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Welcome! My name is Haley, I'm a 27 year old book-aholic. I'm a book reviewer for the RiverTalk Newspaper. I love reading YA, NA, and adult paranormal mostly, but I do go into other genres on occasion. If you want to talk more one on one about books, please don't hesitate to contact me on facebook or twitter, I love making new bookish friends!

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Welcome welcome to my first '5 Things' post. This is a feature exclusive to YA-Aholic that I will be doing every Thursday and it will be a 5 things that _____.  These lists will not be in any type of order. I decided to start doing this cause I like to rant...ALOT in person..but when I try to type up a rant of things that I either love or just ends up very messy, so I figured doing a list would be much easier (: If you like making lists I highly suggest joining the meme Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish (:

Since this is my first 5 Things I figured I would just do a general '5 Things that Piss me off in YA (:'

Lets jump right into this!

1.) Stereotyping

tsk tsk TSK! This annoys the hell out of me. I know stereotyping is something most teens experience, or do themselves, I know I was stereotyped as 'slutty' in high school solely because I wore alot of makeup and wore really long extensions (still wear them occasionally). When in reality I wore alot of makeup and extensions cause I had a self esteem level of 0. I wasn't 'slutty' at all, but people assumed that solely off of my blonde hair and caked face. So really I understand when CHARACTERS stereotype  its a part of growing up and being a teen, eventually you realize/learn it's wrong.

 What I don't understand is why AUTHORS like to stereotype so much. I am so sick of reading books that have the blonde haired girl that's head cheerleader that is also the bitch of the school and usually described as the whore of the school. Or the 'dumb jock' who is also the bully of the school. ANYONE CAN BE A BULLY!!!!! People that are in honor classes and really smart are bullies sometimes, people that are 'outcasts' are bully sometimes. I was never bullied by a specific type of person it came from a very different variety of people. 

Obviously there are alot of other stereotyping that YA novels like to incorporate,  this just seems to be the one I run into the most.

2.) The whole 'No makeup' thing

This was something that LC's Adventures in Library Land (check out her blog! She is amazing!) brought to my attention that I never really noticed until she brought it up. YA novel authors seem to be obsessed with the main female characters being so anti it really that bad if the girl puts on some mascara or something? I don't get it. I mean personally I think I look just fine without makeup...but I still like wearing it. I think what the authors are trying to teach is that your natural beauty is the best kind of beauty...but sometimes it comes more off as them trying to be-little the other characters that do wear makeup. Anyways make sure to check out Lea's rant about the no makeup thing HERE everything she says I completely agree with! 

3.) Everyone is white!?

The majority of YA novels consist of characters that are white. I don't understand this AT ALL, do these characters go to all white schools and live in all white towns or something?? Are the authors racist?  Do they just forget about people that are indian, native american, black, asian, hispanic,etc? WHY IS THERE NO VARIETY...why can't the characters at least have non white friends? Or hell why can't the authors just mention a random kid in their class that is not white?  This is something that has always pissed me off in books. The only book I can think of off the top of my head that has a good variety of characters is the Farsighted series by Emlyn Chand...I should be able to list tons yet that's the only one I can think of!!! pathetic!

4.) The Internet does not exist (social media/cyber bullying) D: 

HA. Maybe I am partial to this because I spend so much time on the internet. But really YA books rarely bring up characters talking about social media such as facebook,twitter,tumblr, etc. They will talk about the characters texting or talking on the phone, but no one seems to do any online social media things?! Now this mainly bothers me when the book is about bullying or a character that is bullied...cyber bullying is something that is huge right now, it happens more than face to face bullying does (fact) so I find it odd that cyber bullying is never brought into YA novels when it is something so many teenagers are actually going through in real life. 

5.) Goo Goo eyes (idk the term)

You're walking with your friend down the street having a lovely conversation...and then you see him. The world is spinning, you can't breathe, he is just so gorgeous, he smiles at you with a lopsided grin, you notice 3 little freckles above is left eye and that there is one hair out of line on his eyebrows.

