Monday, February 20, 2012

Please! No More!

Dear YA community,

These are the trends that I have found in several genres lately and which annoy me. Fellow writers, please avoid including these in your novels. Fellow readers, do any of you agree with me?

Dystopian Novels

In your effort to be like The Hunger Games, you include senseless violence and harsher and harsher rules, but that does not make for a good dystopia.  The Hunger Games worked in that sense because at its heart, it asked fundamental questions about love, survival, humanity but in such a way that it didn't feel staged. There were not many extra details that were only there to "shock" us, but when they were there, it's because Suzanne Collins was making a point about reality television shows and our wars and the dangers we might fall prey to. What excuse do you have?

Paranormal Novels

Please stop describing the romantic interest as gorgeous. There is no sure fire way of making him/her seem unoriginal as doing that. I know Edward Cullen was godlike, but that doesn't mean the rest of us want to keep reading stock characters of him.  Show us the reasons why you might think (s)he's gorgeous. Show us what differentiates him/her from the crop of paranormal novels out there.  Also, can you pleasepleaseplease, if you're going to have a girl protagonist, make her not fall at the feet of her romantic interest?  And have her stop thinking, oh-he's-so-gorgeous-why-is-he-with-me?

Contemporary Novels

Don't do any of the high school, cliche best friend drama. Please, I'm begging you. Part of reading novels involves escapism; how many of us would like to relive that petty drama? It also makes me dislike your protagonist more than often than not. And this may seem harsh, but if you want me to read the book, you've got to have an AWESOME voice. I read other genres for a taste of what's not real. I don't like revisiting high school. You have your work set out for you. While other genres can (somewhat) get away with a less than awesome voice, you can't.

Fantasy Novels

Just because J.K. Rowling made a boarding school work doesn't mean it fits all fantasy novels. I would have more to say on this, but I haven't read very many YA fantasy novels lately (that have bothered me). A lot of the ones I've seen classified as fantasy are what I'd actually classify as paranormal.

Scifi Novels

Where are you?

Thoughts? Comments? Opinions? I'm all ears.


  1. "Sci-Fi Novels: Where are you?"


    I concur with all of the above.

  2. I'm sick of reading books where the parents were previously killed. Why can't a YA novel seem to have both parents in the book?

  3. I love this post! If I see another dystopian novel/series, I may scream.

  4. YES to all the above! And especially SciFi... I began watching Firefly recently (why did I wait so long?!) and started to think about how cool it would be to see some SciFi YA novels. I'm thinking of writing one myself just to add one to the mix. It would actually be fun to write!

  5. YES! I agree all the way. I'm tired of blurbs that say "you'll like this if you liked The Hunger Games," when this is so not the case. I completely agree with you on the fall at your feet type. She can love him without being clingy and needy and "OMG I can't live without you." Very tiresome. I, too don't want to relive high school, but sadly a lot of the books I've read lately are protagonists that are in high school -___- ' lol. You may have forgotten one thing, Christina! The uneccessary love triangles when it's obvious from the beginning who she'll pick anyway. I hate that. I always ask myself why do authors put that other guy when she won't pick him no matter how much she loves him too!

    LOL! I totally rambled. But great post! I loved reading this while nodding my head furiously because I so agree with you! :)

  6. Amen about the lack of sci-fi novels! I love sci-fi, but there is just not enough of it to go around, unfortunately :(

  7. I'm fed up with the useless parent, there but might as well not be, even though they are quite well meaning.

  8. I don't like those types of YA either. But I am not YA any more. I am a 65 year old who likes to read great books, whether they are YA or not.


  9. I'm with you there, more Sci Fi please! I pretty much will nix a book if it takes place at a boarding school, or some kind of training school for supernaturals, I'm so sick of these.

  10. Wow, I wish publishers would read all your comments so they know what the people want :D.


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