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So, for awhile now I’ve been really disenchanted with YA books. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that made me dislike them so much. I mean, aside from a lot of them have really shitty writing. But most YA is full of shitty writing anyways. I grew up reading Sweet Valley, Baby-sitters Club, The Fabulous Five,Saddle Club and Gossip Girlย and I would never claim that these were stellar masterpieces but there was still something more appealing about those than the ones out now.There are several things I find unappealing about YA and one of the big kickers is the ridiculous names the author gives to the characters. They are honestly the most special snowflake names in the world and you just know that when these authors were little kids they wished their name was Esmerelda Reiznor or Anastacia Josephina Carlyle. Or they have those really, really, really dumb names that were made to sound “edgy” and “unique”. Like Algonquin, Andromeda, Ryver (pronounced “river”), or they snitched a name of a city/tree/lake etc.

(no offence if you have this name but I’m talking in the book-verse.)

And then once they have these long ass names all these girls go by is Al/Allie, Andie/Andy, Ry etc.

CE QUOI LE POINT?!

And they never like their full name until some magical boy says it and says it’s beautiful like them and suddenly they’re all “MY NAME IS ANDROMEDA VIVIANNE ROYALTON” when for the majority of the book it was all “Call me Andie. It’s so much more comfortable.”

If anything it just offers the authors more filler to jam in when their already weak plot needs a break from trudging along.

The second thing I dislike about YA novels nowadays is that they are literally all the same. They’re always on a journey that is made to sound like they are “finding themselves” when really it’s just a journey to meet their boyfriend and call it a day. That’s honestly all they are. Whole series are created after they could have finished after the first book.

Book 1: Andromeda aka Andie meets the boy
Book 2: Andromeda (she dropped the Andie because the boy who is also named something ridiculous like Thad Ettinger) said it was beautiful and they’re kind of together but not really together
Book 3: They’re together but a secondary party is trying to tear them apart
Book 4: They’re together but secondary parties are still a bother

etc. etc. but it ends up with a ridiculously long saccharine filled pleas of eternal devotion.

Very, very, very few novels with women as the character actually have them going on a same journey as men. Everything to do with women ends when they meet some guy, usually by chapter five.

The big difference I recently noticed that all of the current YA female protagonists don’t have any friends.

That’s usually the selling point isn’t it? Eustacia Azzerdine Carlyle is not a popular girl, she’s the one who’s always ignored and quiet and invisible. If she has friends she has two, an outspoken girly girl best friend who is super glamourous and outgoing and who all the boys just love. Or she’s down to earth and revels in the fact that she’s different and will be the one to call Eustacia back to earth when she gets too carried away.

Eustacia aka Stace/Carls other friend is some quiet shy guy who she will probably fall in love with or is in love with her.

They glorify their loneliness and cling to it so desperately. They all seem to adore finding themselves unattractive and fight like mad against any other opinion.

Okay, yeah it’s a common feeling among adolescents and this is a sure fire tactic to “relate” to them but it’s just so self-pitying and doesn’t help anyone at all.

The girls from BSC, Saddle Club, Sweet Valley all had a group of girl friends they could rely on and they took huge immense pride in how they looked/strengths/differences. You couldn’t crack open a BSC novel without the introduction about how Kristy was a natural leader, Mary Ann was shy and the friendliest, Dawn was the coolest free thinker, Claudia was artistic, Stacey was gorgeous, Mallory was a great writer and Jessie was a great dancer. And they all loved, loved, loved each other.

In Sweet Valley Jessica and Elizabeth both knew they were gorgeous (size 6, aqua eyed blondes–that description is forever embedded into my mind) and Jessica was fashionable and Elizabeth was smart and they all loved their girlfriends and helped them move on from boyfriend to boyfriend.

They encouraged friendships and like basically drilled into me that boys come and go but your girlfriends will help you through it. Despite all of the racial and schizophrenic (looking at you Jessica Wakefield) and hilariously bad writing that’s one hell of a good lesson to pull from those books.

Which is a lot more than what the rest of these are saying.

okay nonsensical rant over bye.

 

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