YA Books That Should Totally Be A Thing

12:04 PM




There are a ton of books out in the world. You won't even get to all the books that are out there, as depressing as that is. *sad face* You can find thousands of books in every genre, plot type, and about pretty much every subject there is.

However, there are some types of books that I don't see as much of as I would like, specifically in YA, and I'm going to talk about that. In list format, of course.

Books That Need to be A Thing 

Books About Homeschoolers!  

And not just books with homeschooled characters, either. Books where homeschooling is totally normal and cool and okay. I've seen several books about homeschoolers and that's all good and well, but it's always been treated as something weird and not-normal and something that needs to be corrected so the kid can be normal. As a homeschooler myself, that's just the teeniest bit irritating. Homeschooling isn't always a last-resort-"oh if we have to" option. It's a very natural choice and heck, it's awesome most of the time. So I'd love to see more (YA specifically) books that celebrate this. 

And only the smallest bit awkward, I promise.

Books Where the Love Interest Dies 

Okay, okay, this is just me. I'm a heartless little rock and I like morbid/depressing books as long as they have a point. And I don't think this happens enough! Especially if you're writing a book with very high stakes/intense action, I think it's worth considering. I mean, who is the one character that's almost always considered safe? The love interest. And I like a good book that throws you for a loop unexpectedly. A book where the love interest dies halfway through/near the end and introvert girl/guy has to toughen up and take care of themselves? Yes please

Now, I don't think this should always be done. But I'd like to see a book where I'm genuinely fearing for the lives of everyone, including the love interest. 

Please forgive my sadistic ideas.


Books About (Good) Sibling Relationships 

I know there are some of these out here, and they don't even have to be totally circling around the sibling relationship, but what is it with the siblings always fighting and trying to kill each other and generally not getting along? Being a sibling is rough, definitely (I've got several of them!) and you'll have your squabbles, but I want to see more siblings who get along when it really matters, talk a lot, and just have fun with each other without hating each other most of the time. Pretty please? 

On the bright side of this, I think The End Games and Bruiser both showed spectacular and realistic sibling relationships. Some of my favorites, in fact. *cuddles them* 

Because there's nothing quite like a good sibling fight. 

Books That Include OCD Characters 

Now, I don't mean funny OCD, the kind you joke about. OCD is a very real, very crippling thing, and while even I, who struggle with it to an extent, laugh at those pictures on Pinterest, it's not all fun and games. I'd love to see more books that treat it seriously and like the actual issue it is, without trying to make it an amusing quirk or something. Once again, the plot doesn't have to revolve around that, but it would be neat to see it represented more. I don't think I've ever read about a really OCD character before? But I don't read much contemporary, and it seems like it would be found there more. 


Books With Depressing Endings 

And here's the sadistic writer part of me again. But really! I don't want it all the time, but I'm okay with some open/even depressing endings every so often. I mean, have you read the classics? Some of the very best classics have really down endings. Especially those dystopias. I could argue that a lot of YA dystopias aren't actually that, but that's another subject. So maybe I'm just wishing YA dystopias would have depressing endings, instead of wrapping everything up with revolution and happiness and a kiss. The Hunger Games did a good job of presenting this kind of ending, by the way. It would be cool to see more of that. 

Yeah, this kind of ending. 

That's my list. What about yours?

What kinds of things do you want to see more of in YA books? Do you know any books like the ones I've listed above that you can recommend to me? Comment away.

39 comments

  1. *Is writing a book with an OCD character*

    *Is also writing a novel that properly portrays homeschoolers as well because...* OH MY GOSH! The homeschooler thing! There was actually a book I read and was infuriated about how the homeschooled character was portrayed actually. (May not be the best example, since the book was a murder mystery) but this one character was homeschooled and she was portrayed as painfully awkward and really shy and had no social skills....but then it turned out she was 'smarter' than they all thought because she at one point knew something they all didn't....but I must say it definitely infuriated me because I've never once met a homeschooler like how this character was protrayed...and being homeschooled myself, I've met a bunch of homeschooled kids..

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    1. My apologies on that short rant type thing....please just tell me I'm not the only one annoyed about how homeschooled kids are portrayed in YA...

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    2. Hahaha rants are totally welcome! I'm a ranting type myself. :) I'm glad you're writing that!

      The homeschooler thing drives me INSANE because it really is such a cool choice and there's a ton of variety among homeschool kids themselves, and a lot of room to do fun things with them. *sighs*

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    3. *phew* okay. Glad rants are welcome :P

      and yes, It is quite maddening to be honest.

