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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
Where are you?
Thoughts? Comments? Opinions? I'm all ears.