10 Things I Want to Read More of in YA Books

I adore YA books. Yet, I can’t help but feel some tropes are not used enough when they have real potential, so I composed a list of 10 things I want to read more of in YA books.

1. Female heroines who are more than badass.

As much as I love Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior and Jude Duarte, I’m tired of a protagonist’s strength stemming from if they can throw a knife or not. A female doesn’t need to be emotionally unavailable and stubborn to be powerful — characters like Buffy Summers prove that. I want more Buffy Summers-esque characters — ones where girls can cry and like pink without having to compromise their abilities to be a viewed as a genuine threat.

2. Healthy familial relationships.

It is so important to bring awareness to issues people can have with their families, but it would be nice for a character to have supportive parents or a good sibling relationship for once. There’s so many books I’ve read where every divorce is filled with trauma and tension, every mum is an alcoholic and every dad is abusive, or if it’s not one of those things, they’re conveniently absent from their child’s life when stable family environments can be just as beneficial to the plot.

3. Friendships. Especially female.

Females are notoriously pit against each other, but I don’t want to see toxic friends causing the love interest becoming someone’s whole world, I want to see the main character with a sympathetic group around them which they can rely on. There doesn’t even need to be a love story there! I’d love to read more stories about navigating the ups and downs of friendship without the consequences of a fight being so cutthroat it might as well be a Mean Girls outtake.

4. Multiple love interests (without it being a triangle!)

Whilst I want nothing more than to have two vampire brothers fighting over me, it has yet to happen in my time as a teenager. Not that I’m opposed to love triangles, but I want to see characters go through the heartbreak of their first love and the uncertainty of their second or third as they learn to open up to a person again. It’s unlikely a teenager will only have one relationship — although it can happen — and instead of romance being turned into a competition, I want to see a character grow and figure out themselves in different relationships rather than needing to choose.

5. Girls that are like others girls because it isn’t a crime.

This interlinks with number one, but I want to see characters that aren’t ashamed to listen to Harry Styles and be on the cheerleading squad. There’s no shame in liking what society has deemed stereotypical. Owning vintage clothes and reading a book all the time doesn’t make you any better than anyone else — hold on, I think I called myself on that one. Point being, none of the things I mentioned change the complexity of a character and they can still have layers and emotional depth whilst wearing a full face of make up.

6. Series where the characters age with each book.

An obvious example would be Percy Jackson — it’s technically MG, then is YA by the end. For some reason, I find it more emotional to either watch a character age or grow alongside them. The transition from the innocence of being 12 to the angst and hopelessness of 16 is so interesting. To watch as the books become darker with age is something I definitely want more of in YA. In my opinion, going through the school years at an academy or camp of some sort is a good way to utilise this.

7. Heroes that go bad.

Forget villains with a redemption arc, I want heroes that end up with the villain, that crack under the pressure of being a hero, that are hiding a darkness inside of them! The good guy always winning is so overdone.

8. Greek mythology retellings.

More specially Hades and Persephone retellings, as you would know if you follow my Twitter. Since fairytales have been done to death, I want to see people dive into the twisty world of Greek mythology. It’s so rich and there’s plenty of fantastic stories that have the potential to be told in a new and exciting way.

9. Reluctant heroes.

By this, I don’t mean heroes that accept their fate after a few chapters, I want selfish heroes that value themselves more than what they’re meant to do for the good of the world. Heroes that don’t want to accept they’ve been chosen, heroes that don’t know how to fight and don’t want to learn, heroes that would rather go out for ice cream than kill the villain . . .

10. Lovers to enemies.

It could be controversial, but not all books need a happy ending. I would love to see enemies to lovers spun on its head — books where the lovers break up and end up on opposing sides. I feel the internal conflict in a book like that would be fascinating.

What do you want to read more of in YA? Let me know in the comments!

read it and weep,

28 replies on “10 Things I Want to Read More of in YA Books”

I NEED LOVERS TO ENEMIES RIGHT NOW! An enemy that will likely already know your biggest weakness but will have to fight internally to use it against you? Count me in.


Yes! Friendships deserve as much development as romances. And I love that too! Being able to see inside a villain’s mind and understand them is an amazing concept.

Liked by 1 person

I would love to see more of these incorporated into YA. I love when authors write books that go beyond what is expected for their genre.

I haven’t read it yet, but QUEEN OF COIN AND WHISPERS by Helen Corcoran is a fantasy without a magic system! When I heard that, it surprised me, and made me want to read it even more.

Liked by 1 person

That’s on my TBR list, but I didn’t know that! It’s definitely great when authors push boundaries or twist the conventions of a genre.

Liked by 1 person

I adore this list, especially protagonists with good familial relationships, girls who are like other girls and lovers to enemies. I feel like I’m reading the same book over and over again, and that book is starting to alienate me with its “badass girl triumphing through swords despite her life being incredibly terrible and also two hot boys.” That’s really not most people’s lives. Maybe I just want to read about me.

Liked by 1 person

As much as I love escaping to fantasy worlds, I’m never going to be a girl swinging a sword about and I hate how we’re meant to aspire to that — it’s cool, but I’m fine with looking up to ambitious and smart girls that are totally ordinary too. I really liked It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne — the character’s family relationship isn’t good, but it challenges and almost makes a parody of a lot of teen stereotypes and the character fully acknowledges she is like other girls.

Liked by 1 person

I genuinely can’t think of any books where the heroes become villains and I NEED it. It happens occasionally in TV shows and I live for it 🤯


I’m glad you agree! I always think it’s such a shame when there’s no strong female friendships in a book and the authors plays into the mean girls narrative.


100% agree! I can’t count on one hand the number of books I’ve read where the female friendships aren’t somehow toxic.

Liked by 1 person

Yes! Sometimes it was made out that being feminine is bad, or you had to sacrifice that and feed into the typical masculine attributes of saving the day (i.e being a hero). I really love seeing characters that like spinning in pretty dresses and can hold their own in a fight too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s