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  2. OH OH AIMEE YOU STOLE MY IDEA ONE DAY I WANT TO WRITE A STORY WHERE THE MENTOR SURVIVES AND THE LOVE INTEREST SURVIVES

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  3. Huh. I guess it doesn't help our case when I'm seen doing something stupid and I blame it on my being homeschooled. *cough* BUT. I agree. Homeschoolers are totally rad and should be portrayed as such.

    Another one: When the MC and the love interest both live but they don't actually end up together.

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    1. "Another one: When the MC and the love interest both live but they don't actually end up together." <----- This.

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    2. I even have a recommendation! Kind of a spoiler for the book, but Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson was amazing. As in, shattered-my-heart-into-a-million-pieces kind of amazing. And from what I hear Gone with the Wind would be good book to read also.

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    3. Hahaha yesssss. I wish there were more of them in YA, too, because I've only seen that once or twice?? Which seems dumb to me. xD

      Tiger Lily is on my list! :D

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  4. I agree with you that I love sad books as long as there's a point. actually, I think I prefer them. I like to have my heart shredded and learn stuff instead of "oh everyone lived happily ever after."
    And I SO agree with the OCD and homeschool thing! YES PLEASE!
    and the love interest. basically you nailed it with this post. lol.

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    1. Yessss. I'm kind of masochistic when it comes to books. *shrugs*

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  5. YES! I agree on all points. Not to be sad and sadistic, but you are right. Authors need to shake it up a lil : ) Oh and HOMESCHOOLERS MUST BE UNLEASHED IN ALL THEIR NOT-QUITE-AS-AWKWARD-AS-THE-STEREOTYPE glory. Seriously, the YA is missing out by not using homeschoolers. We are cool cats.

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    1. Yes! Everyone thinks homeschoolers are "unsocialized". This is my first year back in public school since 4th and 5th grade (I must say I do miss homeschool) and I recently went to my sister's homeschool end of the year party. Everyone was very social!!! Us writers must change society's views on homeschool.

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    2. PREACH. I think it IS a huge wasted opportunity there...maybe the goal is to keep teens from seeing how awesome homeschooling is, haha.

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  6. OCD. That was my whole life for a couple of years. That's not what this post is about, but I'm simultaneously sorry to hear that you know what that's like and glad to know I'm not so alone as I sometimes think. I wonder why it's not better portrayed? It seems like the sort of thing that would make good horror...
    Anyway, you bring up good points about homeschooling and siblings, too. The other points are good also, but those three specified really stuck out to me. Keep writing!

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    1. Yeah...I see anxiety and depression a lot, and I've struggled with that too, but OCD is a big one for me and I don't understand why it's not dealt with more. *sighs*

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  7. I agree with you. I was watching the Hunchback of Notre Dame with my sis (we have a totally awesome sibling relationship by the way) and she kept telling me that it was a horrible ending. Turned out he didn't get the girl. . . But I didn't mind, because he selflessly allowed her to love someone else. And no one I liked died. So I actually considered it a pretty happy ending. Tarzan (the classic book, not the movie) ends in a similar way. It was refreshing.
    Now I won't tell you WHICH of the things you were complaining about these books fit under, because that would be spoilers, but I have a list.
    The Ascendance Trilogy (yes, the entire trilogy) by Jennifer A. Nielsen,
    Void by Rhiannon Lassiter,
    The Winner's Curse (can't remember the author but it's been pretty popular),
    Angelfall by Susan Ee,
    (I haven't read this one but I think the MC is OCD) The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B,
    The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge,
    and Uninvited by Sophie Jordan.
    Oh, and I can't really remember how it ended, but the King Raven trilogy was a darker, phenomenal retelling of Robin Hood set in Wales. It is by Stephen R. Lawhead - I think you may like it.
    Have fun with all the bobook recommendations you must be getting!

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    1. Ooh. I just got The Lost Conspiracy from the library. (I'm totally not stalking comments or anything. xD) I'm nervous that it'll fall under *cough* certain categories. :p

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    2. Haha, it was reasonably good, as far as I can remember. I read it a couple years ago, so it's been a while.

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    3. *adds ALLLLL the things on Goodreads* Gosh, now you're the one slamming me with recs. xD

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    4. YAAAAAASSSSSSS PAYBACK. Pleasurable payback, though. xD

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  8. I often prefer books with bittersweet endings, where the characters get what they thought they wanted and lose what they actually wanted. Which is pretty depressing *shrugs*.

