This is part of The Broke and the Bookish‘s “Top Ten Tuesdays” meme.
There’s a lot that I’d like to see more of in books. Big things (more diversity! More addressing social issues!). Smol things (more Harry Potter references! Fewer dead pets!). I’m happy to say that a lot of the things that I want seem to be things that other people want, too; YA lit seems to be leaning in the general direction of Stuff I Want to See More Of™. Yay!
Ten things I really want to see more of in YA are:
- More male-female friendships. Boys and girls can be best friends forever without falling in love. Right? Right?
- Good parents. I know that bad parents make for added drama, but come onnnnn. Most parents would probably notice if their only daughter started coming home bloody and exhausted after battling otherworldly sewer demons all night.
- Boys who like non-traditionally-masculine things and aren’t ridiculed for it. There is nothing—nothing—more heartening than seeing fictional boys enjoy traditionally feminine things. Toxic masculinity is soooo 1998. LET MY SONS BAKE COOKIES AND SUPPORT THEIR FRIENDS.
- Those little one-sentence summaries on the copyright pages. Where the book flap and back covers fail, the one-sentence summary succeeds. They tell you what the book is actually about without delivering major spoilers. Why don’t all books have these?
- Girl gangs. Who run the world? Badass young ladies who smash the patriarchy, that’s who.
- Little pop culture references. I’m so weak for little pop culture references. Have a character quote Harry Potter and I’ll love them forever.
- Like. All the diversity. ALL OF IT. And while we’re at it, can we please address that diversity in meaningful ways? Can we discuss some social issues, or acknowledge that people experience the same thing in different ways due to things like race, sexuality, and ability? Thanks.
- No more comparing boys’ eyes to gemstones. Are we done with this? We’re done with this.
- Espionage and heists. The gadgets, the drama, the strolling through the Louvre wearing dark glasses and a smug smile—everything about spy and cat burglary stories feels cool and exciting.
- Pets that survive. Must we always kill the beloved pet to drive a point home? I say, no more. LET THE PUPPY LIVE, SUSAN.
As I said, it feels like YA is leaning in the same general direction as I am. I’m looking forward to contributing my own book to the pile and nudging the genre a little further in what I think is a good direction.
How about you? What do you want to see more (or less) of in YA?