As I approached the milestone of my 2000th book review, I wanted to be able to share some sort of profound observations about young adult and children’s literature, but inspiration never quite struck. Instead, I thought I might share some tongue-in-cheek pearls of wisdom I have learned from my time spent over the last sixteen years. In no particular order, here is the World According to Middle Grade and YA literature:
1) If your parents throw a birthday party for you and invite the whole class, no one will come.
2) If the story is intended for Middle Graders and contains an animal, it will be the focus of the story. If the book is YA, the animal will be quickly forgotten.
3) If you are American, you will always have two best friends. If you are English, you will have only one.
4) Every teen party will be unchaperoned and have a keg.
5) Every time you consume alcohol, you will drink too much and vomit in the bushes.
6) Your phone will always either be turned off/muted or have a dead battery.
7) Assuming your parents have not bought you an expensive car, your vehicle will be a junker and have a cute name.
8) Kids only listen to music that was popular when the author of the book was a teenager.
9) Showing up for work is optional. Your boss at the coffee shop will rarely mind if you miss work, especially for a good reason like having a fight with your boyfriend.
10) With the exception of the protagonist, pretty people are always popular and always mean.
11) Protagonists are always beautiful, even if they think they are not.
12) All girls have at least two eligible, handsome boys to choose between. One of them will be nice and the other one mean, but the heroine will be the only person in the book who can’t figure out which one is which until the end of the book.
13) Teens only read nineteenth century English literature for pleasure.
14) When you are eleven or twelve and are the subject of the story, you will get your first period.
15) Schools don’t exist for learning. Their job is to supply cafeterias, gyms, and libraries. They also serve as useful settings for public humiliation.
16) Malls don’t exist for shopping. Their job is to provide a place where you can run into people you are trying to avoid.
17) Never turn to an adult to solve your problem when you can spend 200 pages of pointless drama trying to solve it by yourself first.
18) Keeping secrets from your BFF/teachers/parents is never a conscious decision, but just something that happens. It is always a good idea…until it isn’t.
19) Every family owns a beach house.
20) Mothers are usually dead.
Have I forgotten your favorite trope? Let me know what it is!