Top Ten Tuesday: All I Want to Do is Quit You

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I’ve just gotten so sick of dystopians because it feels like I just get the same tropes over and over again, only starting over at the beginning where the protagonist is totally fooled by a dictatorship that isn’t really a dystopian – and romance is often involved, because let’s make sure that people don’t feel so that we can have forbidden love! I’m only willing to give dystopians a chance at this point if I hear almost exclusively good things about them and it sounds like they do something new with the genre.

I’m looking at you, Pretty Little Liars. I stopped at book nine because it had rebooted itself too many times for me to remain interested in it – the characters had been through so much drama and I just wanted their lives to be happy and normal, even if it meant ending the series. That’s the problem with never-ending series that aren’t Nancy Drew or The Babysitters Club or something else where things are stagnant like most comic strips or something – after a while, it’s just not realistic at all and the poor characters just need a break.

Love triangles can be very tiring as well, but I don’t mind them if they don’t rely too much on the whole “golden, good boy versus stereotypical bad boy.” It just seems lazy, like it’s an easy way to have dual sides without making the girl choose and causing a lot of drama. And the bad boy almost always win while the golden boy is either a Nice Boy (which needs to stop as well) or has no teeth and doesn’t stand a chance at all.

Not a zombie fan. *shrugs* They just creep me out – they can’t be clever or sneaky, unless you have a Special Brand of Zombie, and if someone even tried to spin a human-zombie romance, I would bail immediately because that just creeps me out.

You know it well: “this book is great for fans of John Green!” For one thing, it’s normally just code for “this is a contemporary, and John Green is the only YA contemporary author that most people know so let’s be lazy,” and come on, there are so many awesome authors whose books are much closer to the books being blurbed. Plus, I’m not a John Green fan (nope, I haven’t read his books, but they just don’t sound like my thing), so it’s definitely a bit of a turn off unless there’s someone else I like mentioned or I see great reviews.

Since I’ve been getting into adult books for the past couple of years, I’ve begun to figure out what I do and don’t like – and overly purple prose adult books are definitely in the latter category. I tend to avoid the books that feel too over-the-top and like they’re trying to hard to say Big Things. I like flowery language in my magical realism, but I quickly get bored with stories that focus on all these little details to make a story seem deeper. So far, the adult books I tend to like are fluffier ones like Meg Cabot or mysteries, with a few magical realism ones mixed in.

I am a shy introvert – I am a quiet person who needs alone time to recharge after being out in public or with friends. Many protagonists seem to be the same because authors seem to think this is who they should appeal to, but most of the time it seems like a quirk that quickly falls away in favor of being snarky or whatever. Quiet people can be snarky – I like to think that I’m a very snarky, blunt, witty person – but a lot of those comments are saved for internal monologue and being with close friends and family. I’m just so sick of people claiming to be shy when really they’re just not the loudest person in the room or whatever.

“Oh, I have absolutely no romantic experience – I mean, of course, I had my first kiss in front of a bunch of peers, went on a date to the movies, had a date to the school dance, and made out with this guy – but I’ve never had a super-serious relationship and am a pure little girl, so obviously I have no romantic experience!” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having romantic experience, but stop pretending that some experience is the equivalent of nothing just to seem more pure and pitiable. No romantic experience means nothing, and it really affects a person and how they act, especially in a romantic situation – that’s what I want to see more of in YA, a realistic lack of experience and how it can affect a person’s psyche.

Reading books that take place in other countries can whet a sense of wanderlust, but I’m starting to get sick of the same white girl (or boy, but less so that I’ve seen) traveling through Europe/South America/Asia and falling for a foreign boy or even an American boy also traveling. I want more foreign books that actually have foreign protagonists, that take place in those countries because that’s where they live. I’ve slowly been reading more Australian books, but I definitely need to find more books that take place in other countries.

Suicide seems like a hot topic in contemporary books lately – normally it’s a sibling or best friend of the protagonist and they have to deal with the fallout, normally because they don’t know why it happened and never expected it. These can be beautiful and painful stories, but I’m starting to feel a bit… numb about the whole thing. We can’t saturate the market with suicide books because then it seems more commonplace, simply another way to find a boy and bond with him over your grief or something. The books we do have about suicide either need to be less heavy on the romance or simply have none at all. Have the protagonist bond with her/his family and friends, maybe branch out and try to live their life fully to make up for their loved one who won’t get that chance. Just don’t do the same thing over and over again – this difficult subject loses its bite and tragedy if it’s overused and watered down.

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8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: All I Want to Do is Quit You

    1. I’ve been super-leery of it for a while, but it’s pretty much official now – if I see a summary that indicates that it’s a dystopian, then I immediately say no or a very soft maybe, and I only rethink that if I hear a LOT of good reviews and such. They just kind of depress, annoy, and bore me, and there’s no reason to keep reading them when I just don’t like them the majority of the time.

  1. I laughed when you said the golden boy might have no teeth. But I get what you mean. I love a bad boy as much as the next person, but there is only so much you can take of good guy versus bad boy… 😉 Great list!

    1. Hmm, I think I might to say that he doesn’t bite, like he’s too uninteresting or whatever. Glad it made you laugh, even if I don’t quite know what I was going for! But yes, the typical love triangle revolving around that is really annoying and tiring.

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