Friday, 26 June 2015

Discussion: Young Adult book gripes/annoyances - what are your thoughts??


Young Adult book gripes

I was chatting with a friend recently about ‘my perfect YA novel’ and what I’d include and exclude in a book should ever I decide to draft one which to be completely honest would never happen because I don’t hold that talent. I have to admit my exclusion list was pretty extensive! There seems to be a lot of things I don’t like despite YA being my genre of choice – same plot, same characters just with a new setting etc.. seems to be a common theme these days.

I’ve shared a few below and would love to know your thoughts?

Love triangles

I think this point would be at the top of almost everyone’s list, it has been done to death unfortunately, I’m not a huge hater of love triangles if it is done right but to be honest, they rarely are and someone is always bound to end up hurt. It also always seems to be the girl who gets two guys, I read a heap of young adult novels and I have never read about two girls wanting the same guy?

I’m not sure if this will be a new trend (I’m hoping not) but JLA’s Dark Elements series even has us, the reader voting to select who the MC Layla will end up with in the last book Every Last Breath, it’s a baffling concept to me because you would think from book one a decision would have been plotted and obvious and made by the author and not us.

A few love triangles I whine about – Edward & Jacob (Team Jacob), Peeta & Gale (Team Gale), Dmitri & Adrian (Team Dmitri), Aiden & Seth (Team Aiden), Lucas and Derek {Team Derek); do you notice I most always get it wrong.

An MC has ‘special’ abilities but has no idea what is going on.

I have read quite a few books where the MC has no idea that they are ‘special’ or of another kind or species, I mean they know that there is something going on, for example in a book I read recently the MC could burn things with her hands but she couldn’t ask anyone, including her secretive controlling parents about it, wouldn’t you stop and panic just a little bit and worry about why you’re burning things just by thinking about it – it’s very obvious something is going on. Clueless! It seems to be something that is all too common and the main character is always shocked but adjusts seemingly well into their new role of whatever it is they are.



Absolutely Perfect characterizations

Some characters aren’t realistic at all, they are drop dead gorgeous or unnaturally handsome with model like good look with fabulous violet eyes or some other strange colour plus on top of that they have perfect senses, are amazing athletes, fighters, academics, influencers etc… the list is endless how perfect some of these characters are and I don’t mind if they have a few positive attributes but to be perfect at everything is a little far-fetched. There are some very crafty ways to defy and subscribe to common beauty ideals.




Covers - Disembodied girls or close-ups of body parts on book covers

A little off topic because it’s not within the book but I find it annoying when I see a girl's body part - an eye, portion of her face or a semi-obscured picture of her in a gorgeous dress or it is a darkened silhouette, it’s quite rare we’ll see a completely ‘normal’ human.
  
Why can a book not stand alone?

Does that make sense? I mean why do we need an endless number of series, sure a book at time needs to be carried out but some stories that start as stand-alone, end up as a duology – trilogy etc etc etc. It’s terribly annoying and I must admit by the time the sequel has usually been released, unless I have loved it, is an author I adore and it has been memorable I won’t pick it up. I would love each book to tell its own story.

Orphans? Parents/guardians etc..

Why do a majority of characters have no parents present or they have left them or a deceased? I love reading books that have a strong family dynamic, where there are boundaries and realistic themes but it seems to be lacking in YA.

What are your thoughts on this subject?? Are there any gripes that annoy you in the YA genre?


Disclaimer – A majority of the YA books I read have these annoyances but I still find myself completely drawn to them. Sometimes it can be overlooked if it is done well at other times they may end up on my DNF shelf.

18 comments:

  1. LOL, yes to all of this. I avoid contemporary YA, but this stuff finds its way into the dystopians and fantasies I enjoy in YA too.

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    1. I am avoiding YA contemporary at the moment, I'm finding the recycled story lines a little too much lately.

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  2. I completely agree with you on the series thing. There are times when a story line needs more than one book, and then there are times when authors milk it until the series turns dull and useless. I enjoy series, but not every new book needs to be a part of one.

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    1. I completely agree! A series is even worse when you love the book and it ends on a cliff-hanger which means up to a year before we get the next book grrr.

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  3. Haha YESSS to all of this, I agree about family dynamics. I love it even more when books have a strong family presence in the novel. Love triangles just annoy me, although I loved it in Vampire Academy - I loved both male leads but Adrian a tad bit more.. I do wish books were more standalone though, too many series to keep up with these days. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. I love it when a book has a great family dynamic. I enjoy a good romance but when a love triangle appears it seems to ruin it for me, especially when it comes to indecision. We need more stand-alone books ;-)

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  4. Love triangles. *sigh* There have been a few rare times a love triangle has worked really well for me, but overall they just cause me stress because like you said, someone always ends up hurt. Not many YA books out there where the romance actually works out to be a triad ;-) I completely agree with you on the body part covers too - I like covers that give me an idea of what I can expect from the story, and a facial close up or abstract body shot doesn't really do that, however pretty it may be.

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    1. So true! sometimes the covers don't even match what we are reading; it just doesn't make sense to me. Love triangles are so frustrating!

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  5. Ugh, those perfect character. Enough already, right? So unrealistic. I am okay with love triangles if they are done right, but yeah, they rarely are.

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    1. Every YA character seems to be flawless, complete perfection but they are oblivious - its completely unrealistic.

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  6. LOVE TRIANGLES. Basically I only like them when it's clear who the heroine will end up with and she's not constantly torn between the two. So, when they're not even a love triangle really haha.

    UGHHHHHH SERIES. Like, yes, I love these authors and their characters, etc etc. But the endless amount of series is getting EXHAUSTING. It's SO hard to keep up with them all and I so often forget what happened in the last book by the time the next one comes out. Not to mention how expensive it's getting.

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    1. That's the only way I enjoy a love triangle as well, if there is too much angst or indecision I end up completely frustrated.

      I am getting a little tired of waiting with series, I am thinking I may have to start waiting until they are complete before I even start them ;-)

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  7. You are so right about all of these, ESPECIALLY love triangles! Man, I hate them so much. I would also add insta love and parents of young adults who seem to be completely MIA.

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    1. Everyone seems to feel the same about the dreaded love triangle ;-) I completely forgot about insta-love but YES that's a huge gripe of mine as well.

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  8. Yep, nodding head. I have gripes with everything on your list. The whole absentee parent thing always bothers me, and I am so sick and tired of love triangles. I am finding that I want to read less and less YA these days.

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    1. Me too Heidi! I have started to read a few other genres lately but they aren't really working for me.

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  9. I think we are seeing more of parents in YA which makes me really happy. But yeah, love triangles and instalove can go bye bye!

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    1. I completely agree Nereyda! I have to admit the past few books I have read have had parents play are larger role which I have loved.

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