5 Things YA Needs to Make Happen (Because What I Say Goes)

YA is my home. I love it to bits and am constantly fascinated by the things that authors put in their books, but there are still things I want to see, in order to make the genre even more amazing, if that’s even possible. And, as a loyal YA-er, I believe I deserve them (like any good Princess, I'm ever-so-humble). Listen up, writers!

Of course, the teen book industry isn’t – or at least I really hope it isn’t – completely wiped clean of all of these things. I just haven’t seen much of them yet, so should you know of a book that shall please me, kindly recommend it.

I like to be pleased. And I’m sure you don’t like being hit over the head with a hardback because you wouldn’t tell me about a book I was bound to love.

Horribly Awkward First Kisses

I completely understand loving it when your ship sails via a beautiful, sigh-worthy smooch, but often – especially when they’re not the most, um . . . experienced . . . characters – it just doesn’t feel real for them to suddenly become movie stars. And I feel like it’s so much more memorable when they’re too busy laughing to be anything but awkward, or they clash teeth and it doesn’t even matter because it’s perfect anyway.

Maybe I’m not asking for awkwardness per se, because most of the time the gorgeous ones aren’t any less well-written, just kisses that are a little bit original to the personalities involved.

Forced Romance That Doesn’t Work

We’ve probably all read at least a couple of books when people are forced together, initially hate each other, and then sparks begin to fly. (Think about Prince Maxon and America from The Selection or Lara Jean and Peter K from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.) Sure, it’s cute to watch them get together and scream over their insistence to do it slowly, but wouldn’t it be more fun if the sparks just . . . crashed to the ground?

I need arranged marriages when both parties are trying to assassinate the other and class projects that remain horrible because the exes everyone thinks are going to get back together end up in a shouting match every time they open their mouths. I need a couple that are matchmade and sassily save the universe together without kissing once, or who’ve been shipped by their parents since they played together as kids but set each other up with their best friends. Basically, as much as we all love romance, I need hate too. Badly.

Characters Doing Their Homework

I honestly do not know how half of the YA protagonists out there don’t spend their entire lives locked up in detention. If you add up all the time they spend fighting with their parents, getting drunk at parties and solving murders, I completely understand why they never seem to get round to that algebra revision, but real teens kind of have to.

Mentioning it would just make me feel that little bit of inner happy.

Authors, can you at least tell me who your character is paying to write the essays for him? Or explain to me whatever crazy shortcut she’s using to write a page a minute? All for the sake of realism, you understand. No cheating here!

Ha. Ha ha.

Ships That Sink. Deep.

I'm probably coming off like a real romance-killer here, especially since I want love that doesn't work and kisses that fail miserably, but there is a reason besides my shrivelled heart.

Most YA romances are one of the first that their participants have ever - er - participanted in, just because that's how things go when you're fifteen and only just old enough to be doing these things. And the fact is that, sadly, first loves are not always last loves. Not everyone meets their soulmate in high school, and in some ways I think it'd be reassuring for those who are getting out of relationships for a first time to realise that that's normal. They haven't failed by not living the perfect marshmallow fluff we always end up seeing on the first time.

Male MCs!

I'm probably a hypocrite on this one, because every single book I've ever started writing has had a female MC. I kind of get that with so many girls taking centre stage in the current market, they become the default in an author's mind, but even I want to read more books with boys fronting the stage. 

They're people too, right?

In the comments: Can you recommend me any books that do these things? Or do you think they're not so important? What would you like to see happen in YA?
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  1. Ohhh I LIKE YOUR LIST. XD And I was about to recommend ones where the ship sinks, but I don't want to give spoilers. hehe. But least to say: THEY'RE OUT THERE!!
    Although, funnily enough, my default-for-writing is always a boy MC! I always surprise myself when I actually come up with a girl. XD (I honestly have no idea why I go for boy narrators. Hmm. MY BRAIN IS AN ODDBALL.)
    OH oh but I have read a ton of contemporaries where the characters actually DO homework. It's always surprising. ;D I want to know how they have the ENERGY to save the world, go to school, have a social life, etc etc. I would fall asleep. XD

    (I adored this post!)

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. OOH NO SPOILERS! That would be Very Dangerous, so in this case thank you very much for not recommending. I'll spare you from the hardback treatment.

      Your default boy MCs might be a little different, but judging by your Wattpad story, they probably exist because you write them insanely well and we need more anyway. And of course your brain is a brilliant oddball. Own it. ;-)

      As for how they have energy, I have absolutely no clue. When I get home from school, I literally force myself to do homework and then fall into my bed. Maybe a crazy cocktail of chocolate and Lucozade and fear?

      (I adored your comment!)

  2. OMG. OMG. CAN I PLEASE PUT A GIGANTIC HEART ON THIS POST? THAT'S how much I lURVED it! (Plus, if you can't tell how excited I am with the ALL THE CAPS at the beginning) I loved everything about this, because it's so TRUE! I'm a YA writer and will DEF be adding all of your thoughts into my future books!

    I can't think of anything right off the top of my head right now about what I'd like to see... BUT it's true when you say that your first love isn't going to necessarily be your ONE AND ONLY! Totally going to save this post!

    Thanks girl! And AWESOME blog! It's so PURDY! :)

    1. You want to put a heart on this post? YES ABSOLUTELY DO THAT WOULD MAKE ME SO HAPPY. Just don't use a human heart because the blood would be icky and I have no interest in becoming accessory to murder.

      But write, writer! Make YA as amazing as you can.

      It means so much that you think my blog is awesome. Thanks for reading and your brilliant comment.

  3. I love this! And you're so right about the romance, YA makes it unrealistic at times. Anyway, you didn't mention this, but BATHROOMS. I literally have read one book, in second grade (yes It was so amazing that I remember this) where the main character goes to the bathroom. Also periods- with all the female characters we get, you'd think we'd hear more about that, but I've only read a couple books where it's a concern to the main character.

    1. BATHROOMS. I cannot believe I forgot bathrooms! It's true: characters in books never really seem to eat or sleep or urinate and I'm not 100% sure they all breathe - although to be fair, I read one book that made a point of describing the MCs toilet trip and it was - dare I say it? - kinda BO-RING. So it must be a tricky thing to get the balance of.

      You're right with periods, too! I hate the fact that they're kind of taboo in mainstream society, since ... they're just kind of a fact of life. It'd help if they were mentioned more often in books, I think.
      (BTW, if you're looking for more books involving menstruation, Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary wrote this great post you should check out.)

      Thank you for visiting and commenting! Really glad you enjoyed the post.


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