Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Problems With YA Novels

First, disclaimer.
I love young adult (YA) novels. If you take a look at my bookshelf, you'd find it (unsurprisingly) consist of YA novels (60%), science (30%), linguistics and philosophy (9%) and some recipes (1%). There's even a Youtube channel where authors talk about YA novels and numerous booktube channels that I subscribed to, watch every day. Also, my phone is filled with YA e-books.

It's not a surprise that YA novels became so popular these days, they're filled with unfulfilled fantasies, beautiful dreams, adventures that we can hardly experience by ourselves and life lessons that we can relate to and learn from. They're places where we can escape to, from our occasionally terrible, real life; refuges where we find comfort. From Harry Potter, Twilight (ahem), the Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars to the Divergent series, I see not only the increasing rate of YA lovers, rise of the nerds and the fandom but also the love of reading, which I consider a positive phenomenon.

But I have something to say, something that might not be so pleasant and be filled with my own personal opinions.
A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through a website for YA book deals for-- you guessed it-- YA book deals. More precisely, free YA e-books to read, because I'm a poor like that and I live in a place where the shipping fee is often times greater than the purchase itself if I order a paperback from Amazon (, which is absolutely ridiculous). Many books on the website just sound and look pretty awesome, but I stopped feeling that way soon after. Here are some of the reasons.

Here we go, a list of rants for the world of YA novel. Don't worry, sweetie, you'll get over it.

1. The cover pictures

"Don't judge a book by its cover."
Well said. But it's kind of impossible, since, often, "looks" are what we notice first when we encounter anything. There are way too many books to choose from, it's the titles and the covers left to take into consideration when I have to make the decision whether to buy it or not.
The thing is, I don't know which to choose. I see the most on the covers can be simply summed up by those below:
  • the figure: vicious-looking teenagers glaring at you who might want to eat you/melancholic teenagers with their eyes closed 
  • the background: dark, ominous, creepy and usually brown or black (whose lair is it?) /luminescent and surreal and usually blue (...heaven? oh that epiphany!)
  • sparkles or hue (oh the ethereality)/ silhouettes (watch your back!)
...and, lots of which look like, I don't know, an over-edited selfie? Sometimes the person on the cover just doesn't seem to fit into place. Perhaps it's just my personal preference: to me, many of the YA novel covers just look like clones (or is it because everyone's choosing the same stock photo?) I guess that's the vibe paranormal books want to give us, but come on, there are more stuff to capture people's attention. A bunny, maybe?

Okay, I'm just kidding, bunnies can't be spooky enough......OR CAN THEY?

Anyway, I think an animal would be awesome for a change, wouldn't it?

2. The title

This contains two parts: the typography/fonts and the words
  • the typography/fonts: excluding those that stand out too much, I want to talk about those that blend in too well. Titles are meant for readers to know the book in the first place, if we don't even know its name, how are we able to be acquainted with them and befriend them?
  • the words: One-worded titles sometimes bug me. Most times, I couldn't know what's about the book by just looking one word.Trapped. Shark. Lost. Asleep. Lamp. Sherlocked. WAIT, WHAT? (I named them randomly, trying to avoid real book titles. Not against anyone and no offense. ) I know that it's all about the book, but I feel pretty confused. Something like The Sinister Sock would be cool and clear. Hmm, The Sinister Sock? Now I really want to write a book about that.

3. The characters

They're pretty dang similar.  


______ is an ordinary _____. Never would she/he imagine herself/himself  ____________. And It's going to change his/her life forever..... 


The boys are always smirking and 73.28365% of the girls tie their hair into a messy bun. I'd really like to see a boy with a messy bun and a girl who smirks... that'd be fun.

Oh, and everyone is 16 years old. The fact that it's a Young Adult novel doesn't mean that older people don't exist. Cranky grandpas are not that bad. Sometimes.

4. Love interests/smoochy romance

Let me just say, can we just take a break from love triangles? I mean, aren't Four and Tris just lovely when they have each other? Even not having a love interest is fine, really; to me, romance isn't necessary for every story (unless it's a romance novel, of course.) Now I'm not saying that love is annoying--love is awesome, and I doubt any story would be complete without love. It's that the love doesn't have to only be pertained between boys and girls. Family love is wonderful. Friendship is fabulous. Passion for things is great. More, please.
And uh, one more thing. Boys don't need perfect muscles to be attractive. Just sayin'.

Disclaimer #2: This post is meant to be fun and lighthearted.
Again, I understand that every book that managed to get published is a precious baby of an author somewhere in the world and one that endured hundreds of editing and one that the author worked their hearts over for. These are my personal opinions, so don't take it seriously if you don't like it! . Not all novels are like these. Chillax.

Sooooooooo those are a few that I noticed. How do you think about them? Anything else to share or any disagreement? Feel free to comment and thanks for reading!


  1. "An over-edited selfie" . . . hahaha, that's so true. YA covers are rarely my favorite, to be honest.

    I would also like to read The Sinister Sock.

    1. Yeah, those scowling teens... I know that in most YA stories, the protagonists have quests to complete or villains to fight or sickness to deal with, and it's good that the characters. readers and the author are serious about that, but sometimes the person on the cover isn't really relevant to the story. And um, I like to imagine what the characters look like on my own, but the cover just gave me an impression of the character that will last for the whole book. When my imagination doesn't match the person on the cover....well.
      That said, many YA book covers are actually really good, and in my opinion, most fiction covers are better than non-fiction. (okay now who's the one that judge a book by its cover :P)
      I really love socks. Like, is there a thing called sock-fetish? Haha.

    2. Also, thanks for the follow on Bloglovin! Lots of love and a virtual hug(ノ≧∀≦)ノ