How YA Contemporaries Lied to Me: Non-Romance Edition

how ya contemporaries lied to me

In my past series about YA contemporaries, I described how they lied to me about my love life. They do that quite often, and well, often times, YA contemporaries focus A LOT on the romances. However, YA contemporaries often lie to me about other things as well, and let’s count the ways because I seem to think it’s a good time. Also, Sha is apparently a fan, and I keep getting Google doc reminders that I need to do more.

This is a Pt. 1 for now, and maybe more parts in the future? IDK. Mostly contemporaries revolve around the romance or, like, super realistic topics so things get actually non-lying at those points???

Myth #1: Mysterious Disappearing Families

Image result for parents disney gif

We’ve been talking about it for years, but it’s just so true: YA Contemporaries are forever at it with the absent parents and families. They’ve been doing better lately from what I have seen with some fantastic families with great siblings and parents, but there are still quite a bit that are just off hiding away in mystery land where they are not around. Perhaps it is part of the storyline where they just have messed up parental units, but mostly, you blink, see a mention of a parent, and by the time you blink for a second time, THEY ARE GONE AGAIN. Same thing with siblings and extended family as well. Like, do YA characters even have cousins???? Does this even exist?

There is no siblings in this Book Princess household…unless you count my cats, which alas, sadly don’t have a prime spot on the blog since they are tricky to get pictures of. But they have a prime spot in my life since they are ADORABLE and just want to snuggle all day, every day. And if my life was YA contemporary? Yeah, my parents and grandma would legit probably have a bigger starring role than me since I’m just off reading my books over here.

Myth #2: Long In-Between Class Times

Image result for disney princess running gif

I don’t know about you guys, but I was forever HUSTLING between classes. I mean, I legit could have become a full sprinter because my classes were forever good distances away and then had to go grab books and somehow take on the masses and not get your locker stuck???? How was I supposed to be able to stalk a crush or have a full, long, chapter length conversation with my bestie. My besties never usually waited by my locker unless we had a same class, and I 200% ditched them if they were falling behind. I HAD NO TIME FOR LATENESS. AND MY HUSTLE GAME WAS TOO STRONG.

Myth #3: No One Has Boring Lives

Image result for bored princess gif

Like, when is the last time you saw a contemporary character sit down, drown their feelings in a whole pizza box and binge watch the entire first season of the 100 and then chase around their cat to snuggle? No? You’ve never seen that? Well, me either, even though it’s about to be my life. YA characters are always off doing THINGS. THINGS. Like going to parties or going out with friends or going to get ice cream or working or idk just doing THINGS. Mysterious things. Like, okay, sure, yeah, do I really want a main character just chilling and watching some TV or slowly falling into a bag of potato chips? Perhaps not, but like, don’t these characters ever get tired? Don’t they ever just want to chill and sit for a second and stare mindlessly at their Twitter page, questioning their entire existence because no one liked their witty second from a solid 45 seconds ago???

Also, this was actually really hard to think of. Like, contemporaries really lie a lot about romances, but I’m a bit lost with everything else. OOPS.

What do you think? What are some ways that YA contemporaries have lied to you? Do you agree with some of mine? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


33 thoughts on “How YA Contemporaries Lied to Me: Non-Romance Edition

  1. love the ones you’ve come up with! especially with YA protags not having cousins – I’m an only child and my cousins lived nearby, so we were really close! but if immediate family have it tough getting page-time, cousins are nonexistent!

    myth: that boys and girls can’t be friends! my circle in high school had nearly equal numbers of boys and girls, none of this ‘zomg, let us gaze from afar at these alien creatures and blush or titter hysterically if they approach’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and yessssssssss. I literally can’t think of a single one that mentioned a cousin other than, like, we were at a family party and some cousins were there in the corner with non-existent names?

      And omigosh YES. There is always some sort of tension or for sure what you said. If there’s a male best friend, he’s about to be a love interest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do think authors are trying to include more of the mundane day to day life things. The problem is, I don’t have friends, who are as interesting as the ones in these books. I think the absent families is a throwback to the classic absentation of a parent in fairytales. I told a German class in college where we studies all that stuff, so I now am so in tune with it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It totally blew my mind when I was studying the German fairytales and folk tales. It was in ALL of them. And you know it made quite the impression on me, when I studied it over 25 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I 100% agree with you on the whole ‘no one has boring lives’ aspect of contemporaries. I have seen it in a few YA novels, but not that many. I get that the author has to make the book exciting so they can carry the story forward, but I don’t know many 16/17 year-olds who have interesting lives. All they do is lie on their beds, texting their friends and homework. That’s it.

    Great post! I look forward to seeing more posts like this!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. So much agreement. Literally, my life in high school was getting ready for school, going to school, complaining about school, going home to do the homework for school, texting friends,…and sleep. There were no moments for adventure and mischief and epic, deep romance, lol.

      And thank you!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, yes, and yes. This is why I’m not a big fan of YA contemporaries, honestly. Every time I try to read one I find a ton of Little little flaws like this that drive me crazy. It kinda ruins it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely agree with you on these points! ESPECIALLY the fact that if I were in a YA novel, my grandma would ABSOLUTELY have a much larger role than just a blink of a mention..
    Also, super glad I wasn’t the only one sitting here thinking about how much STUFF these “teens” do that I NEVER did in high school. I didn’t go to “party” parties until college. My high school kind of party was staying up until 1 am chugging sodas and playing rock band after an intense 2 hr. game of Apples to Apples…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutelyyyyyyyyyyyyy! I feel like YA is doing somewhat better with it, but still, they totally don’t show much love to any family members.

      And omg YES. I want to see this party in YA (although it sounds quite epic). I only want to one “party” party in high school and it was still just sitting in someone’s basement, trying to figure out how to actually party???

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In high school, I had some time between classes when I had a spare, but that’s it. In college, I had too much free time.

    I’m okay with absent parents if the authors write that storyline well, like an abusive parent leaving. Some readers can relate to that. But I’d enjoy if there was a better support system though. So I agree on there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. #2 is a big RELATE. Like it mind boggles me when kids in books have time to go to their locker and chat, go to their friend’s locker and chat, see a cute person and take the time to chat oh and about two chapters later they are in their next class ?????? How does this work?? I had 5 mins in my high school to get from point A to B. There was no time to chat, only hustle!!!! Great post, Mandy! You know how much I love these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES YES YES. I literally read these pages of them having all these convos and their friend is always waiting for them or the crush, and I’m like but no???? I had five minutes too, and half of that time was me trying to figure out how to open my locker and not mow everyone down in the hall. So many lies. And thank you, Rendz!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HAHAHA the locker thing. Another big relate! Maybe it’s because I had no real crushes to stalk in the halls of my HS or the fact that my friends were hustlers too so we didn’t bother to chat till we got to class lol

        Liked by 1 person

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