April 6, 2015

Discussion | Exploring the Faults of Young Adult with #VeryRealisticYA

Like people, books are not perfect. All books have faults. 

I understand that. A flawless book does not exist, even though some come pretty close. 

But recently, Twitter has blown up with #VeryRealisticYA, poking fun of (in a hilarious way) the stories that I have come to know and love. 

This hashtag pointed out the usual, unrealistic tropes in young adult books.

Part of the reason that I read books is so I can escape my life for a little while. But, I would still like books to reflect some kind of reality. I want characters that I can relate too, who have some of the same problems that I do. 

I think we can all agree that some tropes are horribly unrealistic (and a little bit annoying) when they are found in YA books. 

Love Triangles

It is very rare that two guys would like one girl enough to fight for her in real life. (Honestly, I have enough trouble finding one guy to like me.) And let's be real, a girl is not going to be indecisive with choosing, like a bunch of YA heroines (not naming any names... America and Katniss).

Insta Love

I am tired of the same old "He looked across the room into my eyes and I know he was THE ONE" story. It takes me five minutes to decide what to eat for breakfast, so it is not possible for anyone (especially me) to decide in one millisecond the guy to live with forever. 

Bad Boy

A boy is not going to stop doing drugs, picking fights, or treating other people like dogs because of the power of "love." There is a reason that they are called bad boys, and nothing, not even his dreamy eyes or rock solid abs, would convince most girls that he is worth dating. 

Teenagers Saving the World

In school, most students have trouble turning their homework in on time, so how are they supposed to be able to save the world? Not to mention that teenagers cannot do some of the most basic things, like drive. How are you supposed to save the world if your mom has to drive you everywhere.

Lack of School Issues

A lot of YA books completely skip over the torture that is school. The characters have no homework, tests, or projects that they have to worry about. They hardly do anything at school, when they bother to show up. I would love to see more characters actually participate in their schools and go through the trials and tribulations that most teens do. 

On the other hand, sometimes I love to believe in these tropes. Thinking that love can be found in the blink of an eye is exciting. Believing that anyone can change the world, including teenagers, is inspiring. 

Reading a book that chronicled the life of an average teenager would most likely be extremely boring, unless some of these tropes were used to add flavor to the story. 

What is the most unrealistic trend in young adult books? What would be in a realistic YA? Do you like the tropes of YA? Can you make up your own #VeryRealisticYA? 

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