Saturday, November 26, 2011

#JustContemporary: What I Want to See More of In YA

YA is such a great genre for books. As a teen, this is the main genre of books I read and review. While YA is awesome, I’m always in store for some new things. That said, I see a lot of overdone topics and I want to see more of other things as well. Why can’t the guy have two girls instead of the girl with two guys? Why can’t a character be of another race? So, here are a few things I want to see more of in YA books:

1) Male Protagonists: I don’t think anyone can truly understand a boy (and I’m sure boys say the same thing about girls) so it would be nice to read a book from the POV of a guy. I know how a girl reacts to her parents’ divorce so now I want to know how a guy reacts. How does he feel when someone he loved dies? How is peer pressure affecting a guy? I want to know more about boys and their thoughts!

2) LGBT Characters: Teens are gay or lesbian or bisexual so why can’t we get more characters that are? I want to see how an LGBT characters handles themselves and their views on the world.

3) Diversity: I want a Japanese character or an Indian character or a Colombian character to tell me about his or her life and how she lives it. I want to learn more about the culture and heritage of the Japanese people. I want there to be diversity in YA. There are so many different types of people in the world so let’s get to know them better. As an Indian and Asian, I don’t see enough of this in YA. Do I mind that the character is Caucasian? No, I don’t. But I’d love to see more diversity.

4) International Settings: Anna and the French Kiss is the first example that comes to mind when I think about (I just remembered Die for Me by Amy Plum as well) books with international settings. Not only is Paris awesome, I’d love to go to a boarding school there. Stephanie Perkins describes Paris beautifully and the school Anna attends sounds awesome as well. Let’s get out of America and go around the world to new places, meeting new people and seeing new cultures.

5) Parent/Child relationship that isn’t horrible: Against the contrary, not all teens hate their parents. Not all teens have a bad relationship with their parents. SO let’s not make it where it seems that all teens hate their parents and want nothing to do with them. It’s not true people!

6) Mysteries: As a young kid, I loved reading Nancy Drew books and the Hardy Boys books and I’ve noticed that there aren’t that many mystery books out there. Furthermore, I want a good mystery book to read. I want something that actually keeps me guessing and doesn’t give anything away in the first half of the book. I want to be surprised when the mystery is solved. The Agency books by Y.S. Lee are some of the best mysteries books I’ve read in a few years; something that isn’t Nancy Drew. Also, as a bonus, it’s a mix with historical fiction!

7) A Good Best Friend: WHY ARE ALL THESE BEST FRIENDS SO HORRIBLE? I’ve read numerous books where the best friend sucks. Yes, I’ve seen people like that but my besties aren’t like one of them at all. I want more best friends to not be bit**** and back stabbers. I want caring and trust worthy best friends.

8) A Good Love Interest AND the Good Guy Wins: There are so many flat, horrible love interests out there. Why is it that the bad boy always gets the girl? Yes, I understand that they are swoon worthy and wonderful but guys, there are some really great good guys out there too and THEY deserve to get the girl just as much as the other guy. I want the love interest to have flaws; no more perfect, absolutely gorgeous guys please. I want him (her) to be realistic. Why can’t he like history or not be the quarterback. Let him (her) be a science geek or a theater person. Let the love interest be real.

What about you? What do you want to see more of in YA??


  1. This is really a great list! All of these things are definitely wonderful ideas and would be awesome to see more of in Contemporary YA!

  2. I totally agree with your list! ACtually, on diversity, I recently (sort of haha) read Wait For Me by An Na, and her protagonist is Asian and her love interest s Mexican. It was a really good book and I think you'd enjoy it.

    And I'd also like to see less flat love interests... I think that YA is just full of Mary Sues sometimes. :/

  3. Oh! I want to see more older characters! Out of high school and college. That would be amazing.