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Good girls, bad boys, and all the terrible writing in between

Actually...this originally was going to be a short update but at some point it turned to be more of a rant about YA fiction.

Recently, I complained to my friends about the poor quality of stories on Wattpad. If you don't know, Wattpad is where wannabe YA supernatural romance authors and One Direction fanfic writers post their stories. It's a smartphone app so it's easy to read when you're on the go or waiting for the bus. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of quality control in the writing of the major popular stories...which all feature obliviously beautiful 17 year olds girls equipped with smart remarks and snappy comebacks so they can bicker and fall in love with the neighborhood bad boy. Also, is there some unwritten rule saying that you must only use first person narrative?? Go on Wattpad, or, actually, any YA section of any bookstore/library, pick up a book with a faceless girl on the cover (they try not to show the face so you can imagine it yourself, I presume) and it will be narrated by the heroine. Which is understandable, given the primary audience of such books, but to me a lot of the time it seems like lazy self-insertion by the author.

Speaking of self-insertion...out of pure curiosity I looked up some Exo fanfiction on Wattpad. Never again will I make such a terrible, terrible mistake. All I can say is that no level of writing can save you from the likes of "...When I see _______'s face, I get nervous." *________ = YOUR NAME!*

I think part of the reason I'm so sore at YA fiction is that I feel robbed of all the cool literary experiences I thought I would have as a teenager. Because for some weird reason there are so many good children's literature out there, but so few YA ones. Which is also why I'm frustrated that my sister is choosing to read those summery chick lit books when she hasn't read any of the classic children's books.

While reminiscing about the books of my childhood, I found this blog which has reviews/commentary on each of the Animorphs books. The two people who make those posts are hilarious and insightful. They poke fun at the plot holes, discuss the tropes and themes and analyze the characters. I died laughing at this one joke about the deus ex machina whale that always shows up to save them. They dubbed him as Jesus Whale.

Ifi: Anyway, it saves Marco from bleeding to death. He morphs to human, almost drowns like Mommy supposedly did--
Adam: Jesus Whale saves him
Ifi: JESUS WHALE
Ifi: SAVIOR OF THE SEAS
Adam: Pretty soon, you have people going door to door and handing out pamphlets, asking if you'd like them to teach you about cetaceans. 

Ifi: HE MIGRATED FOR YOUR SINS 

... 

Ifi: Isn’t that what you learn in Andalite school?
Adam: He wasn't paying attention
Ifi: It’s okay I forgive him
Ifi: JUST AS JESUS WHALE FORGAVE US ALL
Adam: *cue Latin chanting*


Also, unpopular opinion: I can't say I care much for John Green. Catherine's obsessed with this guy and his brother Hank, so a few years ago I decided to give Looking For Alaska a go. I didn't like it enough to finish it. Then, The Fault in Our Stars was all the rage so I read that over winter break. And while it's different from the rest of the YA stuff that's out there, I still didn't like it. I shed no tears whatsoever. The characters were like living dictionaries. The dialogue is supposed to be funny and witty, but to me it just seemed very forced, as if John Green carefully stitched together each word and tried to make it seem natural. I really don't understand all the hype.

 

Louise Zhourambles, life