I’m getting back into the swinging of blogging again, so I thought I’d do an easier post. This will be in my Amber’s Rambles feature! For the first time in forever.
I love how wide the Young Adult genre there is, there’s contemporary, historical, fantasy, science fiction, romance, etc. Sometimes though, I wish there were more widespread aspects. Therefore, here are some things I would love to see more of in Young Adult Fiction.
I want to see more lower income characters and I want to see how that affects their life. I’ve been in some interesting positions where at times, I was at a higher social class than my peers. Though during this time, I had no idea we were “high” lower class because I thought we were middle class. Imagine that for a second. Then there have been times when my family was at a lower economic class than some of my peers, but still have money for things such as books, albums, etc.
Money is an interesting thing. It’s even more interesting to see how it does or doesn’t affect people. In a lot of Young Adult books, I’ve noticed that at least one character lives in a wealthy area, this character is generally pretty popular, but generally doesn’t have the happiest home life. Money doesn’t buy happiness, of course.
I’d love to see how money can affect a teen’s day to day life. How they interact with friends, if they can go on field trips, if they buy that CD that all their friends are listening to, how often do they go out, do they go out, are their friends knowledgeable about the MC’s financial condition? (Replace Condition).
Or even, did they eat this week? Do they have their electricity on? What do they have to go without? Do they buy new clothes for school every year or do they generally wear the same thing every week?
I want to see all of this.
A great book that dealt with a lower income class was I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios and it was so lovely. It was the first time I actually saw a book that dealt with a family in a non-middle or high class setting regularly in the book. Another book I read was Eleanor and Park which was the actual first book to see poverty in but it didn’t go as deep into as I wish it had.
This is really picking up in YA the last couple of years, but it’s mostly in fantasy. For some strange reason. And deals with retellings. I’d love to see more racial and ethnic diversity in a Contemporary novel.
Specifically, I would love to see more multi-racial main characters. I’m half white, 1/4th Native American (Potawatomi Prairie Band Nation, to be exact) and 1/4th Puerto-Rican. As someone who is mixed, I hardly ever see that portrayed in fiction. Characters are generally only one race or biracial, but never mixed races. I think it opens up a lot of stories for identity and how others see you. It can have a big affect on how you view the world too. (Neither example is mult-racial).
~College Setting YA~
And I don’t mean what New Adult is right now, which is all about sex and relationships.
There’s a ton of fantasy in YA and that is what a lot of people read because they seek that adventure, excitement and the way it just takes them out of the world. Well, for some people, like me, college is their fantasy, it is their escape. Usually though, there’s only the Senior year of high school or the summer before college covered.
I’m a Christian and as a Christian, I would love to read a novel that had a Christian as a main character. A main character where Christ actually ruled their life and who they were. If this were a “mainstream” book, that would be nice too. As in it has an author that doesn’t write categorical, genre “Christian Fiction”.
I’m into reading about other religions too, so I’d like to read books with characters that follow Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. I think it’s interesting to see how your beliefs affect your actions or how you deal with things.
I’d love to see a character discovering their religion or what their belief system too since I think that’s incredibly rare in Young Adult, from what I’ve read.
I’d love to see the intersectionality of various marginalization. For instance, a character of a marginalized race who also has a disability. A character with a disability who lives in a lower income area. A story about a Muslim who isn’t CISHet and how that would impact them. I would like to see this in fantasy as well.
I would love to see more girls in sports, specifically “solo” sports like snow boarding or drag racing.
As well as gymnastics, ballet, dance, ice skating, track, cheerleading, tennis, surfing, swimming. . .
I daydreamed a ton in school, especially middle school. That is all I ever did at lunch. I never find any real daydreamers in YA at all. It makes me sad.
~Female and Platonic Friendships~
I would like some that don’t deal with trios (such as The Night We Said Yes and Emmy and Oliver) with one of the characters not being gay. Because guys and girls can really just be friends.
I’m always up for more friendship heavy books with girls as well.
~Family Driven Fiction~
Something in the vein of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Next To Normal and Our Town in particular.
Dark, dysfunctional and a bit sad.
I like twisted family backgrounds and home lives that aren’t exactly the greatest.
Oh, I would also love something like the child/parent relationships in Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars!
So, what are some the things you would like to see in YA? Do you know any books that deal with these topics that I didn’t mention?