- Bitchy, mean-girl cliques. I'm aware they exist in real life. But they don't have the sort of power they seem to exert in books. When I've encountered 'the popular girls' in the real world, I've noticed that they're the same as everybody else. Insecure and trying to make themselves feel important. In books, when they're presented as being these total ice-queens who are totally untouchable, I think, Yeah, no.
- Perfect love interests. When you have a crush on somebody, I don't think you think they are totally perfect. You see their flaws and you like them or you find them acceptable. No teenager has flawless skin or is totally nice. And certainly not teenage boys. I read books where the love interest, who is a 17-year-old boy, is basically an Adonis and I think, Have you ever met a teenage boy in your life? I think not! I know a lot of readers like this whole fantasy boy but I like books where I can imagine events occurring in reality.
- Teenage pregnancy. There are always these really maternal emotions going on with the pregnant girl and the moment someone goes maternal Steph can no longer relate.
- Teenagers who hate their parents. This is okay if they have a legit reason for hating their parents (they're evil/they killed somebody/they're vampires/etc), however if they are constantly having temper tantrums and talking about how awful their parents are for no reason the book will have totally lost me. I love my parents, and they're socially obligated to love me. I don't understand why someone would give that up.
- Girl finding herself drawn to a hot bad boy for no apparent reason. This is because, if there were a hot and possibly supernatural bad boy with magical magnetic girl-attracting powers Steph Bowe wouldn't be attracted to him. Especially not if said bad boy is actually bad (like an emotionally abusive fallen angel... or something like that).
- Girl constantly going on about how bad it is to be flat-chested. Yeah, suck it up, honey.
- Boys presented as being soulless and entirely driven by sex. Please, don't get me started on gender stereotypes. I could be here all night.
What can't you relate to in YA fiction?