In Which Faith Attempts a Top Ten Tuesday *gasp!* on what she wants in fiction (you should run)

by - May 09, 2017

Hello, everyone! I am back! Thank you all so much for your prayers. Things are better now and I'm in a place where I can post again.

So I thought that for today's post, I would do a rant on the shortcomings of fiction Top Ten Tuesday post on my wishes for YA Literature!
*tries to get a picture and fails repeatedly for about fifteen minutes* *gives up* Y'all know what Top Ten Tuesday is, right? Whatever.

There we are!

Here we go. Ten Things I Want to See Books About.

  1. Stories about the persecuted church

People ask about books that changed your life. For me, this was one of those books. Randy Alcorn is a wonderful author, and this book may be his magnum opus,  his grand work that he will be remembered for for years to come.
But why aren't there more books about this? Everyone else gets their representation, so why not write some books about Christians who are literally hiding for their lives? Never mind our discomfort in today's society - just think about what they're going through! And it is so largely ignored! More books about this, please.

2. Stuff like I'm Not Ashamed.

This kind of follows over from the last point, but it's something that needs to be said: Where are the stories about teenagers who believe in God and really live like it? In I'm Not Ashamed, Rachel starts out just like all the other kids - partying, dating, making fun of the overweight girl at school, and on and on. Then she gets saved, and swears to be different.
And she is still just like all the other kids.
The movie is about her journey to realize that you have to live on fire for God, and there needs to be more stories like that. They're happening all around us, every day, and we need to be more aware of them.

3. Fantasy with cool elements.

I feel like it's all been done before... which is true. But give me the really good stuff! Give me the stories about really cool worlds that are completely unique and have neat elements and don't shamelessly copy from other people. Please.

4. Dystopia that's... Different.

So far, three out of the four things on this list are elements in Watched. I may very well be taking my own advice. Heh heh. *tries to look cool*
Every dystopia copies all the others, and it's getting old. Hunger Games (which was excellent, BTW.) Divergent. The increasing number of spinoffs. There's no one who thinks, "Why don't I try setting my dystopia only a few years in the future?" or "What if I make my protagonist... a boy?" *cue the shocked gasps*

Try something different. Please. We beg of you.

5. Medical stories where there's actually a problem and it's not cancer.

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From everything I've read in contemporary fiction, I know that if there's an illness, it will be one of two things. 1. Overprotective parents/sickness that is cured by the cute boy/something that the magic world takes away/ etc. or 2. Cancer. The deadly kind.
I've had surgery, you guys, and it wasn't for cancer. I know lots of friends who have various problems like shin splints and asthma and narcolepsy and other such things. I know people who have had other problems that land them in the hospital for a little while, but then they get out. These are all real illnesses, and they only seem to show up in the sports stories. You know, the ones where the star athlete has his whole life ahead of him... and then BOOM. Injury that takes him out for the rest of his life. #Sad

6. Contemporary stories that are neither romance nor medical.

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This one is just sad. There's so much opportunity in this market... and yet every YA contemporary is romance or medical. Or both. And it's always the medical style thing that I mention above.
Please? Some real life stories that make people like me who don't have cancer or A Rare Condition (R) or a boyfriend the main characters.
A story about a bookish homeschooled nerd who has friends on her street and does maybe one sport a week and runs a blog.
You're right. That would be boring.

7. Stories With Pets

I still remember when I was a young lass. It was a very long time ago. The mountains were still young then.
Every book I read had a dog in it.
The kids had pets. And what do you know! I had pets, too. I had two wonderful dogs and a cat back then. And it was just normal so I didn't even notice. But now that I'm a teenager (gracious, I'm so old!) there's nothing that includes pets. Unless the "pet" is actually an animal companion who talks and protects the protagonist. This is great! That's actually a trope I'm really fond of. But I have three cats and I can't imagine life without them. I could do a whole post on pets in literature and why they're necessary, but for now I'll just say: We need 'em. Put them in your stories. Make them minor characters.

