Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kristie's Personal YA Pet Peeves

Image from

Last year I decided not to fight the power anymore and gave up on "adult" fiction and switched to my true love: YA fiction. Almost everything I read last year was classified YA by my library and I am not going back.

However, some stuff is really getting on my nerves lately. Where better to air it than on my blog?

I've actually been crafting this post for a few weeks, but until I read the rants on The Book Smugglers I was going to keep this list to myself. The ladies make some valid points! My favorite is that your blog is your blog, so blog the way you want to.
I write honest reviews. No, they are not perfectly written-if they were I would review professionally. They are just my opinion. I don't lie and say I love a book just because someone was kind enough to send me a free copy. I am grateful to get it, but I will NOT say something is good when I didn't think it was. Go, read the article at Book Smugglers (especially the point about overhyped books).
Now My Personal Pet Peeves in YA Lit:
1. Rich snooty girls. Really, if the plot has nothing to do with being rich then the main character (mc) should not be a rich snooty girl. Why not? Well, because that now means the 98% of the reading audience cannot relate to your character. In this economy, rich is not cool.
2. Brand names in the book. The Hollister hoodies and D&G handbags in the story will only: A. date the novel faster than a speeding bullet
B. take the reader out of the action to recall what said brand looks like
The reader wants to insert themselves in the story-so generic wardrobe choices are best. Unless the novel is about fashion design, then the peeve is lifted.

3. Love triangles that don't work. Both of the hot guys (or girls) who compete for the MC have to be equally great. One cannot be miles ahead of the other in charm and talent. A perfect love triangle was Gale/Peeta/Katniss. Why? Because Gale had a great personality and so did Peeta. It is not enough that the MC just goes to school with one hot guy who has no personality vs the best friend who is wonderful and who she has known all her life. The competitors have to be developed and balanced.

4. Bad world building. It has to make sense, or the whole story is shot.

5. Believable dialog. As someone who spends a great deal of time with teens and tweens I know how teens speak. Unrealistic dialog actually makes me ill. Sometimes the author uses language no one has used in years, and sometimes the teens speak like very mature adults. No, no, no!
See my review of The Cellar.

That's all for now. Thank you for your time, and if you have a personal pet peeve-share it!


TerryLynnJohnson said...

okay. So the cat picture drew me in. But I read this post with interest, and followed the links. Agree! It is important the reviewers be honest about the books they gush about! And, yes,dialogue is vital.

Michelle said...

Love the pet peeves. :)
You won an award on my blog. :)