I love reading YA. It was always my dream as a little kid to finally be able to browse through the Teen section of the library and pick a book from there. Unfortunately, that dream still hasn’t quite become a reality.
What is it with the romance? Honestly, I want to know. Every YA novel out there now has some form of romance in it, and it’s often bad. Now I’m not against romance in a novel, in fact, sometimes I enjoy it. But the novels I see today do not have the romance I enjoy reading. Not at all. Frankly, I don’t see how any teen could genuinely take pleasure in some of these novels. Here’s why:
Overly Mature Themes
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that eighty percent of the YA books I’ve read have had a make-out scene. No joke. Perhaps there are some who find these scenes in a book enjoyable. I do not. It’s disgusting and startling to go from a couple talking to suddenly passionately kissing and doing many other things that I will not name. As a teen, I don’t think intense make-out scenes, or really any make-out scenes, should be in YA books! I really don’t. As the years have gone by, I’ve noticed how books have been getting increasingly more mature, and not in a good way. I used to be able to check a book out of the library without worrying if I’ll be able to finish it. Now that’s all I worry about.
Typical Cliché Relationships
As I’ve said, I have nothing against romance in a story. Just let it be done right! Too often I see the same thing happen over and over again. The love triangle, the main characters falling in love — I will admit I’ve used this one myself — or they say they’re not in love, but it’s obvious from page three. The YA genre is no exception! In fact, they’ve probably fallen the hardest into this trap of horrifying clichés. Not only has the level of mature elements increased, but the quality has decreased in my opinion.
If you’re like me and you’re tired of how the YA genre has changed, I have some tips! There are two great websites that will tell you the sexual content, violence, language etc. in a book! Sometimes you won’t the find the book you’re looking for, but they’re both still extremely helpful! Also, I’ve compiled a list of recent YA books I’ve read that you should read and those you should avoid. Everyone has different views on what they’ll read, so don’t just take my word for it that a novel is good/bad. Find out for yourself by checking out Pluggedin and Common Sense Media. They’ll give you information not only on books, but also movies and TV shows.
Onto the books!
The Divergent series: mostly for make-out scenes. I haven’t actually read these, but won’t, due to knowing what’s in the books.
The Mortal Instruments: incest, making out, and gory violence. I started these but could not finish them, due to what I mentioned.
Onyx & Ivory: detailed make-out, mild sensual kisses, suggestive flirting and teasing. Again, didn’t finish this, which was disappointing, as I was enjoying it.
Six of Crows: make-out scenes, highly suggestive talk, and gory violence. I was planning on reading this, but passed when I saw it on Common Sense Media.
Artemis Fowl: no sexual content, no language, and an interesting premise. I’m in the middle of reading these, so we’ll see how it goes!
The Traitor’s Game: mild sensual kiss, mild language, but action-packed and a splendid read! I absolutely enjoyed this book, which is the first in a series. Strongly recommend!
Renegades: mildly suggestive teasing, mild gore, and openly gay sub-characters. I personally loved it, but others may not be comfortable with it.
The Maze Runner: language, gory, and some passionate kissing. It’s a thrilling and heart-stopping read, though technically I read this one awhile ago.
The Looking Glass Wars: gory, fast-paced, and intriguing. This Alice in Wonderland retelling is phenomenal!
Don’t forget about classics like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings (some more classic than the others). I’ve found that often I have to look at old books rather than new ones to find something I like.
I hope this helped any of you who, like me, are not pleased with how the YA genre is changing. Until next time!