Some Trends in YA fiction

Ok, I am back. Been awhile huh?
So , I kind of got into a book vortex. A black hole of books. I have been reading a book a day, and for ” research” purposes most of them have been YA fiction. I am no embarrassed by this, but afterawhile, some things began to blur together. After forty books, most of them series I am starting to see a couple things that are becoming eerily similar.

Lover Boy

Most of the books have an incredibly hot, smart and sensitive guy who for an unexplained reason is really into the protagonist. This hot guy is the catalyst for all the action that picks up in the books. Without Lover boy, the protagonist would crumble. She needs lover boy for affirmations, for strength. He is the only person that trusts her, that knows the truth about whatever lurks around the corner.

And for the record, he is a total Mary Sue.

The Protagonist.

Most of the characters in these books are from a female perspective, and as such have a love interest.Most of the girls in these books self describe themselves as not really that extraordinary. This is clearly not the truth as Lover Boy thinks she is the best thing since swiss cheese.

Dystopian Society

The amount of books set in a dystopian society is unsettling. Not one of these books offer a positive scenario of the future, just a controlling 1984 Big Brother scenario. I wouldn’t mind if it had a message like the Hunger Games books but many of these books are set in this society to move the story forward. There isn’t even a convincing backstory as to why the crumbling future happened. At least give us SOME idea why the world is limited to a tiny population in the middle of the United States.

Most of the Characters are White

So society is crumbling and there are few if any indications that anyone is anything other than white american?

All of the books are set in the United States

Enough said. It’s like no country ever survived the apocalypse and are just written out of the story.

The characters are remarkably self absorbed
Despite it being about a dystopian society where everyone is imprisoned, miserable or in danger the characters are remarkably only concerned about their inner circle of friends and more importantly their love interest. They sacrifice everything and everyone to continue to be with aforementioned love interest. They have no concern about anyone else…

The unwritten law of written out parents

There are zero parental figures in these books. I get it, characters are supposed to find their way on their own and so parents would impede this quest, but really most parents in these books are useless, stupid, weak willed and feebleminded.

The obsession with supernatural beings

Witches, zombies, werewolves, fairies, angels, demons…. We can’t invent a NEW supernatural being? Something that hasn’t been done before. Just saying. Especially vampires. Let’s just cross that out for at least ten years. If writers DO decide to write about it, I wish they would do a different perspective ( like daughter of smoke and bone) sort of a ” it’s not what you think” kind of thing.

The plots in these books range from I-Don’t- wan’t – to admit it’s addictive books to boring to absolutely breaking your heart. Stay tuned for another post on which ones I recommend and which ones I wouldn’t bother with.


2 thoughts on “Some Trends in YA fiction

  1. Seems to me there’s just a lot of very bad (and often self-published) authors out there who, a) don’t know how to write an original story and b) are therefore simply copying the ideas of other writers who were successful with a formula. It does also, suggest the typical white American middle-class YA author feels they live in a society under constant threat from falling to pieces…these books reflect far more about the authors’ state of mind and attitude to the world than they do about YA readers. Thanks for an informative, if rather depresssing post:)

    1. Sorry for my late reply didn’t see this post. You are right, unfortunately some of them are self published ( especially the romantic fiction)- but others are just following a formula. Supernatural/ fantasy, romantic, dystopian.. take away the setting and some of the stuff is pretty similar. I go into it in some other posts. I keep looking for the next jk rowling… but very few live up to that. Some are good, and are not as unpredictable but it just hard to find quality. This is because they keep catering to the ” screaming girl” fanbase and write stuff that frankly only caters to this. I am starting to think that boys don’t really read that much…. unless they are reading adult fiction.

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