Hi all! Today I’m doing a different kind of post where I react to YA hot takes. Recently on twitter, a meme started going around asking people to quote tweet with their YA hot takes. I decided to search the tweet and react to the most popular responses to this tweet. I haven’t looked at any of these yet so I’m really interested to see what the more popular responses are. Let’s get into it!
1: ‘All YA love triangles should end in polyam relationships. Send tweet’
While I don’t necessarily agree /all/ should like some people in the replies, so many times I feel they should. They only shouldn’t when one half of the triangle is awful. But there are A LOT of love triangles that should have ended in polyamoury (Jem/Tessa/Will being chief among them). I also think this is an interesting way to subvert the love triangle. The Fifth Season by N.K Jemisin has a kind of love triangle that ends in a polyam relationship and it’s perfect. So overall I do agree with this opinion. Even though I actually do enjoy traditional love triangles sometimes.
2: ‘Love triangles are nothing but an attempt to cover up a weak plot with unnecessary tension’
I strongly disagree with this one. Love triangles can add to the tension and plot and help to signal the characters character growth to the reader. The Hunger Games for example famously uses Katniss choosing Peeta to indicate her character growth. There’s also plenty of books with good and tense plots that also have love triangles (The Diviners). Tension from a love triangle also isn’t unnecessary, depending on the book. For example, The Infernal Devices is almost entirely about the love triangle and the people involved so it’s necessary tension because it’s a character-driven book focussed on them. Love triangles can be this when poorly writte, but they aren’t ‘nothing but that’.
3: ‘some of u say you want villain love interests but then when u get them, some of u start throwing about the words ‘problematic’ & ‘toxic’ when that ain’t it & now we’re stuck w tons of VillainLite romances bc “think of the children” but some of u arent ready to hear that’
I think this take is a bit reductive. The people who want villain romances are not the same people who don’t like them, even though this tweet acts like they are. I think it’s perfectly valid for people to want to call villain romances problematic, to some degree they are and they’re supposed to be – that’s kind of the point, but it doesn’t mean some people can’t dislike that. After all, people are allowed to react to a book differently then you. I also think this take really hypes up how much people seem to ‘dislike’ villains, from my experience at least – enemies to lovers & villain romances are extremely popular and recent villain books like The Cruel Prince and Wicked Saints have done fine. At the end of the day, I just think those romances & people calling them problematic comes with the territory.
4: Stop with 400+ page books. Most writers who undertake them don’t have the writing skill to use the length efficiently. Yes, even when the author has written multiple books. Why do editors suddenly let authors bloviate the second they get popular?
Hmmm I actually agree with this. YA books are getting longer and longer and for WHAT. I actually enjoy long books, but I do feel a few I’ve read recently have fallen into the trap of having not enough action and too many pages, so it tries to be character focussed, which only works if your character is interesting and complex and sometimes they are … not. Some writers have written great longer books, but a lot recently I felt could have cut some stuff out. Wicked Fox by Kat Cho comes to mind – it started off great and tightly plotted and then started meandering and going in circles to fill page count, it was 450 pages long and it didn’t need to be. While I think some authors write great longer books, so many don’t need to be. And I’m not sure why the 300-page long book seems to be out of fashion.
5: LET YA CHARACTERS BE SINGLE! Every YA character must meet the love of their life at the age of 16/17 (can’t they just idk experiment). At the end of every YA book everyone EVERYONE MUST be in a relationship koz that’s the only way they can be complete & happy duh. I’m sick of it
STRONGLY agree. I know that romance is often used because relationships/sexuality is perceived to be a large part of portraying the ‘teen experience’ but the constant and consistent pairing up of YA protagonists within one book does not realistically portray the array of experiences teens have with romance. Some are simply not interested at this age! Some might be casually having sex at parties but not dating. I find the only single characters who remain single are often asexual, and heterosexual girls must always end up with a boyfriend by the end.
6: sometimes “I don’t wanna read YA right now” just means “the issues I’m dealing with in my mid-twenties are different from the issues I was dealing with at 16” and that’s not shade on YA or looking down on kid lit, that’s just…that’s fine.
I agreed with this one so much I retweeted it. This is so true and something I’m Always telling people. A little while ago I tweeted about how I am not reading YA much anymore and then had to explain to people that it’s not because YA isn’t relatable/good, it’s just not that relatable to me anymore. The stories (in most cases) have gone from being relatable & embedded in my life experience to just .. stories. I still enjoy them, but me not wanting to read them all the time doesn’t mean they’re bad.
7: All tropes are good tropes we just have different tastes and some people misinterpret those tastes as fact instead of opinion
I partly agree. I don’t think all tropes are ‘good’ because some tropes are rooted in misogyny/homophobia/ableism/racism ect or can be executed that way. That said, I do agree that people misinterpret taste as fact. Which tropes you like is pretty personal and books that include tropes you don’t like aren’t inherently bad. Also, there’s definitely a tendency to view tropes that characterise YA or romance (like love triangles) as lesser than adult tropes like ‘small town’ in literary fiction or ‘abusive parents’ or ‘mission person’ in crime fiction even those are all also often repeated tropes.
That is all for today! Let me know what you think of some of these hot takes, and which other hot takes you saw you either loved or hated. I personally hate when this kind of tweet goes off because often I see the same few points repeated over and over but it was fun to look them up and react to some of these.
until next time!