I’m an adult, but I mostly read young adult fiction. It’s what I write, so it makes sense that it’s what I read. But there are some things I’ve encountered in young adult fiction that really bother me, and these are the things I am trying to avoid in my own writing.
#1. Presenting abusive relationships as acceptable.
It’s not like this is present in every YA novel, but I feel like it has been present in several novels (City of Bones, Twilight, and Hush, Hush). Let’s face it. None of these relationships are healthy, but for some reason, they’re portrayed as romantic. Being possessive is not romantic. Turning into a werewolf is not an excuse for abusive behavior. Almost killing your significant other because of demonic possession? That’s not okay either.
#2. Lack of adult presence or adult reliance on children
I get it. Sometimes we need the adults out of the way for a story. Fine, whatever. Come up with a valid reason. But what isn’t realistic is when teenagers can run around fighting evil bad guys without the adults even noticing they are missing. And I mean when would a bunch of adults ever listen to a teenager? Nope. Never. Let’s be real, please.
Okay, maybe I don’t encounter this as much as a I used to, but it’s still there. Insta-love is part of it, too. But seriously. Falling in love is part of being human, and most of the time, the first time we fall in love is when we are teenagers. And those emotions are intense. But they’re not so intense that that’s all we think about. Guys and gals have more to their lives than their significant others.
There are other things that make me want to put a book down instantly, but these may just be my top three. Share yours in the comments section below.