Characters in YA and Expectations

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YA characters as a whole are put on kind of a pedestal. From rebellion leaders to super ninja assassins, I mean… the sky in endless when it comes to what a teenager can do.

Now, if I’m honest, this topic came up after finishing City of Bones, because I have some unpopular opinions about the main character Clary. I’ve only made it to book one, so we’re going to lean on that.

Before starting this book, I had seen quite a few people talk about their dislike of Clary. She was annoying and made stupid decisions. However, I personally didn’t have an issue with her. She’s in a situation in which she is at a disadvantage… you expect her to make the right choices?

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And this led to me thinking of other main characters in YA (Juliette from Shatter Me is another one). Because there seems to be this idea that these characters need to be badass, make all the right decision, be “perfect”. And despite the fact that special snowflakes are widely hated, it’s subconsciously expected. We require the Katniss Everdeen’s and Tris Prior’s., yet we forget that these characters are teenagers, hormonal and put in situations that teens and adults alike would probably not survive.

Now, I know the difference between common sense and impulsivity, but again, intense situations equals intense reactions. You can’t tell me if a wereolf came charging at you, you’d be chill, six pack or no. I know I don’t work well in even the least stressful under pressure situations.

I don’t know, relatable characters are demanded of, yet they are easily judged when their decisions aren’t always the right ones. But this is a fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi/etc, so how realistic are you expecting?


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19 thoughts on “Characters in YA and Expectations”

  1. See, I’m one of those people that calls these characters stupid lol. But you’re right, I’d probably be stupid if it came to a situation like that. I think my main problem with YA characters, though, is that most of them don’t develop or anything. I would think that with all of the things that they go through they would change just a little bit. But no! Lol, the guy at the end makes everything all better. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree and i find that my favourite characters are always the females who have flaws and are aware of them flaws because they are so much more relateable! (Although full disclosure i find clary pretty annoying! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yeah i mean she doesn’t make me scream or pull my hair out (and that has been known to happen!!) but she’s not one of my fave ya women. I think isabelle is just a much better character tbh 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it depends on genre. Like in fantasy and dystopia the setting is already unrealistic and kind of made up, so there it sort of makes sense that the characters are badass. Like, it would be strange to follow a wimp character in that setting who does nothing.
    In contemporary badass could make sense, but it’s not expected. I kinda just want them to be normal πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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