Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest Post: What's Hot and What's Not In YA

Hey Y'all! I'm Arielle, and I blog at Amitygardens Revue. Since Jessica is on vacation, I'm here to do a guest post. I wanted to talk about the top five things that I hate and love in books. I’ve added the corresponding tropes, if you want to know more about them.

Top 5 Things 5 I Hate:

1) Insta-Love I hate when two people meet and are instantly in love and going to be together forever. It's one thing to be attracted and interested in a person, and another to fall in love with the second you see them. I want to watch your characters fall in love. I want the butterflies and tenseness, and to feel everything that comes with it.

2) Slut-Shaming I understand when you have a young character that their go-to insult are things like "slut" and "whore", but don't pretend that it's okay. Make them realize that that is not the way to treat other women. Show that the person they are calling those names are real and human.

3) Mary Sues Perfect characters are boring. Being klutzy is not a flaw- it's just means you have more bruises than other people. Screwed up people are much more interesting to read about. You can have your character be unlikeable, but it doesn't mean we won't care about them.

4) Token Minorities If you're including someone who's a minority just to try and make it diverse: don't. It shows that you just added that in there. It comes off fake and weird. Take the time to understand the person that you're trying to write. Try and get to know their culture and what it's like to be that person.

5) Bizarre Names I know that not everyone is going to have a name in the top 100 baby names, but do try and be realistic. I have suspension of belief for only so much, so please try and ease me into it and not overload immediately.

Top 5 Things I Love:

1) LGBTQ Characters We need more LGBTQ characters in novels. There is more to this community than the stereotypes in media, and they are under-represented in fiction.

2) Independent Heroines I like heroines who don't need a relationship to define them. I want them to be independent and self-reliant. Not to say they can't have one, but they should have an identity outside of being someone's significant other.

3) Cool Parents I love when parents are supportive of their children. They don't have to be perfect and make all the right decisions, but it's nice to see parents who care about their children. Not to say that crappy parents aren't beneficial to a story, but I like to see regular parents who are trying to do their best.

4) Real Friendships We need more realistic depictions of friendships in books. Even screwed up people have friends. I love seeing friendships where the people support one another even when they screw up. Less frenemies and more friends.

5) Did Not Get The Girl Romance doesn't always have to take center stage in a book. I like when it's secondary to the character's journey or alternatively, they don't end up together. Even no romance can be great sometimes- it's good to have a variation of romance/crushes, etc.


  1. I love your list. I'm a not a huge YA fan but your list reflects mine, especially the Insta-Love.

  2. This is so perfect! Your top five things you hate pretty much reflects my own, but I have a real thing about bizarre names. I like quirky, unique names, but they need to be realistic! And I couldn't agree more with what you love too - we need more true friendships in YA!

  3. Thanks y'all!

    @Hollie I do like quirky names, but it can be kinda obnoxious if in the wrong hands.

    @Monique I read mostly YA so that's why I chose that, but it reflects my taste for all fiction.

  4. *cheers wildly for this post*

  5. Cool post!! I hate when YA characters are all goody goody it's one of my biggest dislikes! and the name thing is getting out of control!!

    I also love when a character doesn't NEED a relationship to solve her problems.... not everything is solved by meeting a guy :)

  6. Great list! Thanks for sharing. I have encountered the character with no flaws, and I really wanted to give her a wedgie.


Your comments feed the greedy comment-addicted blogger inside of me. Thanks for keeping me going.