8. Adorkable klutzes who know how to laugh at themselves.

Read: me.
Accurate representation of me at a store

I was helping my dad make dinner just now, and I:
  • A. Dropped a box of potatoes and lentils on my head.
  • B. Splattered coconut milk across the kitchen.
  • C. Cut my finger with a potato peeler.
  • D. Pinched a different finger with a can opener.
I'm sure this is completely normal. But THERE ARE NO FICTIONAL CHARACTERS LIKE THIS. Give me some, please. And don't make it for the purpose of comic relief - just put them in because we are people, too. #EqualRightsforKlutzes

9. Truly Strong Female Protagonists.

This book has the epitome of a strong female protagonist, in my opinion. Rose Red is strong in all the right ways. She's quiet. She knows who she is and won't equivocate on it. She knows when to say no. (Whoot whoot!) She can take care of herself - but she knows when to ask for help. She makes mistakes and she is real and human but she also shows us that it is possible to be a strong, feminine young woman. There's a character in the book who she HATES, yet she still chooses to plunge into deep dark danger in order to rescue her.
And we need more characters like her. Girls with flaws, who have genuine fears, who aren't afraid to admit it, and don't spend all their time hacking at their enemies or moping about which boy they like better.
Where are they, authors? *waits expectantly*

10. Stories where the school is actually part of the story.

You know how high school stories basically take place between the classes? Like, sometimes there's a class that's important to the story... but somehow the students never have homework and can stay up as late as they want without suffering and talk through class and their teachers are just oblivious and grades don't matter to anyone but their stuffy parents?
Yeah, right.
My high school biology class is the wackiest place I've ever been. And I can think of so many books that could have it as their setting. (I've never seen a story set in bio... although, from what I've heard, Bella and Edward in Twilight are lab partners. I don't think dissecting frogs spawns romance. Just sayin'.)
My life revolves around schoolwork, homework, deadlines, assignments, trying to sneak in reading time in the middle... I absolutely think that this should be more important in fiction. Because it never is.

I hope you enjoyed this rant friendly discussion of things I'd love more of in fiction. Please join in in the comments! Do you agree? Do you have any book recommendations that include one of these topics? I need more books on my TBR. (Who doesn't?) Talk to me!

Have a great day!


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  1. I agree with everything on this list!!!!

    I especially want to to see the #EqualRightsforKlutzes become a reality.


    1. Hahaha, yes! There are very many of us and we face discrimination everywhere we go. Make it a thing, people. Make it a thing.

  2. Ohmygoodness, this was one of the best post I've ever read. SO MANY PLOTS BUNNIES. SO MUCH INSPIRATION. Basically I just loved this post so so so much, thank you a billion times for sharing it! I have so many awesome (er - hopefully awesome? xD) ideas now. I CAN'T WAIT TO GET STARTED. *grabs a notebook and pen and gets ready for sore fingers*

    ~ Savannah

    1. Haha, you're welcome. Someone needs to write this stuff! (And BTW you are just the person to do it :))

  3. YOU'RE BACK! *Squeals* I hope everything that's going on is going better.
    OMIGOSH, THIS POST. SO TRUE!!!!! It's so fun writing clumsy characters that laugh at themselves, I don't know why writers don't do it more often! And the pet aspect, I've never thought about it, but oh my goodness, it's true! O_o

    1. Things are better now. Thanks :)

      And the pet thing.... why does no one do it? Everyone has pets! Put them in the books unless there's a really, really good reason not to.

    2. I'm making a note of that, I guess Brad is going to have two new siblings AND a pet now! I'm going to give him a dog, because every boy needs a dog!! Thanks for the inspiration, I never would of thought about giving him a pet if I hadn't read this.