...Am I out of the loop on this one? Has anyone REALLY ever seen a guy that was so gorgeous he made you feel like the world was spinning and you had to take notice of every single tiny detail of his appearance? Cause I for one have never had this happen to me...I may take notice of someone walking by and think "oh that guys attractive" but then I carry on and I never think of that person again. I don't stop and stare. I don't take notes of how many freckles are on his face, etc. Hell I have a huge celebrity liking of James Franco's face and have for the longest time...and I can't even remember right now if he has hazel, brown or green eyes!

So that's it! Those are 5 things that piss me off in YA novels (: Now obviously these 5 things happen in other genre's besides YA, but since I mainly read YA I can easily say that I know these are 5 things that happen ALOT in YA. (: 

Check back next week to see another 5 Things post!!! 

What are some things that piss YOU off in novels?! :D


Bekka said...

This! All of this!

I particularly hate the slut-shaming that is happening in YA. This ties together with the no make-up thing and the bitchy cheerleader 'whore'. I would ONCE love to see a female character who is sexually empowered and wears make-up who doesn't freaking die or have some other tragedy befall her. I was that girl in high school, and NO, I wasn't mean or bitchy or horrible, and clearly nothing earth-shattering happened to me. I'm tired of girls like that being the villain. UGH.

Great post!

Ren Reidy said...

LOL I love this post!!

Prudence MacLeod said...

I must agree with you on all points here. When was the last time you read a Y/A novel where the lead character had acne? I certainly did at that age. sheesh! Well done, great post. Keep it up.

Nickie said...

I love your point on everyone being white. I'm having a ahrd time thinking of YA books with characters of other ethnicities. And when a person of color is in a book -- hoo boy, watch people be stupid (I'm thinking of the Hunger Games kerfuffle with Rue being black... seriously? Why would that be a controversial choice?) I try to include some diversity in my own writing in reaction to this.

The stereotyping makes me crazy, too. I was a straight A student in high school, but also played three varsity sports. People who knew me from sports assumed I was a brain dead jock, and people who knew me from class assumed I was a nerdy weakling. Can't people be a little bit of everything?

I loved your rant, even though it got me ranting too, lol.

elizabethisaacs said...

I so love this post! And I agree with you, especially with the stereotypes. Thanks for the candor, and I'm keeping notes for the next series! :-)

Unknown said...

Oh the no make up thing... YES! Girls in high school wear make up. Girls in college wear make up. Girls who are going on dates wear make up! Just because they are a strong female lead does not mean they don't like to put on some eyeliner and lip gloss.

Tony Yuse said...

I love the rant. You are correct about the lack of diversity in many YA novels.

Kimberly said...

Love this post! I agree with them all - especially number five. Doesn't it seem like every single male love-interest in a YA series has a lopsided grin? And their eyes are either 'chocolate brown, with gold flecks' or 'grey with a green ring around them' or whatever - how close do you have to be to notice gold flecks in someone's eyes? All of this is noticed in the first 5 seconds of seeing him, too.

Sarah said...

Great post and all so true. That diversity thing can be tough. The white characters are never described as white, so it can feel racist to describe someone as being black or Asian etc when it wasn't necessary to spell it out re: the white characters. I think a lot of us - myself include - tend to assume characters are white unless specifically stated otherwise, but it may not be the case. It's a minefield, diversity. :)

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ayanami Faerudo said...

This post. :thumbs up:

Amber (Books of Amber) said...

I totally agree with everything you said. I think the fact that hardly any characters in YA are POC is the thing that stands out to me the most. I get that some authors feel like they should write what they know, and the majority of published YA authors are white (or, at least, that's how it seems to me), but would it really be all that hard to write in a POC best friend, at least?

Mimi said...

