Musing Mondays #3

Posted August 11, 2014 / Musing Mondays, Weekly Memes / 8 Comments

musing monday

Instead of the [other] questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
What is “typical (predictable) young adult” and why do I talk about it so much?

I feel like I reference “typical YA” or “predictable YA” in my reviews a lot, so I thought I’d use this Musing Monday to share what that means to me. One of the things I like about most YA, especially the contemporary stuff, is that everything (typically) gets wrapped up for a happy ending. The plot may develop exactly the way you’d predict it would, but you’re still satisfied with the book and the ending. Because honestly – who wants a depressing ending to an otherwise happy book? Here are some characteristics or plot points that I believe inevitably happen in some typical YA books:

  • Girl is single but develops feelings for a boy throughout the course of the book
  • Girl makes a mistake that she lies about and/or keeps hidden from people close to her
  • Mistake is unveiled and everyone is mad she lied/kept it a secret
  • Girl has tension with her best friend(s) that comes to a head – most likely about the mistake she made – somewhere towards the middle-end of the book
  • Girl and guy get together (or almost get together) but then something ruins it. This is normally a misunderstanding, or something regarding the mistake the girl made, or maybe the boy made a mistake
  • Girl and her best friend(s) and/or boyfriend inevitably resolve their issues or misunderstandings within the last few chapters of the book
  • Everyone mostly is friends again or dating by the end of the book

Let me emphasize right now that obviously not all YA books have all of this going on.  Let me also emphasize that I tend to love this about YA. I like knowing that the characters I’ve become attached to will likely get together or stay together long after the story comes to an end. I also enjoy that I usually won’t get some big twist at the end that throws me off guard and ruins the book for me. No one wants to read a story where the two characters, who have slowly developed their relationship throughout the book, are not going to end up together. You’d get all emotionally invested for nothing!

Of course, if every book was exactly the same, then no one would read any books at all. Every YA book has a unique plot summary/description, but I do tend to see some of the same conflicts and resolutions happening in most of the books. Any time a book can throw in a little something different, like The Day of the Dead (Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner) or your best friend leaving you with a summer to-do list (Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson), the unique plot concept becomes more important than the predictability of the characters and their relationships.

If you see me referencing that a book is a “typical YA” or “predictable YA,” now you’ll know what I mean! Thoughts, anyone??

8 responses to “Musing Mondays #3

  1. Yes, this is a great topic to have a discussion about. I do see some predictability in a lot of YA books, so sometimes its a good thing and at others not so much.

    • I like the happily ever aspect in most books, but at the same time the path to get there ends up being so predictable! Everything falls into place too early, so everything falls apart, and then everything falls back into place just in time for the end.

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