teen stuff that's never in YA
Young adult fiction gets a lot of stuff right, but sometimes the lives of the teens inside are so alien that it makes contemporary feel like fantasy. After a conversation with the lovely @theshenners, I was curious what other readers of YA (mostly contemporary) noticed is missing. What typical, normal, common teenage things do they just never see in YA books?
I got a lot of answers.
And like- how HARD and time consuming some extracurriculars are! Like it seems like people in sports and such are never actually THERE.
Honestly? Periods. They're a thing and IT HAPPENS but I hardly ever see them mentioned.
Teens who actually LIKE hanging out with their parents.
Tiny parties? Every HS party I went to had, like, 6 people max.
Dealing with parents and their expectations about ALL the things. Fighting over little shit- just because that happens!
Also, I rarely see kids who are like, panicked about making choices about their future. Everyone's always like "can't wait to get out!"
I see periods mentioned but also... period uhh mishaps that happen- especially in high school, it seems.
Or just navigating weird body stuff in general.
honestly, cleaning. i mean, unless you live in a pigsty, you gotta clean your room, bathroom and house. and i wanna see it happen.
I wanna know how they are able to sneak out all the time. There was no way I could have ever snuck out of my parent's house. 😀
Another answer: band and sports characters going on away games or overnight tournaments/competitions.
Minimum wage work.
Also wearing uniforms.
Clothes shopping and the perpetual struggle of trying to be In and Cool. 😂
Yeah, I'll be That Person and say "masturbation."
running into ppl you used to hang out with but don't hang out with anymore and having to make conversation bc ignoring them would be weird
getting dragged to go grocery shopping with your parents & feeling slightly embarrassed by your parents bc you're trying to be a Cool Teen😂
this is a tough one, because I haven't read TOO many YA contemporaries- but I think parents having to drive you everywhere.
No one in YA takes the bus. They all have friends with cars.
How has no character ever gotten to school and realized they forgot tampons?
Well I know a lot of people in YA tend to have jobs already, but like getting a part time job at 16 is hard??
There you have it. Periods, riding the bus, serious sports players, and ... periods. As we get more voices and more diversity in YA, we can only expect the variety of experiences in YA contemporary to grow. Already we're getting awesome books like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas that delve into some experiences that black teens face but have heretofore been seriously underrepresented in the YA world. Here's hoping the trend continues!