This is awesome! I love it. And most of it, I have thought of when reading too.

Emily @ Falling For YA said...

I also hate the no-makeup thing! I wear makeup every day (unless I'm staying home) and have since I started high school it doesn't make sense to demean people that wear makeup when studies have shown that women who wear makeup in the work force appear more competent!


Stellar said...

I agree on the no-makeup! I wear at least mascara & eyeshadow whenever I go somewhere. It might just be the cosmetologist in me, but seriously? Middle graders wear makeup! Why not in books? Especially the bad-ass characters. They're rolling around in mud all day, and they have guys fawning over them left and right. I DON'T GET IT!

Jen said...

I just wanted to point out that the Harry Potter series had characters of different races - but that is the only book I can think of off hand.

whatgeorgiedid said...

What a great morning read, i couldn't help but go "oh wow, i totally see it". What "pisses" me off the most in the male lead (majority Paranormal YA)is that he's the brooding outcast, long hair, biker boots (that may or may not accompany a bike) and always GREEEEN eyes and he always has a stick up his arse to begin with.


The Shadow Realm said...

What a great post! I agree with everything you said. All fantastic points and all things that annoy me too. The no make-up thing I don't get. Almost every girl wear make-up and some stage. I might not always wear make-up but I will when in work or when going to college. Far enough I might not feel like wearing it some days. Also, I don't understand how someone can remember so much detail with one glance at a guy?? Especially the colour of there eyes. How can they see there colour from such a distance?? I never understand this :/

~ Yvonne

Jude Henderson said...

Point 2 and 3 EVERY FREAKING TIME. I mean, all of the points bother me, but especially those two. The girls just go splash water on their faces like it's no big deal, if I did that I'd have to do my makeup routine all over again. The white people situation is the most common, it just makes you wonder where the hell is the book taking place and why is there no variety.

GREAT post!! looking forward to your next 5 things :D!

Anonymous said...

I hate it when the parents in the books act so unrealistically, like, who lets their 15 year old daughter stay out till 4 in the morning? Why didn't she get in trouble? Idk, perhaps i'm too bias because of the way i grew up but i don't think i'd let my daughter out at that time at that age..

Unknown said...

I grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where there were literally only 2-3 black kids in the whole school. I only remember one from elementary school, her name was Heather, then there was Renate in junior high, and Jonathon all throughout school. That was it for me. So, for me, when reading, I never think about there not being any cultural diversity, simply because there never was much of it where I grew up. Thanks for pointing that out, though, since most places in the world are not 99% white like Parkersburg.

Unknown said...

Hmm... Agree with #1, 3, 5. Our society puts so much emphasis on putting on make-up in photos and social media that sometimes books need to ground us in saying that it's okay to look and live naturally. It's in word-form and not I haven't read a book that's hard-core "MAKE-UP RUINS LIVES" but I think it has more to do with the stereotyping issue which I agree with you on. They stereotype make-up into the mean girl character, and that's the issue.

#4: There's a reason why Facebook and Twitter don't make it into most contemporary books. While the human condition can hold parallels to the past, social media is the fastest changing platform out there. Books can take years to write and even years to publish so by the time the reference is made, it could be outdated. Think about the number of books that people wouldn't understand because the newer generation would have no idea what a Myspace or Friendster account is. I barely even know what Pintrest or Tumblr are. Are you really going to date your novel and alienate your audience at the same time? Things that have stayed - telephones since Alexandra Graham Bell created it back in the late 1800s are still relevant today so communication via phone is noteworthy to include. But to include if it is a iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy would be too much. Facebook managed to stay for a while, but now even the younger generation are looking for different social media outlets because the generation that grew up with FB are having children and if parents have it, it's just not as cool. Social media will forever continue to evolve and change. If you want your book to include such things, just know it will become dated very fast and unless you are that spectacular writer than can defy all convention and make it relevant to newer social media platforms, it will get lost in the slush.

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