In which I critique YA!

25 May 2010

Topic #1: Love Triangles

I LOVE love triangles! They are amazing! But what's really weird is that there are no girl love triangles. A guy usually never chooses between 2 girls in books, but the opposite. There are 2 guys involved in a Male love triangle:
  • The hot, smoldering guy who makes the heroines' heart race every time she see's him
  • The I've-been-her-best-friend-for-life guy who the heroine goes to for comfort and all
I'm more biased towards the hot smoldering guys, because they usually TAKE ACTION and chase after their girl, whereas best friend guys are too cowardly to chase after their girl. The best-friend guys waits till the heroine and the smoldering guy are together until he finally admits that he's "in love" with the heroine.
What I say is "You weak, cowardly more-than-best-friend-guys!!"
Quote Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"Next time, pick up the courage to ask me before somebody else does!"
Oh my gosh, I just realized something! A FEMALE LOVE TRIANGLE IN HARRY POTTER!! Hermione chooses between Victor Krum and Ron. In this case, however, she goes for cowardly Ron-who-never-asked-her over brave 'ol Victor Krum. Interesting....
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Topic #2: Girls beat Guys in YA!

Have you ever noticed how a whole lot of YA books are told from the female point of view? What about those guys out there who read books?? There won't be any for them to actually like. There are, however, good "guy books" like:
  • Daniel X- James Patterson
  • Maximum Ride- James Patterson
  • Artemis Fowl- Eoin Colfer
  • Airman- Eoin Colfer
  • The Percy Jackson series- Rick Riordan
  • Eragon + Eldest + Brisingr- Christopher Paolini
  • Gone- Michael Grant
Notice how all these books are written by guys only. Female authors, I think, tend to make their characters "female" because they can relate to being a girl, you know? I'm guilty of writing from the "female" POV on my novel...but hey, I'll do my next book (if I get that far) from the Male POV, deal :D

I think the main reason why, is because most guys don't really WANT to be authors, they dream of being, and I'm just guessing here, sports stars, computer-people, and comedians or whatever. Mostly sports I guess.

So what do I say? I say "Get out there, guys, and WRITE!"

OH wait, I just have this story to share with you guys (story-time!)
In Language Arts, we, for extra credit, could write our own ending to "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, so I, being the awesome writer I am, went home and type up 3 pages of my ending. We had a contest the next day, and the only two people who volunteered to read their story out loud. Me and a kid named Connor. Connor and his horribly immature violent-game-loving friend with cruel, beady black eyes, wrote a crude ending in which Jonas, the hero, goes to a gas station with Gabriel. The gas station blew up, and Jonas and Gabe died. Or was it that they got shot by border patrol...I forgot. But they were snickering in class behind me, blushing and laughing at their story. I heard snippets like "get's shot" and "giant explosion" and "nukes" as in "nuclear weapons".

I guess this is what type of stuff guys in middle school want to read about.

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Topic #3: Parents

In some books, mostly all books, don't you notice how little a role parents play? Examples??
  • Perfect Chemistry- Simone Elkeles
  • The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
  • Wake- Lisa McMann
  • Hush, Hush- Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Leaving Paradise- Simone Elkeles
  • Sea Change- Aimee Friedman
  • Shiver and Linger- Maggie Stiefvater
  • Fallen- Lauren Kate
  • Wondrous Strange- Lesley Livingston
I think it's mainly because teens are so angsty these days. They "hate" their parents most of the time, so involvement of parents in YA books is less popular and more unfavorable. In my current novel, I killed off the heroines parents. There are several ways to get rid of parents in YA Lit:
  • Kill them off, simple. But the hero/heroine will be traumatized (I think)
  • Missing. Hero/Heroine might go in search of them.
  • Divorced- more explainable and easy.
  • Doesn't care- a negligent, free-minded parent who doesn't monitor his or her child.
Am I missing any?

Anyways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have SO much more to critique. On my list is:
  1. Weak, flimsy, dependent, emotional female heroines shining a dark light on the how women/girls have been looked down upon based on gender.
  2. Too perfect male hero's who are dominative and mean (Patch, Edward)
  3. Cliche plots
  4. Boring beginnings
  5. etc...

Maybe I should stop now....whoa! LOOK HOW MUCH I WROTE!! The little "scroll down" box thingy is this small:
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I'm going to stop now :D

11 thoughts:

  1. There are many adult books told from the male point of view. You should likely check some of those out, Kirthi; though you're evidently not a guy, I'm sure you'd be introspective enough to enjoy them. Kite Runner is a personal favorite of mine.

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  2. I have an award for you:
    http://naughtybookkitties.blogspot.com/2010/05/blogging-award.html

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  3. I think it's cool that there has been a huge renaissance for female writers because for SO long, males were the only voice heard. That said, I have a few favorite male YA authors, like Markus Zusak and John Green. Ah-mazing writers!

    And, it looks like you could write more about trends you're seeing in YA lit. Maybe a research project or a thesis is in the works? You certainly have a lot of knowledge about YA lit!

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  4. So many bloggers are blogging about this these days. And I agree. Most Middle School boys are so violent and immature most of the time. *sigh* Great post!

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  5. Good post. I agree with topic 1 especially. I suspect it is because girls are the ones who read a lot of the romantic YA fiction and it is more enjoyable to imagine a scenario where two guys are in love with you rather than you and some other girl in love with the same guy.

    The parent issue is very true. Sadly there are not enough YA books out there with positive portrayals of parents.

    I did want to point out that in Topic 2, you forgot to mention J.K. Rowling who writes the Harry Potter series from a male POV very well. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is also written from a male POV if less effectively.

    There are guys who want to be authors-I went to college with some and think about all the successful male authors out there (Stephen King, John Grisham, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, John Green, Dan Brown, etc.)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. A very interesting post.

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  6. I love Artemis Fowl and Airman! They're some of my favorite books EVER. :D

    And I agree that a lot of female heroines are weak and emotional. Too many can't stand up for themselves, and that REALLY needs to change. Girls rock, after all. :)

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  7. Great and funny post : ) I also love love triangles! Also, totally agree about the parent thing. Something is always wrong with the families in YA books these days.

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  8. I agree with most of your points and think you would be a great critic! I love how much you analyze books! I think that is rally great. Lovely post! And a love triangle with 2 girls is this:

    In Grey's Anatomy, there is a guy named Owen Hunt and he loves 2 girls: Christina Yang and Teddy Altman. Teddy and Owen fought together in the army and have all this way-back stuff, but when Hunt came to the hospital (Seattle-Grace/ Mercy West), Crhistina and Hunt "hooked up." They were so in love and everything, but then Teddy ever-so-conviently showed up at Seattle Grace and so Owen has to decide between Yang and Teddy. Although Christina and Owen are all lovey-dovey, Owen secretly had a crush on Teddy all along. Hunt now can't decide between them and for more drama, Yang is this cardiosurgeon and Teddy was hired as her resident. So they are great friends and Hunt is just some jerk that can't decide and says, "I don't know. I love you both." And....yeah. This is one super long comment! Again...great post!
    =)

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  9. Hey o/
    You commented in my blog, talking spanish... I'm here to warn you that I and my blog aren't Spanish (haha)! We are Brazilian :) I'm sorry if you thought we could help you learning spanish x) But feel free to visit my blog anytime, anyway! (:

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    i'd love to become a follower but the link is not visible on your page...8( , i'll try again later

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  11. definitely read A disreputable history of frankie landau banks bu E. Lockhart. a must read for all girls everywhere!

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