Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Problem with Novels of the Teen Genre

     In the midst of this humid, heavy summer weather, my best friend and I find that the best place to relax is within the book-lined shelves of the heavily air-conditioned local library. Yet, as both of us are avid readers, we find it difficult to find a book in the Teen Novels section that is both satisfying and challenging. Most of the novels are of the same cookie-cutter type, with similar plots and characters which make them all too predictable. It seems that in this day and age many authors of books that are aimed at teens follow a basic, boring format, which usually consists of:

           1. Awkward nerdy girl feels sorry for herself, gets bullied by popular, pretty girl with the jock boyfriend who is secretly in love with the awkward nerdy girl OR popular pretty girl just feels sorry for herself and goes on a reckless rampage OR teen discovers he is a witch/ magician/ vampire/ werewolf/ god/ goddess/ other magical creature who is bestowed with the task of saving the world.

          2. Awkward nerdy girl flirts with popular pretty girl's boyfriend OR popular pretty girl flirts with awkward nerdy boy OR teen who is a witch/ magician/ vampire/ werewolf/ god/ goddess/ other magical creature feels sorry for himself and decides not to save the world.

          3. Popular pretty girl's boyfriend falls in love with awkward nerdy girl OR popular pretty girl falls in love with awkward nerdy boy OR reckless teen keeps being reckless and out of nowhere has sex and falls in love.

         4. Awkward nerdy girl discovers something new and great about herself and is happy OR popular pretty girl discovers something new and great about herself and is happy OR teen who is a witch/ magician/ vampire/ werewolf/ god/ goddess/ other magical creature completes his task and is happy.


      I hate that I can read some books and by the end of the second chapter I already know what's going to happen. Please, publishers and editors of books of the teen novel genre, if you can hear me, please foster more creativity among your writers. It will be greatly appreciated.

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