As a teen, I was obsessed with Young Adult (YA) books! I lived for the romance, the love triangles, and the D-R-A-M-A! But now when I look back, I realize that the books I loved weren’t amazing. They were full of cliches, the teenage angst was through the roof, and some of those relationships were wrong. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 5 YA books that you loved as a teen that aren’t so great now.
We all have a few books that we read as teens that rocked our world and maybe even changed our lives. These were stories that you’d insist that your friends read in hopes that it would also impact them.
But all good things must come to an end and most of us aren’t the same person that we were at 16.
So while some YA books suck, I can see how they could remain guilty pleasure reads.
It’s like any Lifetime or SyFy movie, you love to watch them because they’re so bad! Except for Britney Ever After, that movie was garbage.
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5. Catcher in the Rye
By J.D. Salinger
When I first read this book it was life altering, or at least it felt that way.
Holden Caulfield was a character that I held near and dear to my heart. As a teen everything he said and the way in which he viewed the world felt true.
I loved the book so much that I would read it every summer, and as I got older, the book no longer had the same effect on me.
I don’t think this book sucks, but it’s not as great when you read it as an adult.
Holden was full of teen angst. Why couldn’t he be happy with the life he had?
If you want to appreciate this book for the classic that it is, read it once.
4. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
So I had to research the book online to refresh my memory because I forgot how old the characters were.
They’re both 18, so I guess it makes partying and staying up all night “okay,” but they were still in high school.
As a teenager, I loved this book!
I downloaded all the songs they mentioned, bought the movie, and did a painting of it.
I don’t even know why I loved Nick and Norah’s so much. They were crazy, living like there was no tomorrow.
And for some reason, the main problem at the end was if they would continue their relationship. Nothing was keeping them apart except for themselves…
They also cursed A LOT! So much, that I’m convinced the authors thought teens spoke that way.
When I look back, this book is the epitome of teen angst.
3. Paper Towns
By John Green
I wasn’t in love with this book as it left me feeling down. But I took pleasure in the sadness that it brought me.
As an adult, I can look back and say that this book was awful.
Margo was either selfish or she had mental issues, there’s nothing more to it.
This book was also about extreme first world problems. They lived in a cookie cutter neighborhood and the boy next door was in love with a girl who was “adventurous.”
And for some reason, he’s convinced that he can save her after she leaves town.
The only reason I have this new found hatred towards the book is because I watched the movie with my sister. I can see how it would appeal to a teenager, but those rose-colored glasses I had on are long gone.
I also don’t get the fascination with John Green.
2. The Hunger Games Series
I LOVED The Hunger Games series as a teen.
I thought the book was unique, creative, and refreshing. It was the first dystopian novel that I enjoyed. Katniss was so awesome, and I wanted to be as brave as her.
Even though the title of my piece is about YA books that “suck” now, The Hunger Games isn’t that bad. But it wasn’t as great of a book that I thought it was at the time.
I did think (and still do) that Mockingjay was terrible.
Katniss is portrayed as strong, brave, fair, etc. But throughout the series, she’s protected by so many people that she doesn’t do much on her own.
I think she spent the majority of the last book crying.
Without the support of those around her, I doubt she would’ve made it (and there would’ve been no story).
I also don’t like that the book is a rip-off of Battle Royale!
I didn’t believe it when someone told me that Suzanne Collins had stolen the plot from the Japanese novel, but it’s true! I’ll write more about that someday in another post.
1. The Twilight Series
By Stephenie Meyer
This YA book series SUCKS! And not in the Vampire way.
And this is coming from someone who was a Twihard!
I was so obsessed with Twilight I wished Edward was real so he could be my boyfriend! That’s how crazy I was.
I even had a Twilight mug and an Edward Cullen blanket, which I still have (the blanket is super soft). I also thought Bella was cool for some reason.
There were so many things wrong with the books.
Edward was manipulative and controlling. Bella was delusional. Jacob was a “nice guy” and a pedophile in the end.
The book glorified emotional abuse. Sure it was awesome that Edward protected her from rapists and accidents, but he was stalking her.
If a guy you had a crush on was watching you sleep every day you would be filing a restraining order against him. That is not romantic!
Oh, and how is it that Bella’s period is always on time and being one day late is cause for alarm? That was one of the worst ways to introduce a pregnancy. And don’t get me started on that terrible baby name, Renesmee.
Also, if your boyfriend stops you from leaving by removing your car engine, get out of that relationship.
YA Books That You Loved
At the end of the day, we like what we like. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I loved a lot of corny YA books, but at least I was reading.
Although my taste in books has changed, YA novels will always hold a special place in my heart.
They shaped who I was as a teen, and as an adult, I can look back and laugh at some of the silly things I thought I was amazing.
What were some of your favorite YA books as a teen?