The Ghost of YA Present: Way too Much Instant Love and Not Enough Strong Independent Women

It’s time for the second installment in my rip off of The Christmas Carol.  Today, I’m going to discuss the current state of YA.  Particularly ten trends that are occurring in the genre.  Some are overly infuriating and some are only mildly annoying.  And yeah, I sort of put some commentary about why I like or dislike these current trends but whatever.  It’s my birthday, or will be if the world doesn’t end like the Mayans say it will, so I can do whatever I want.

Since I can’t share my actual cake with you guys have some virtual cake.  It might help read about some of these God awful trends that are currently going on in YA.
10) Dystopias: Blame the ancient Mayans on this one and all those disaster movies.  If you love dystopias: fine.  I can see their appeal and I guess some of them are good.   But for the most part, YA dystopias suck.  Usually it involves a torn up world that’s just partially messed up and of course there’s the insta love that changes the world.  And I have to say this, a lot of them are pretty idiotic (a.k.a. that pseudo dystopia about how we’d totally go bat shit crazy without our computers-okay, maybe they sort of have a point).
9) I’m Not That Attractive (Okay, so I really am): Those I’m not pretty but I really am heroines are very popular these days and very annoying.  Look, if they’re pretty and don’t realize it.  Fine.  But don’t have this plot point slammed in our face.  I get that the author is probably trying to say that every girl is pretty in their own way (which is true), but it doesn’t come off like that.  Rather, it comes off as everyone is a supermodel in disguise and fortunately that is not true.

8) Forbidden Romance: Romeo and Juliet might have been the first couple to do it, followed by half a dozen daytime television stars and then Bella and Edward.  Look, I get that forbidden romance adds conflict and you could write an essay about how forbidden romance is synonymous with being a teenager (after all, teens like to do things that are forbidden, it adds a sense  excitement to a relationship).  So while it might not seem like a bad idea to have a forbidden romance, often in YA it seems unnecessary and just a plot point that was added by the editor in order to sell books.

7) Bad Boys: Got to love those bad boys.  You probably guess I don’t.  Okay, so occasionally there is a bad boy that I like.  But I like characters with consequences.  If you’re going to have an asshole for a hero, have them at least admit their an asshole.  Running off and marrying them in Vegas and then getting their name  permanently on your body isn’t much of a consequence.
6) Soul Mates:  God,  I hate this trend.  Blame Jacob Black and imprinting.  But destined to be soul mates is even worse than insta love in my opinion.  The one time I like the whole concept of soul mates is in Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods and that’s only because the characters are balking against it.
5) Special Snowflakes: Let’s face it there is no normal character in YA.  For the most part they’re going to have something special about them.  And I guess, yeah, that’s why they have their own story.  But there have been lots of times I’ve read a book lately and the characters seem more than just a little special.
4)  Slut Slamming: I think this started off as Popular Girl Slamming but I think it has evolved to include any character that’s remotely sexually active besides the main character.  It doesn’t work and it makes the heroine look like a jackass to be honest.  I don’t see what’s wrong with characters that are sexually active.  Let’s be frank,  there is a good chunk of teens who are sexually active.  Chances are one of them is reading these books.  They shouldn’t be demonized because of an insecure heroine.
3) The Innocent Heroine: Forget having an character who has a little experience and backstory.  Only pure naive heroines will work in today’s YA.  It also helps that if the author says their really smart when truthfully they are a dumb ass.
2) Paranormal Activity: There are a ton of paranormal books in the YA genre.  Most of them are romances-but I like romance, if it’s done correctly, so I really don’t care about that.  I’m actually glad that the paranormal genre has expanded in YA.  There are some really great books out there that aren’t realistic fiction,  though I do admit occasionally I do like a break from the supernatural.
1) Insta Love:  Forget having a relationship that evolves into something special.  One of the biggest (and most annoying) aspects you see in today’s YA fiction is insta love.  The sad thing is sometimes we all fall in love with an insta love romance.  It’s not intentional and most of the time we don’t fall in love with an insta love romance.  But on very few occasions it has worked and publishers have run with it.

2 thoughts on “The Ghost of YA Present: Way too Much Instant Love and Not Enough Strong Independent Women

  1. Insta Love and slut slamming are two things I think often go hand and hand. I really don't see the purpose for either of them, other than the fact that their cheap tricks for sloppy writing.

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