Sunday, July 22, 2012

True Story: I loved high school

Is it just me or is everyone else noticing a trend in contemporary YA? In all the books I've read lately, the MC hates high school. And not in the 'school sucks' kind of way. I'm talking total meltdown, my life is a toilet bowl full of poo kinda hate.

When a character does like high school, because she is pretty and part of the popular crowd, we learn she has dark secrets and is only happy on the outside.

Maybe I'm all alone here, but I loved high school. Yep, Loved It! And I wasn't the pretty, popular girl who got nominated to homecoming court every year. And despite not being prom queen, High School rocked.

Not quite the happiest place on earth, but it was close.

I dated, some, got involved in a ton of activities, played nice with everyone and had a core group of friends I could count on.

Now, to be fair, I experienced my share of teen tears. I was dumped...twice even. The really hot guy I crushed on for two year never did ask me out (Ryan McCann, if you're out there...call me). I even lost a student government election my junior year. But those were isolated events that pale in comparison to the rest of those four years.

I couldn't wait to go to college. But not because I had to get the hell out of dodge. I imagined it would be just like High School without the adult supervision (FYI...it was).

I realize stories need conflict to live and no one wants to read about a girl who walks around happy all the time. But I'd love to see a character who at least starts out that way.

Because, believe it or not, some of us actually did like high school.

10 comments:

  1. I enjoyed high school too. I haven't noticed a lot of high school slamming in books. I can say that I don't slam high school in my books, probably because I enjoyed my time there.

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  2. Ryann's loss! I love dhigh school too and like Kelly, My characters don't mind high school. They might hate some subjects because the teach sucks, but overall, they enjoy it. I guess I need to read more, lol, and see what's happening in teh genre,

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    1. Too funny. Maybe it's just me, but the last few books I've read have focused on girls who are absolutely miserable in HS.

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  3. I loved high school until 12th grade, which for a number of reasons was challenging (one of which was that I had anorexia). Don't be afraid to write a MC who likes high school if that what was most true for you.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Catherine. My MC is a big fan of school.

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  4. What high-school-sucks books did you read? I always loved school. Even now, around this time of year, I get a crazy urge to stock up on school supplies because that was always so exciting to me growing up. Sure, high school was challenging, but overall I looked forward to it every day. I guess I'm weird too!

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    1. The most recent one was Pretty Amy, which was a good book. But all the reviews and reader comments are all about how Amy (a loner who despises her life) nails a high school student. It got me thinking about ya contemporary and how girls are portrayed. It's just more angst than I ever had.

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  5. I know what you mean -- I feel like I've read a couple of books where highschool was, like, TORTURE, OMG.

    There were things in highschool I loved (European History, playing sports, being on the A-team), and things I despised. I wasn't popular, but I had a few friends. I studied, goofed off, joined some clubs, and was in shock when it ended way sooner than I expected. I'm going to guess that's the more typical highschool experience.

    Middle school, though? Hoo boy, you couldn't PAY me to go back there.

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    1. I think you're right. It wasn't rosy all the time, but most of those people at graduation weren't crying tears of joy.

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