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Friday, 1 June 2018

BOOKISH PET PEEVES: YA Fantasy


Hello, fellas! Today I'm talking about some of my YA fantasy pet peeves. Lemme tell ya though that I DON'T like YA books but love most of the premises and ideas.

(Warning, this is going to be a LONG intro)


In my opinion, YA authors often have great but poorly executed ideas for one reason or another and after reading YA for so many years, I rarely like them anymore, especially the new releases. It just seems like I can predict them from the synopsis and usually, I just know what's gonna happen. That is because almost all of the YA authors have a similar story structure and it's just predictable which also makes it boring. And on top of that, YA books always come with two main characters that are the girl and the love interest. ALWAYS. Is it so much to ask for a book with NO love interest? I mean, there was a time when I couldn't read a book without a little romance but ever since I came to terms with my sexuality, I have started to want something without relationships.

(MC= Main Character)

1. Strong MC who always gets in trouble and waits for the guy to save her

There is nothing more annoying to ME than a "strong" MC who always gets herself captured and then doesn't even try to break out of wherever she is (*cough* Mare Barrow*cough*) or just fails repeatedly (*cough* Eelyn *cough*). Strong doesn't necessarily mean physical strength, it also means having a brain and a purpose, having a distinguishable voice and so much more things. But a smart and mature MC would be good.

Is it too much to ask for?

2. Love interests

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind romance in books but YA books try too hard. The moment a guy gets in the picture and you just know that he is going to be the love interest. I want something different. I want him to appear later, LATER in the book and I want them to develop feelings for each other later, let them start by being just friends. I don't mean, let them start by hating each other because that's just childish.

I just want something different, something that would keep me guessing and hence, reading. I don't want to know what's going to happen. I want to question everything.

Also, let it not be the focus of the book, please. I'm here to read about some war and fighting with a little romance. Not about love and teen drama with a little magic just to be different from any other romance novel out there.


3. Ridiculous reactions 

Ever since I heard an actual GASP I haven't been able to stop picturing that actor from Insidious's last scene. So, please, don't gasp, nobody gasps in surprise or in terror. It sounds and looks ridiculous.

Gasping for breath, on the other hand, is believable.

But my biggest pet peeve is when the love interest looks at the girl and her whole body just gets all soft and wobbly. From just a glance! I mean, I get that you're in love and all but...what... the...

I also hate it when he touches her hand and the description is like one of a freaking climax. Girl, calm your hormones. It's. Just. A. HAND.

Or maybe I'm overreacting because I haven't been in love and nobody that I've liked has touched my hand in a while...

4. Plot

I LOVE it when I get surprised by a YA book. I love unexpected plot twists. I love it when a book makes me want to spoil myself and see what happens.

Unfortunately, this doesn't happen much and hasn't happened at all lately.

After so many YA books (especially trilogies because that's the YA  thing) I can see the pattern. Do I even need to address the similarity? Let me name just a few books and most of the rest of them are just similar: Throne of Glass, Red Queen, The Orphan Queen, The Queen of the Tearling, Shatter Me, The Darkest Minds, The Kiss of Deception and so on. There are lot more examples I could give if I had my shelves in view because I don't remember what I've read but most of them are similar to each other anyway. 

Did you notice the other pattern? The titles. They are all so similar, I just wonder how nobody has come up with Glass Throne or Queen of Orphans. I also haven't checked these titles so they could be actual books for all I know.

The plots are usually similar to something that I've already read and do you know what? The stories always start with a GIRL. It would be different if it started with a boy written by a MAN.

I know that you could probably say something like "You can't expect an original idea, there aren't any" but that's not true! Writing is ART. Art is unique and it's always changing. You can take an already existing idea or trope and try to do it your way. If you write a love triangle, all of us would expect her to be with one guy and then magically another one would appear and she would be torn between guy #1 and guy#2. What if instead, the guys fell for each other? ORIGINAL, she would be just in the way.

What if she didn't choose anybody and DIDN'T go after a third one? What if she loves them both and wishes for them to be happy so she withdraws and let them find love on their own?

What if she stays faithful to the guy she is with in the beginning and let the other one know and respect her decision? There are so many ways to make a love triangle interesting...

Oh, yeah, let it not be the focus of the book, especially if its YA FANTASY. I hate it when author's use fantasy as an excuse to have an overly complicated love story.


5. MC's who are like: "Oh, I'm so strong, oh, I have a weapon! Oh, I may have it but I'm not gonna use it for like 90% of the book."

In Children of Blood and Bone, they had weapons and didn't use them for 90% of the time. I saw at least 5 occasions when they could have used them but nooo, they wore them like some fancy jewellery.

I just get annoyed when they have weapons and behave like they've never even heard the word before, let alone consider using one for defence. If you're going to write about characters who forget about their weapons, don't arm them in the first place.

Besides, they could always use their brains instead of a weapon as well. Claire from the Morganville Vampires series is a perfect example. 

6.  "Smart" characters asking stupid questions

I really hate it when author make their MCs 'scientists' or just very 'clever' and then proceed to make them ask the most stupid (stupidest?) of questions!

If she excels at biology, does this make her very stupid and ignorant about everything else?

I was reading The Tethered Mage and I was getting MAD at the main character's stupid questions! She basically enslaved a mage and then asked if it was that big of a deal...

She is supposed to be a scientist...

What's even worse is that she isn't the only case. I don't mind it that much when the character is stupid. Scarlett from Caraval was so annoying and her questions were something I expected because of how stupid she is but I never expect it from characters who seem or are said to be smart...

So, I will repeat for the third and final time today: Let. Then. Use. Their. Brains.



7. Characters

 I can almost never relate to the characters, especially when they are younger teens. I never could. I mean, it's not only because they are younger but because they are so immature or stupid or just their situations are entirely different from anything I could ever go through. I don't care about that.

I just get annoyed at the stereotypical teens that are written by YA fantasy authors or sometimes, even when the series are different, the characters just feel and sound the same, the cast of characters is the same, the love interest is the same... Everything is just the same.

I really hate it when nothing is different.

These are just SOME of my YA fantasy pet peeves. "Why the hell do you read YA?" You would probably ask. Well, I try not to but the new releases always seem so good even though I know that they probably aren't. I always try giving them a chance but at the end of the day, I'm either bored or just disappointed because of the hype.

I have NOTHING against people who love the genre. It's the favourite genre of some of my favourite bloggers and bookstagrammers who I really respect. It's just obviously not the genre for me. I just wish high fantasy novels weren't so hard for me to read. It takes me so long to finish them...

Let me say it again, I DO NOT judge anybody for reading, loving and enjoying YA. I just don't like it but I am stubborn. There have been some books that I have loved, it just depends on how well they are written. 

Being an aspiring developmental editor also doesn't really help me when I start wanting to edit already published books... (*cough* Stalking Jack the Ripper *cough*)

Do you have any bookish pet peeves for the YA genre? 
What are they?

3 comments:

  1. I feel your pain! I enjoy reading YA but the love triangle stuff really puts me off. Maybe I am a different type of girl, but I have never found myself trying to pick between 2 people that I loved.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think that most people get themselves in such a situation XD it's reserved for stupid YA characters :D

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  2. Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.

    ReplyDelete