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What YA Needs More Of

I love YA, and since you're reading this blog, I assume you do as well. However, it's quite clear that YA has a lot of books with similar aspects and not so much of those with others. Here is a list of what I would like to see more in YA.

Male protagonists. I like female narration as much as the next person, but I would say that at least 80% of YA fiction that I read has a girl protagonist, and a good 5% are poorly written male protagonists. An example of a series I loved with a fantastic guy main character is The Curse Workers trilogy by Holly Black.

Standalone novels. There are plenty of these in the YA contemporary genre, but these days I feel like I can't read a dystopian or fantasy without feeling obligated to pick up book two, and three, and six thousand. Following series can be great, but often the story just seems to be stretched far beyond where it needs to be.

Psychological suspense. I love psychological suspense. I love twisted characters and murders, the kinds of books that lurk in every shadow and populate your nightmares when you stay up too late reading them. There are an excellent few, but it's not a genre I see a lot of new releases written in.

Angst-free characters. I get it - life sucks, things are hard, everyone's sad. And I completely understand when a character is struggling emotionally and there are words written to this effect. What I don't like so much is when there are pages upon pages of a character's angsty moans. Let's have some strong, tough protagonists who can hold their own against the world.

What do you think about these, and what do you want more of in YA?


We Heart YA said...

We COMPLETELY agree with you!

We'd also like to see more parental involvement in YA literature. In our group, a couple of us were quite close to our parents, and that's almost never represented in YA.

Btw, there's a new psychological thriller coming out, Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne, that you might want to check out. And did you read Choker by Elizabeth Woods?

Steph said...

This is 100% SPOT ON. Yes, yes, yes and yes. Awesome post.

Cialina at said...

I've actually been craving more books with male protagonists. It's definitely refreshing to pick one up. And I agree: more standalones please!

Izzy G. said...

We Heart YA: I agree with you about parental involvement! I'm quite close with my parents as well, and they're rather under-represented in YA lit. Ooh, thanks for the recommendations! I'll definitely check those out!

LindsayWrites said...

hey! i'm a follower here! i'm spreading the word about Teen Shiver, a new group of YA authors that have combined together! stop by the Teen Shiver blog and follow us?? :)

Gracie said...

YES! I definitely agree with you. ESPECIALLY about there being more standalone novels. Nowadays it seems way more impressive when books (especially certain genres, as you said) are NOT part of a series. They get so tiring after awhile. :P

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Especially stand alone novels! Great idea and list.

Julia :) said...

I agree with all of these! Angst can kill a book for me. And Male protagonists are definitely hard to come by, especially good ones. And psychological suspense is THE BEST. I feel like nowadays books are almost turning into movies with the whole series thing. Why does there always have to be an unnecessary sequel? Its crazy. I would also love to see more in verse novels and more racially diverse stuff. :)

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