    I totally agree with your point about plot armour! Although again, I prefer to split up the love interest and MC at the end and shrug a lot. The characters I kill are the ones who are genuinely too good for me to corrupt in 100K words.

    On the bright side, my MC was raised and taught by his parents in exile, so does that count as homeschooling? (Wait, that wasn't a bright side.)

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    1. Hey, I feel ya. xD Most of my endings (Pariah included) are bittersweet, and that's just the way I like it.

      Yassss haha. I approve.

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  9. Yes yes yes! THE LOVE INTEREST MUST DIE. *coughs* I mean...it would be nice if we could not brush aside the love interest, like "Oh, they're not going to die, they're the love interest." Also, I loved THG's ending. Sure, the revolution has won, but we know that Katniss has a lot to recover from (if she even does). AND THAT'S REALISTIC. I'd like to see more disorders in general. To be honest, I'd like to see characters with autism, because there's a big stigma around it and I'd love the truth about autism to be popularised. Great post :)

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    1. *laughs evilly* ^^^^^ couldn't have said all of that better.

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  10. DUUUUUUUDE. I have literally SO MANY recommendations I'm just sitting here BUSTING with them. *flails* Okay, so you ready??!

    OCD = You totally need The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B it's gorgeous and beautiful and sad and depressing and PERFECT. Seriously. It's contemporary yeah, but it's GOOD.

    Depressing endings = hahaaha, I don't know how to recommend these without spoilers? But for weird "WOAH WUT" endings you gotta try Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (also Dangerous Boys...it's not a sequel though) and We Were Liars and Alice and the Fly and The Remedy and Vanishing Girls. *nods*

    and I can't recommend books with the love interesting dying because major spoilers buuut TRUST ME. There are a lot out there and I love them. I don't know if it's the psychotic twisted writer in me? But I love them. x)

    Basically YES to all of your list. These are the things I love a lot too! ^-^

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  11. Have to agree with all of these, but especially the siblings one. I love all kinds of sibling relationships but good sibling relationships seem to be really underused. It was really nice to see how good the twins were together in Marvel's Age of Ultron and a nice break from all the Thor and Loki angst. Not that I don't love that too. X]

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    1. Right? I LOVED the one in Age of Ultron because it was done so well, and it really made me happy.

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  12. Thank you for this post oh my goodness. Just... ALL OF THIS. I NEED ALL OF THESE. And the homeschooler thing... as a homeschooler, I can tell everyone now that the stereotype is completely inaccurate (well... I'm socially awkward but only because I'm really introverted) but seriously. And we don't constantly want to be 'normal'. Like... we're normal, okay. Deal with it.

    Well... movie with a good sibling relationship... Age of Ultron. Heh... heh... I'm going to leave now because I shouldn't have thought of that. Pain. So many feels.

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    1. Right? Homeschooling is totally and completely awesome and that needs to be there more. Way more.

      *curls up and dies because feelings*

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  13. Siblings and dead love interests sound really interesting! I would love to read some awesome books like that. I don't really know what I'd like to read about just because I'm a pretty standard person in general, but I think getting a look into the lives of other people sounds pretty exciting. :)

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  14. I definitely want to see more books about home schoolers because I am actually really curious about home schooling. I don't think I could leave public school, but I definitely think about it sometimes when my public school schedule gets especially strict and inflexible. I also really love that sibling gif. My brother and I pretty much looked like that when we were little, but we're much better now. THANKFULLY.

    Another thing I would love to see in YA is books that don't feature romance. Right now, romance isn't my top priority. Friendship and family are, so that's what I want to read about.

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    1. See, and that's why I want more homeschooling books, because it really is a fun and fascinating lifestyle and we need more of that represented. xD

      Yesssss.

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    2. Seconding the no romance. Yes, please.

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  15. I'm not really game with the love interest dying or sad endings, because I hate it when books have those. But I totally agree with homeschooling and good sibling relationships. I'm actually writing a book currently with a good sibling relationship. XD Good post!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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  16. Well, I've got the good sibling relationship down. Hope and Nick are pretty close because they've been through a lot. And I've also got the love interest dying down too.....kinda....sorta. He doesn't actually "die", but....he doesn't exactly "not die" either.......it's...complicated. *leaves because, feels!

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