Every YA book ever

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  1. #1

    Every YA book ever

    Sometimes I’m bored. And during this time, I do crazy stuff. The last time when I was bored, I analyzed the characters from famous YA books. Just for fun! Either you got this strong, brave girl or the shy girl, who turns into it. Besides this, often, the appearance is the same. – Dark colored hair, brown eyes, and pale skin. Or the sub-story is often a romance one. Did ya noticed this? If “Yes!”, which do you know else.

  2. #2
    Sounds a lot like writing avoidance to me....

  3. #3
    She likes the library. She buys her clothes from a thrift shop. She isn't in the "in" group. Although she's normally shy, she decides to do something brave (which advances the plot nicely). She doesn't smoke or do drugs.

    And, more often than chance, she has an unusual name and likes old music. Dead parents seem over-represented. The not-right boyfriend is usually an athlete.

    There are a lot of really good reasons for the romantic sub-story.

    It's difficult to create a good character, and I suspect most authors do not succeed very well. (They get by just fine on plot/story.) And of course if you take only a shallow look at characters, they look shallow. And there was no reason to pick out Y/A for your question. When Hemingway got tired of writing about macho men, he wrote about a macho old man.

    Your average action hero is strong, brave, intelligent, clever, plans ahead, handsome, hetero, respectful to women, pays more attention to her personality than her looks, doesn't smoke or do drugs, is determined and dedicated, and is high in agency (actively doing things). The villain is devilishly clever, psychopathic or crazy, and does not have a criminal record. There are good reasons for all of those.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Art3mis View Post
    Sometimes I’m bored. And during this time, I do crazy stuff. The last time when I was bored, I analyzed the characters from famous YA books. Just for fun! Either you got this strong, brave girl or the shy girl, who turns into it. Besides this, often, the appearance is the same. – Dark colored hair, brown eyes, and pale skin. Or the sub-story is often a romance one. Did ya noticed this? If “Yes!”, which do you know else.
    Well the girl having dark hair is probably because of belief that blondes are dumb, and red heads are so rare in the general population.

    Substory of romance? Not in the ones I've read. True, romances developed over the course of the Harry Potter series, and even Deltora Quest added a bit of romance, but late teens is the time when most folks start being interested in pairing. It would be odd to have a teen character who shows no sign of wanting to be part of a couple. And most YA books feature teens or young adults.

    For something different, try Gordon Korman, Madeleine L'Engle, Emily Rodda, or even the Bionicle books. I can guarantee that the typical physical appearance is not seen in the Bionicle books.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Art3mis View Post
    I believe, there aren’t many adults, who reads YA. But I also think teenagers should have something better than, “OMG! There are other teens, who fall in love with each other.”. (Here is a cheesy, girlie voice the ticket.) And that means: erase the most hateable clichés! I know some. For example, many authors/readers hate prologues or the chosen one. But which clichés do you know?
    How much does this question differ from this one? Seeing the cliches? Shampoo directions. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. You keep posting the essentially the same questions concerning cliches (seemingly) in the hopes of getting a list of exactly what not to write. See the pattern with the question, it is identical to the 'cliched' characters of all YA books. Don't want 'cliched' YA, read something else...Maybe consider one of the numerous titles members have suggested over the course of the last two dozen threads.

    And as brown hair and brown eyes are a dominant physical trait, seems plausible to use them. If a character looks average, it all comes down to personification. As to the fiery redhead, look at one in three romance novels and tell me when hasn't that been done.

    Some helpful background reading: Archetypes by Carolyn Myss.
    Last edited by Darkkin; July 9th, 2018 at 10:40 PM.


  6. #6
    Member Underd0g's Avatar
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    The clichés I get tired of the most are the valedictorian that secretly lives in the high school and hires homeless people to pretend to be his parents but really the custodian is his father.

    Or the teacher that wants to be a chef so she turns the science room into a restaurant and soon is making more money selling food than teaching to people that are supposedly visiting the class and the principal doesn't have a clue.

    Or when all of the students wear eyeglasses and they have cameras in them because there is a civilization of mole people that live underground under the high school living vicariously through the humans on the surface.

    Or every time the principal tries to discipline a student, he goes back to his office and gets beat up by a vigilante biker.

    YA is so predictable.
    If you look at my profile, say "Hi!" But not in a creepy way.

  7. #7
    Stop worrying so much about cliches. They only negatively affect the novel if they're done poorly.

    But, to seriously answer your question. (As someone who reads a lot of shitty, and not so shitty young adult books) it's because the majority of the people reading have subscribed to that general theme and don't necessarily want or need anything else.

    I have my own person vendetta with YA books, as I read a lot of them since my preferred genre (fantasy) is usually written quite a bit there. (In my experience) On the poorer end of the YA spectrum, I always find that there's a strong lean towards a "strong female heroine" who, in the end, just ends up fawning over a badass warrior dude who does all the work. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with that character type, but I want what I was advertised. (Also, write about a guy once and awhile pls?)

    In the defense of the better end of the YA spectrum, while characters may be similar, rarely have they been the same. A muscular bad boy is an theme, but not all muscular bad boys are the same. Also, the stories are often different and interesting enough that the somewhat reptitive character archetypes are more or less easily ignorable. Also, the strong female heroine thing isn't nearly as much of a problem. Sure, it's usually a female with dark hair and brown eyes, but IDC. The appearance is one of the least important parts to me. It's all about the personality. They also tend to actually be strong heroines, not just a MC that gets pushed to the side because of a romance subplot.
    You know, if you think about it, there are 7-8 billion people in the world. Think of the odds. The fact that we're all here with each other kinda makes you believe in that whole destiny thing.

  8. #8
    Member Moonbeast32's Avatar
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    YA novels are a lucrative business. Whenever someone attempts to cash in on a profitable trend, they will likely stick to what others before them have proven to work.
    Oh say, what is truth? 'Tis the fairest gem
    That the riches of worlds can produce,
    And priceless the value of truth will be when
    The proud monarch's costliest diadem
    Is counted but dross and refuse.

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