What I want to see more of in Contemporary YA
Characters in COLLEGE!YA novels primarily feature teenage characters. This is all fine and dandy, except nearly every single one of those characters is in the Hell that we know as High School. But here’s the thing – teenagers are also in college! And I don’t know about you, but I go crazy when I see a YA novel that features its characters in college; I devour it. Considering I’m not a teenager anymore, I’m starting to crave more mature stories, or at least stories set in a more mature setting. I’m not quite at the stage where I’m ready to be reading about mid-life crises or divorces or having babies, so I need something in between. Having characters in YA novels attend college would be that something.
I’m tired of seeing the stories that begin with Girl liking Boy That is Way Too Hot for Her, but then Boy That is Way Too Hot for Her suddenly sees what he’s been missing all along and returns feelings for Girl.
Or, Girl is inherently beautiful and is stuck choosing between two or more love interests.
I’m sure these situations have proven true for some people, but I’m tired of reading about them. I want a romance that lasts, that’s true. I don’t want a surprise kiss to come out of nowhere. Sure, sometimes it’s cute, but at the same time, I know it’s not very likely to happen in the real world. I’d rather read about a genuine relationship blossoming and forming, even if that means I don’t get to see the kiss until the very end of the novel.
I realize not every family is stable and that some come from bad home lives – but does it have to be everyone? Why are the parents almost always away or uncaring? Why are the kids almost always neglected? Why do the siblings almost always watch the others getting into trouble?
Not everyone hates their family, and I think it’s time that this is shown in Contemporary YA. We need some family love every once in a while. I know the drama within a bitter, failing family is easier to work with, but I also know it’s possible to create something from the good.
What do YOU want to see more of?