Okay, it’s time for some real talk! If you read as much as I do, you are bound to find annoying or unrealistic patterns in books that are enough to make your eyes roll. Surprisingly, I tend to find these things in YA books more than in any of the other genres. And YA is one of my favourite genres!
So today I thought I’d share 5 of these annoying things that I’ve picked up in YA books. Some of them are just irritating enough for me to notice and others I truly hate:
As someone who still suffers from acne, I know that I am not alone in the struggle. The internet is flooded with helpful (and some not helpful) advice on how to treat this condition that leaves its mark on more than just the surface of the skin. So it bothers me that main characters hardly ever struggle with problem skin. Not only is it irritatingly unrealistic, but it’s also quite offensive to me. Why is it that most main characters in books don’t have relatable issues as I do? I mean, are authors trying to say that unless you have smooth, unblemished skin there’s no way you’ll be the main character of a published book? Or am I reading wayyy too much into this? Either way, it’s enough to piss me off! Because as I type this, I’m trying to treat an insane breakout that just won’t.leave.me.alone!
This one is closely linked to the point about skin problems but I am going to list it as a separate issue. Is it just me or does the phrase “Just added a lick of lipstick and some mascara and I was good to go” (or something along that line) pop up way more than it needs to in books? I’m so sick of reading it!
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that shares the positive aspect of makeup. Usually, it’s always linked to catty, popular girls who have the personality of a spoon; and this just doesn’t sit well with me. It unnerves me that there’s still such a negative outlook on makeup, especially in YA books. There seems to be this idea that if you need to spend more than 5 sloppy seconds on makeup it’s an actual horror show! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for accepting yourself the way you are, and I get that this is probably the message authors are trying to bring across. But using makeup/beauty products DOES NOT mean that someone is any less self-accepting than someone who goes without it.
Don’t even get me started on those scenes where the best friend gives the main character a mini-makeover for a date! Each and every time I read these kinds of scenes I cringe! It is always made abundantly clear that the girl only needed a minimal amount of makeup to look like a totally different person. Because, you know, God Forbid she doesn’t look like a fallen angel without makeup!!
Notice how every single narrator has this really cool ability to pinpoint their exact shift in emotion. One second they’re feeling angry and the next they’re overcoming a bout of guilt… Come ON!!!! Half the time I don’t even know what I’m feeling, there’s no way on Earth that I’d be able to distinguish what I’m feeling when my emotions are heightened. Yet, somehow these characters can explain exactly what they are feeling and also, they can determine the exact nanosecond when it changes.
This is so unrealistic to me because I don’t think people walk around constantly monitoring what they’re feeling. I mean, unless I’m hungry or tired, it takes me a while to figure out what I’m feeling. Maybe I’m just complicated, but this bothers me!
Every couple of books I read, there is bound to be a scene where two of the main characters end up in an open field of some sort, laying in the grass and staring up at the sky. It’s sweet and cathartic – I get it. But why does no one ever talk about bugs crawling all over them? It’s like these real life things are too much of an annoyance to add in books. I’m not fooled! Your ass is getting eaten alive by ants – you literally have ants in your pants!!!
Who here found their life purpose before they graduated high school? Anyone at all? Well, I sure as heck didn’t! And I know for a fact that there are many people out there who didn’t have the faintest clue what they were going to do with their lives when they were in high school. Seriously, WTF do we even know at that age?? And I’m drawing from personal experience here!
Yet, somehow, kids in YA books know exactly what they want to do with their lives. And if they don’t, they will have found their passion by the end of the book – without fail. It is so annoyingly unrealistic, and it bothers me like you won’t believe!
Of course, there are people out there who always knew what they wanted to do with their lives; I’m in no way denying this. But I just think that books don’t really represent the young people who struggle with these major life decisions and it would be helpful to have some of these stories out there so that they don’t feel like they need to have it all figured out by the end of high school.
If I think about this a bit more I’m sure I’ll find even more things that annoy me in YA books. But for now, I’d love to know what you think! Do you agree with what I’ve said in this post? Are there annoying things you’ve found in books that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!