I've been reading a surprising amount of YA books towards the end of this year and I don't know why. I think I want friends or something and this is the closest I'll get. Anyway, a lot of them were severely cringey and made me uncomfortable. Unrealistic dialogue. Weird plot lines. Overused tropes. Here are my cringe reviews in order of when I read them this year. (without spoilers except one for Again, But Better at the end of it's review)
1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (read May 9th)
Angie Thomas can write. That's a fact. And her dialogue is real and it makes you not want to stop. You feel like you're listening to people having real conversations. The only cringe is when it's supposed to make you cringe, like listening to her friends be racist and her weird boyfriend. So I won't count that Starr also acknowledges it's cringey so you know it's on purpose. I liked that.
2. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (read May 27th)
It was equally cringe to the show, but in a different way. Because the 13RW franchise has turned into this whole concept of this book into something that was made to address important teen issues. But in reality, it's just a boring YA mystery book. Cringey dialogue. It's just a dude listening to tapes that a girl left that are like clues to why she committed suicide and he comments every so often in a weird way. Like how he did/didn't notice things. No mystery, just a series of events. I thought there would be a second book but that was it. At least the show was interesting.
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (read May 31st)
Only a little cringey. Books that have twins for very little reason mark it down at least 1 point. Why twins? Always twins? Because she didn't really need one. It wasn't important to the story. Otherwise it was really good! Not a fan of fan fiction (so I skipped it sorry) but that's just my opinion so I'm not marking it for that because it was probably well written. Only some cringe dialogue but the story was really sweet. Made me uwu. There was a 'stuck in the same location during a fight so your forced to work it out' trope but I was driving while listening to that part on audiobook so it was vivid. Also the guy can't read and that was weird and unnecessary.
4. Again but Better by Christine Riccio (read July 11th)
Oh god. Cringe. Tropes. Bad plot. I can't. This book was hard to read. I bought it because it was signed and I thought 'Ooh'. But I wish I hadn't. I'm going to use bullet points because there are so many issues.
American living in London and she's like oh darn the cars are on the other side where can I get a good burger around here!
One of the main characters' name was Pilot Penn like a Pilot brand pen. Absolutely not.
Half written side plots. I watched a video on the author's process and she cut out the whole beginning part and left the parts reliant on that in the story. What? WHY??
Cringe dialogue. Desgusten
She wants to be a writer and is writing a book but like nothing happens with it.
Uh oh the guy's ex girlfriend sabotages them!!!!
She's quirky hehe
Trip to Paris for no reason
Barely addressed sexual harassment babey, every bad YA book needs it
Too many Beatles references. We get it you know what the Beatles are
"Maybe ____ can be our always" (it's lamp post and it's only brought up once again)
SPOILER: For some strange and unexplained reason except like, love, there is time travel magic for some reason??? From a magic woman who comes out of nowhere and is never addressed? What?? Like half way through the story??? No. Stop it.
5. Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (read July 12th)
Good mystery! Weird dialogue! His best friend is an artist who loves anime which is unnecessarily described. You're kind of thrown into Simon's predicament! It's a great coming of age story and I would read it again despite how weird they all talk. Becky Albertalli thinks she is a teen who think teens talk about Harry Potter all the time and please no.
6. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (read July 15th)
Twin but it contributes to the plot. Weird love triangle. It kind of just works it's self out in the end and there's no major problem besides the main character is confused about what boy to pick. And they let you know they are related to one of the girls from Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda for no reason, like it's irrelevant.
7. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (read Aug 15th)
Oh man. Don't get me started. Look, I didn't read the first two but it doesn't matter. It was bad. American in Europe. Troubled love interest. He has a heart. And an ex she is jealous of. He's also famous and she's jealous but he loovveesss only her. New Years Eve. Ok. Too many bad things. Absolutely not. Bye.
8. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (read Aug 17th)
I have no clue how this book gets such good reviews. Every book YouTuber says it's bad. NO ONE talks like Leah does or any of the Simonverse characters for that matter. She sounds like she's in a drama set in a comedy. This book does have a good meaning and is great for a coming-of-age story but like... Becky really forced things to happen. Like The side plot with Simon was boring. They mentioned Abbey being cousins with her girls from Unrequited. She is bi and Abbey isn't except maybe she is oh no! What ever shall she do? Good idea but very poorly executed. Also she's in a band called Emoji and it's irrelevant but she is.
9. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (read October 18th)
Memorable characters but predictable ending. I liked the idea of a whodunnit where you get to see all the characters' POV's, wondering if they're hiding anything as you are living with them. The good girl and the bad guy have a thing and he's just a little too deep for some reason, but I really enjoyed the mystery set in a high school. AKA, why I read the next book.
10. The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas (read October 20th)
Pretty much trope-less (unless I'm forgetting something but if I am it must not be important). A group of cheerleaders mysteriously die in coincidental accidents? And they have secrets? And the plot is unpredictable and interesting? Yes! The dialogue and plot line sometimes are weird and cringey because they are used to move the story along and sometimes it means saying things that are intentionally important. And you can tell. And most of it could be realistic except for the Boo Radley of the story, in my opinion. But overall I thought it was a good mystery.
11. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (read October 26th)
(Technically not YA just Fiction but it was in the YA section at B&N)
How do I cringe? Let me count the tropes:
He's the brother-in-law
They don't know why they hate each other
Willingly get stuck together after announcing they'd rather die
Pretend we're married! My boss is here!
Ruh roh my ex is here! Pretend we're in love!
They fall in love, in fact, they were in love all along!
Terrible dialogue. Plot made me roll my eyes. The guy likes math and that was mentioned for some reason?
12. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (read November 13th)
A classic. Fantasy but people say it's YA for some reason. Love it. Read this. No complaints. 10/10 book. If you like witches and bears and magic and getting chills and justice, this is the book for you.
Hope that was helpful, bye.