The young adult genre is just getting more and more popular and I must admit it is the genre I read the most. But after reading so many YA books over the years there are a few things that I have really began to dislike.
Opposite sex best friends = instant romance
I have only ever read a handful of young adult books where there was a best friends couple of the opposite sex that had no romantic feelings at all towards each other. It has become the norm to write about protagonists who are in love with their best friend, or end up with their best friend at the end of the book. I understand the girl/boy next door theme is very very popular but this to me isn’t realistic. Best friends of the opposite sex, or same sex for that matter can just be that. Best friends.
Sex is a taboo
Depending on how old the protagonists are depends on if they are sexually active or not. I wouldn’t expect a novel with a 14 year-old or younger as the main protagonist to be sexually active, but with the UK age of sexual consent at 16 it shocks me that these young adult novels don’t even approach the subject of sex – and when they do they either brush over it and skip to the next day or treat it like a taboo making out that those girls who have had sex in high school are ‘sluts’.
I’m not saying we should start writing young adult erotica, but sex is a natural thing that we will all one day experience, and with a lot of people losing their virginity at a younger age I think it is a subject young adult authors need to approach – but in a way where it helps and gives advice instead of scaring them or pressuring them.
Always a happy ending
Happy endings are great and they can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and for that brief moment you forget about your life and live in the moment of that novel. But that is teaching children that everything has a happy ending which is very unrealistic. Life has bad moments and sad moments.
We should include sad endings in young adult novels to teach children that yes things don’t always go according to plan but that doesn’t make it bad. You can have a sad ending where things can still be ok. A good example of this is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – it has an ending that will make you cry your eyes out but at the same time everything is going to be ok.
I know the points I made are very stereotypical but what do you dislike about the young adult genre?