    3. Oh, you're welcome! I love pets in literature:) Can't wait to read your story someday!

  4. Completely agree with you on the dystopia thing! There are too many carbon copies. If you're looking for something a little different, I would suggest, The Giver, The Handmaid's Tale (although it's VERY heavy), Oryx and Crake, Unwind (although it has some problematic rep) and Only Ever Yours.

    1. I love the Giver and its sequels. :) I haven't read any of the others, although Unwind has been on my TBR for a while. Haven't heard of some of these! Thank you for the recommendations :)

  5. SAAAME. But heeeey my dystopia novel doesn't fit into any of the categories.... so MAAYYBEEE it's different?? *bites nails and hopes it is* xD

    Also that's so cool you've read Safely Home!! My Dad recommended it to me a while back and I read it but I feel like most teens haven't read it. (idk, that might not be true though xP)

    AND YES. OKAY FOR NOW WAS LEGIT GOALS. I've always enjoyed Gary D Schmidt. *nods* Even though some of his books tend to be a bit pluralistic he's suuuuuch a good writer. :D

    1. Well, if you're trying to be different, there's a fair chance you will be. XD

      I LOVED Safely Home. That book legit changed my life. It's amazing. I need to buy it.

      And yes. Pretty much everything by Gary D Schmidt is going to get an automatic four or five stars from me. :D especially Okay for Now. That book was So Stinking Good.

    I'd like to say the trilogy I'm working on is a fantasy with cool elements...XD But I guess I'm a little biased.
    YES TO 5 AND 6. There are sooo many weird and wacky mental illnesses and diseases out there. PRIME STORY MATERIAL.
    I love that you put Veiled Rose for 9. I agree, there should be more female protagonists like Rose. Actually, more female protags like ALL the girls in the Tales of Goldstone Wood!
    This was such a fun list to read, Faith!! Thanks for sharing! :D

    1. I think your story sounds AMAZING, from reading about it on your blog. Just sayin' :)


      I loved Veiled Rose. I MUST GET MOONBLOOD AND STARFLOWER TODAY OR SOMETHING. I own Heartless, Veiled Rose, Dragonwitch, and Shadow Hand... but I need Moonblood and Starflower and Golden Daughter. These are the best books I've read in a while.

  7. This post is epic and 100% accurate!!

  8. It sounds like you are looking to have stories that are more like real life. But most people are looking for books that are not like their life. Books that present a different life, one which might be more dangerous, more romantic, more colorful than their boring existence as they see it.

    How do you make it more like normal life but still interesting?

    1. Well, I've read some books where romance doesn't figure in (I couldn't think of any off the top of my head :P) but I think you can write great books where, say, friendship is the focus... or you could write stuff that's still really good, it just has a different focus from a lot of YA stuff.

  9. Wow! I never considered any of these to be in story's or films but after hearing them I WANT TO SEE THEM. As a child I loved a good strong female character to aspire to be but now as a adult (Using the word adult sooooo loosely) I really want to see a strong male character, I think its about time we see one and what they can bring to the plot.
    Great tat you're back as well!


    1. Thanks! I'm glad to be back. :)
      I know! I want people like Aragorn or Harry. Give me the guys who can step up and lead, please. They exist, I know... XD

  10. I completely agree!! Especially the truly strong females....I'm getting tired of the completely strong girls who never cry and never show emotion. I actually prefer to see a character cry once than never bat an eye the whole novel.

    1. It would be so nice to have some emotion every now and then. I mean, I cry XD all the time

  11. Hi! I loved Okay for Now. Wednesday Wars, too. :) Klutzes who can laugh at themselves make for great characters. If you're looking for a YA about friends on a quest (no medical or boyfriends!) I know of a book called Chasing Eveline. It releases July 11. Small disclaimer lol, it's my book :) I'm glad you're back to TTT and feeling better!
    My TTT

    1. Chasing Eveline. I will keep an eye out for that! :) And wasn't Okay for Now good? I don't think my library has The wednesday Wars, but I'll read it if they do ^_^ I love Gary Schmidt.


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