Today I’m going to talk about my pet peeves in YA fiction (see title). This is the beginning of a whole WEEK of top tens – isn’t that exciting? Tomorrow will be the usual Top Ten Tuesday, but as for the rest, you’ll have to wait and see. In no particular order, here are the things that always annoy me in the books I read:
1) Love triangles
Of course it had to be in here, right? I’m not opposed to all love triangles, of course – they can be really great if they’re written well. For example, those in Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. But they become so predictable and all start seeming the same after a while. Not to mention the fact that they take away from the main plotline. So many people are talking about Gale vs. Peeta that they neglect to see that Prim is, ultimately, who Katniss chooses (that’s a whole other rant entirely!).
Love triangles are a good plot device, but writers, if you’re just using it as a quick plot device, maybe rethink. I mean, one of my WIPs features a love triangle, but they’re different types of love altogether – romantic and friendly. Which is different…
I’ve written about tropes in YA fiction before, so I won’t go over it again, but basically, the mean jock and slutty cheerleader thing is getting realllll old. I’ll let Drenched Wendy show you my thoughts on steretyping.
Yeah. She’s looking at all the stereotypical characters and humphing at them. Damn straight, Wendy.
Ironic that I had to Google the spelling of this to make sure I had it right. But anyway, I hate when books make it seem like teenagers are the most stupid creatures to walk the planet. To those writers, I say this:
Good on you, Bambi. But yeah, it seems strange to me that a YA writer would condescend to their audience. That just doesn’t make sense to me, and it’s a huge turn-off when I’m reading.
This follows on a little from the last one, but I hate when a message is shoved down my throat. Again, I’m not stupid, I can work things out.
You know, like this:
Sorry Frozen. I know everyone else loves you. I’ll probably write a post about why I didn’t like the movie sooner or later, but today I’ll just say that I hate insta-love with a passion. Even if it’s destiny, or fate, it’s usually corny, cliched and a plot device to get your characters together quickly.
6) Everyone being white and heterosexual
Come on guys, let’s have some diversity!
We need less white people! Geez, I’m white and I’m getting sick of us. But not just diversity of skin colour: diversity of social status and religion and ability and sexuality and opinions and background. I don’t want to see cardboard cut-outs. I want to see people who exist in real life!
7) Inaccurate science
I’ll allow Disney their innacurate science because it’s a cool catchphrase, but other writers have no excuse! There is a Google and there are people to ask about things. Don’t get the science wrong! Especially if it’s simple stuff!
8) Possessive boyfriends
I couldn’t find a gif of a possessive boyfriend, so good old Ken here is going to stand in. I HATE when boyfriends are possessive and controlling – that is abuse and it shouldn’t be disguised as romance. That’s not just a pet peeve – that’s a really damaging trope.
I just reread my most recent WIP and…Jesus Christ, there’s a lot of angst in there. But that was a first draft. I have seen double that kind of stuff in published books, and it drives me crazy! Surely teenagers aren’t that bad, and even if we are, we don’t want to read about it. I’m talking to you, Will Grayson, Will Grayson. And also Harry Potter 5, but at least good old Harry had a reason.
(this gif is from Potter Puppet Pals, if you didn’t know that already, and it is amazing)
10) Purple prose
You know the type: author describes a forest for seventeen pages, and then you somehow skip a really important part sandwiched between descriptions. What’s up with that? If I wanted to read a book of description I’d…actually, no. Nobody would ever want to read that. Because it would be boring.
So there you have it – those are my top 10 pet peeves in YA fiction.
What are your pet peeves in YA? And do you disagree with any of mine? I’d love to hear your thoughts!