’s a lot of books. 10 and a half of them have been YA (I say the half because Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is kind of between MG and YA).
Anyway, what I’ve noticed already is that there are certain things in YA that never happen – things that I really WANT to happen (and who knows – I might write some!). Without further ado, here is my list:
1) More family relationships!
I finished reading The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson today, and loved the sisterly aspect of it. The only problem is that even in these types of books, there is usually a romance element. It’d be lovely to read some more family-oriented books without the smooching.
2) More diversity!
I want to read about all different kinds of people, not just cishet, white teenagers. Not that there’s anything wrong with cishet white teenagers (in fact, I’m pretty sure I’m one). I want to read more books like I Am J which, while having a fairly straightforward plot, is one of the few books I’ve read about a transgendered teen. I’d especially love to see more diversity in spec-fic books.
So I’m 16, turning 17 this year (HELP ME, I’M TURNING INTO AN ADULT). What I’ve noticed is that in YA books, people hardly ever seem to wear odd socks. They’re all about finding the perfect boyfriend or saving the world or something, whereas my biggest worry yesterday was snapping my glasses (although to be fair, it’s kind of distressing when you can’t tell your dad and sister apart). I want to see more YA characters with silly problems.
4) Books about friendship
I don’t see enough books where the main relationship is a friendship. This saddens me, because my friends are the most important people in my life.
Okay, so maybe I’m in the minority here. But school is a huge part of my life, and not many teens in YA seem to stress about it as much as me. Which is why I loved It’s Kind of a Funny Story so much.
I’ve heard a lot about Ink by Amanda Sun lately, and haven’t got around to reading it. Basically, it’s based…not in the US. BOM BOM BOM. But yeah, I’d love to read more books based in Asia, Africa and different parts of Europe (maybe with some good old Aussie settings chucked in as well).
7) Genre mash-ups
I’m a contemporary person, definitely, but I love it when different genres merge. Sci-fi with fairytale characters; futuristic books with old clothes and fashions. Contemporary books with just a hint of magic.
8) Boarding schools
I’m a sucker for boarding schools. I love the movie Wildchild, and Anna and the French Kiss, Looks for Alaska, Harry Potter and so many more. Boarding schools rock.
9) Books like The Book Thief
I love how literary The Book Thief is. I love the descriptions and Markus Zusak’s amazing way of telling a story. Soon I’ll post my thoughts about the movie, but for now I’m just crossing my fingers someone will write something just as amazing soon! Even better if they’re Aussie.
10) Awesome covers
So yeah, I judge books by their covers. Because they’re a marketing tool. That’s what they’re FOR. I love covers that are done well. These are some of the ones I love in contemporary YA:
And those are the top 10 things I’d love to see more of in YA (well, also other age groups like MG and NA, since some of them are a bit hard to place). What about you?