- Books starring younger teenagers, especially ones who ACTUALLY ACT LIKE TEENAGERS. Lots of people have already talked about this, but here’s my two cents. As a teenager, I find it hard to find YA books I can relate to. Even though most YA books have protagonists that are 16, and I’m less than a year younger than that, I still can’t understand their motivations and relate to them as much as I can with, say MG books??? Like most of my favorite books are comics/graphic novels or MG books. Maybe I’m just a weird teenager?
2. Geographical diversity. A lot of contemporary YA books are set in only one or two countries, (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) and that’s annoying. Where are my rom-coms set in modern-day Kazakhstan? What about coming of age in Jamaica? What happens in a Malaysian high school?
3. Homeschooled/unschooled protagonists, Or side characters. Or…. any characters at all, really. It’s actually surprising that I can’t find many books with homeschooled characters because:
a. Most of the teenagers I know who aspire to be writers are homeschooled.
b. It gives the main character an excuse to be off on a magical adventure, or saving downtown Hong Kong from aliens from space, or infiltrating the Illuminati without anyone noticing they haven’t showed up to math class. When you’re homeschooled you don’t have to ask for permission to use the bathroom, so it follows that you don’t need permission to save the world either.
4. Main characters who aren’t afraid to be different. In a lot of books/media in general (especially popular media) that I’ve consumed, I notice that my favorite character tends to be one of the side characters, or even a very minor character. And that’s because in most popular media, the main character is designed to appeal to EVERYONE, so they can’t be too “out there.” It’s like the main character is vanilla ice cream, when there are so many flavors of ice cream out there! Like cookie dough, mint chip, activated charcoal… the list goes on.
5. Realistic female friendships. UM, writers, do you know how friendships work?? They don’t just… dissolve because two people have a really petty argument, or one of them suddenly becomes evil and starts hanging out with cooler kids, while the other just wants to stay home and read comics. Sure friendships do fall apart, but usually for complex reasons, where it’s not totally one person’s fault.
6. Contemporary YA books which have plots other than romance. Like, most teenagers have things to do that aren’t fall in love with mysterious strangers or form love triangles. I just want books about friendship and family and foster kittens, is that too much to ask?
7. Book spines that line up to create a bigger picture:
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the latest installment of Liberry Rambles About Random Things. Tune in sporadically for more stupidity.
What would you like to see more in books? Do you agree with any of these? Do you disagree? Do you know of any books with a large amount of foster kittens? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?