Really, I am. I’m probably too easy to please, but that’s just how it is. Generally, I find that any cliches and tropes that set most YA readers off don’t really affect me as much, as long as they’re done well. That’s the kicker to this discussion: all lackadaisical reading on my part is only when the cliches/tropes are handled well. I like love triangles, I like dark and tortured male leads, I like it when the protagonist suddenly finds the power and strength inside them to take down the big bad – it just makes me so happy.
And I think this is why: I read to escape. I understand that, most of the time, YA books have situations that aren’t entirely realistic. In real life, the girl doesn’t always end up with the guy, families don’t always reconcile, mental illness can’t always be dispelled permanently, and consequences really can’t be escaped. But in YA, the percentage of happy endings is a little bit higher, and it’s nice to live in that world where a single sixteen year old girl can take down an entire dystopian government (you go Katniss! Although I wouldn’t necessarily apply the word happy to Mockingjay… *eternal side-eye at Suzanne Collins*).
I think the best example of this can be summed up by Meg’s review of Crash Into You by Katie McGarry a few days ago (thanks for posting at the right time, Meggy 😉 You’re the best!). I completely agree with every single point in her review – the flaws she bullet pointed are absolutely correct, and by all logic I should be turning my nose up like the YA connoisseur that I am.
But you know what? I loved every bit of it. ATE IT UP. And read it more than once on top of that! Because despite the cliches and tropes and plot holes, it just worked for me. I could ignore all of it and just fall in love with the entire story and its characters.
Here’s a bullet point list of my usual thought process while reading:
- Oh that’s cheesy
- Oh my god it’s adorable
- Is this realistic?
- Who really cares
- Not me!
- Could I call this award winning literature?
- Do I still like it?
- Yes! *adds to favorites shelf*
And in the ever-wise words of my coworker: I don’t give a flying flip. I was entertained, I felt some emotions, I flailed over some characters. If I did at least two of those three things, I’m a happy camper!