December 21, 2013

What Books Need More Of

There are some things that books, particularly YA fiction, are particularly lacking.  I suppose this post could be a continuation of RBWL, but I'm focusing on things that need to be in books more, not story ideas.

More Homeschoolers
If I haven't said it enough people, not all homeschoolers are like this:
(Although, I am.)

or this:

In fact, homeschoolers are usually not unsocial, weird, geeky, overly religious hermits.  Yeah, we've been described as all of those things before.

Offensive, isn't it?  So YA fiction needs more normal homeschoolers.  Yeah, we are different, but we're not sheltered and we're usually very intelligent.

More Asians
I have noticed that either most YA characters are white or never described.  Now, I don't like it when a character's ethnicity is obsessed over; I just like some diversity that's maybe briefly mentioned and not used stereotypically.  Like Megan in The Mother-Daughter Book Club.  She's Asian, but not stereotypically smart.  She loves fashion instead of school.

More Unique Settings
I feel like so many books are set in California, New York, or the South these days, and most play off of regional stereotypes.  I'm ready for books set in Minnesota, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, and all the other states.  And other countries!  Canada would be fun.  Spain, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries would, too.  I love books set in England and France, but it's sort of overdone at this point.

More Friendships
I love a good romance and all, but I like when friendships are a big part of the plot and are perhaps more important than romantic relationships.

More Unbroken Families
I get it.  Broken families or absent parents cause drama and action.  But sometimes the parents can be present and involved and the book can still be good.  Think The Fault in Our Stars and The Mother-Daughter Book Club series and Going Vintage.

More Friendships That Turn Into Romance
I'm all for hate-than-love (Pride and Prejudice, anyone?), but it's so overdone.  And it often happens too quickly in YA.  Basically, this...

turns into this...

way too quickly.

More Unique Interests
Like how Isadora in The Chaos of Stars likes interior decorating.  How Cassidy Sloane (The Mother-Daughter Book Club) and Sloane Devon Jacobs (Being Sloane Jacobs) play hockey.  How Rose composes music (Cinders & Sapphires).  How Elise comes to love DJing (This Song Will Save Your Life).  I feel like too many characters these days are into fashion, or cheerleading, or being popular, or singing, or wanting to be famous.  There is so much more than that!  I mean, two of my protagonists in books I'm writing like to write and read, like me.  But my Ophelia in my Hamlet retelling likes to act (the book is set around a theater troupe, after all) and she loves gardening and flowers.  Another protagonist in one of my WIPs likes history!

More Appropriate Books
I'm so sick of books where it feels like every other word is a curse.  It's basically lazy writing and not at all creative to have characters who constantly swear.  Also, not all teens drink, do drugs, and go to wild parties.  I certainly don't.  My friends don't, either. (And not just because we're homeschooled.)

So is there anything else you want to see more of in books?


  1. I agree.
    Sometimes books like--It's hard to explain.
    Here's a scenario:
    Friend: I hate you!
    Other Friend: I hate you more
    Friend: I can't beleive you would do this to me
    Other friend: You're being dramatic
    Two minutes later:
    Friend: Let's make up.
    Other friend: Yah!
    Like, no.

  2. I really hate how in ever single book when a girl and a guy are best friends they end up being in love with each other. It's like hello, hi, yeah NO. Not every single guy who's friends with a girl is in love with her. Can't they just have it where the guy and the girl are best friends. Just best friends?

  3. I was homeschooled for three years so I hate when anyone makes homeschoolers out to be awkward and antisocial because it's so not true. I loved being homeschooled and I agree, I would love to see more of it in YA. I was reading your point about more unique setting and Canada and was like, oh I'll tell her about Being Sloane Jacobs and then I scrolled down and was all, jk, she's already on it. I really enjoyed that book and loved hearing the descriptions of Montreal with the underground tunnels and different artworks and such. And definitely more good friendships! Like Perry and Roar! Or Sloane and Sloane! I loved their friendship. Great discussion!

    1. Haha, yup, I've read (and enjoyed) Being Sloane Jacobs. I'm actually going to be part of the blog blitz for it! :)

  4. I thoroughly agree, and this is a great, well-rounded list! Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever read a book with a home-schooled character that's not some fantasy/historical novel where that might be more common. Good point!

    1. Thank you!

      One instance of a normal homeschooler is America Singer in The Selection. She was homeschooled because it was basically their only option, but she's normal and well-rounded.

  5. i totally agree with all of these!! you should send these to all the big-time authors :D

  6. "Saving The World." Why does it always result in saving the world. Why can't it be a little smaller. It was amazing with HP, PJ, City of Bones, but it has been used a lot. Why can't it be your country or home or city safe. 7 billion people are a little to much responsibility for.


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