5/21/17

Where Yo At, Healthy Fams in YA??


If anyone is curious, yes, this is an old family picture.
And I covered everyone's faces with letters so they wouldn't kill me for posting old pictures. Of course though, I wasn't able to cover eight year old Gray's face, so yeah. Look away! Look away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've glowed up over the years, hopefully..

Random person: Actually, you haven't.
Me: Shsssss, let Gray dream! :P



A quick note:

    Heyyyyy guys! I'm sorry for being SUPER irregular when it comes to when I post!! I've just been tired and not very busy (does that make sense? I think not). Buuuuuuuttttttttttt, yeah! I will try to get into more of a blogging schedule again, because I use to have one, but then I got busy! Let's get on with this post!!




      Have you noticed something off about the families in YA? Pretty much all of the families are dysfunctional. Think about it, for the most part the parents are either dead, divorced, ignorant of pretty much everything, or one of them is evil *coughs* stepmothers…

      As for the siblings, they're either evil or non-existent. And I did do a post on how to create authentic children a couple of weeks back, so if you haven't read it you can HERE.

     But on with this post! The more I thought about it, the more confused I became, because I realized how true this was.



three examples of this lack of normal families:

1. Harry Potter (The last two were YA, or was it the last three)? Anyways, his family is obviously not the most normal, especially with his hateful aunt, uncle, and cousin.



2. All of the Cinderella re-tellings. Let's be real, there are enough Cinderella YA re-tellings for us to fill a few great libraries (think the Green Hallow's Great Library from the Wingfeather saga size).


3. Warrior of the Son. Evan does not live in a normal family. His father is a king, but his mother is simply a girl, who… (how do I keep this G? The book is meant for sixteen year old boys, so it's a bit more mature in topics, but I don't follow rules). Okay, fine, I'm just going to say it; his mother is just a girl that the king took to bed one night. Whew! I do my best to keep this blog as clean as possible.



         Those were just a few that I thought of! But believe me, there are MANY more!!





three examples of normal families:

1. The Wingfeather saga, my Wingfeather fans saw this coming, didn't y'all? While it's true that The Wingfeather's father is dead, their mom and their grandpa loves them dearly in a way that reminds me of my own parents.

2. The Door Within, Aidan's parents both love their son, and it's so beautiful and realistic. When Aidan becomes a Christian it is so sweet and a bit heartbreaking when he tells his confused non-Christian parents. And I just loved reading about where his dad asked him to explain his beliefs. It's just so good and realistic and it really shows the tough but special relationship between parents and their teenage boy!

3. Viking Quest, even though we don't get to see Bree's parents for a long long time, because Bree gets stolen… slight spoilers, so I shan't go on. Anyway, it's obvious that Bree's parents and their siblings love each other.



         Now, I am not saying that writing about kids with single parents, divorced parents, non-caring parents, and spiteful vile parents is wrong and unrealistic, because for many teens it is a harsh reality. But where did the healthy families go? The messy, overwhelming, but loving group of people stuck with the same last name and stuck in the same house? I think YA is just slowly getting darker as time goes on. I pick up a book, open it, and the overall message I get is: Your parents don't understand anything and they think you're a waste of space.

And again, yes, this is the harsh reality for a ton of us teens, but there are also families, who despite their shortcomings, love each other.


         Just a thought. Write about divorces, abuse (verbal and physical), parents who neglect their kids, and common major family issues, if you want. We do need to spread awareness that this stuff does happen, and it also probably is comforting to kids who are going through similar struggles, to know that they aren't alone. But please, PLEASE don't forget the healthy families. 

Have you also noticed the lack of happy families in YA?
What are some of your examples of normal and not normal families from YA??


Happy Writing,


30 comments:

  1. I agree, there should be more healthy families in YA.

    Here's a twist on the unhealthy family: the unreliable narrator. I'm playing with such a one where the protagonist thinks that her family is horrible to her, but in reality, the family is normal and she is self-centered.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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  2. So true! It's important to talk about and represent all kinds of families in YA, be they good or bad. (And I love Viking Quest! The series was basically my childhood.) Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Viking Quest is mine too! Whenever I read it I start feeling nostalgic.

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  3. I love the family in Wingfeathers :) And also the whole thing with- trying to avoid spoilers- Gammon and the other person? You know who In talking about? XP
    Some books I've read with healthy family dynamics are Rebecca Stead's books, When You Reach Me and Goodbye Stranger. That second one is probably rated closer to PG-13 (they do some inappropriate stuff - nothing graphic, but there's some suggestiveness), but the main characters all have great moms, at least, except for one who's isolated herself and would be understood if she talked about it :P

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    1. OH, YES. Gammon AND Shadow Blade!!! How could I overlook them?!?!
      And I need to read those books now...

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  4. Hey Gray, what is YA???? And coming from an adopted girl, it is so true that most movies or books have orphans. Disney is a big culprit of that!
    I agree about writing about healthy families. Or if you do write about orphans, be realistic. I was an orphan but only because my parents were alcoholics or criminals.
    Thanks for the post, girl!

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    1. YA stands for Young Adult, basically the teenage book section in a library.
      And you're adopted? Maybe I read that on your blog and forgot it, but that's cool! My family is a foster family and we're hoping to adopt.
      But the thing that annoys me about all of the orphans in books and movies is that it feels like the movie producers just made them orphans so there would be no parents to have to deal with when the kids go on adventures and not because they wanted to be realistic about life and the fact that there are orphans.

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    2. Gray, I think you are getting me confused with Paige's Pages 4 the Lord. I am a totally different Paige. And that is my pen name, by the way!
      Yes, I am adopted and think it is neat that you are a foster family. Go girl!

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    3. Whoops! *facepalm* Sorry!!

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    4. Hey, don't worry about it. I mess up people's names all the time. Once I met two twins and I got stuck in my head one was this, but it was the opposite! So I still confuse their names though we are best friends!

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    5. I have friends that are twins too! And I have the same problem, but I've given up, I just try not to say their names...ever. XD

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  5. Yes, I've noticed this, too--no one can write a YA book anymore without having parents who are dead or alcoholics or generally just view their kids as a waste of space, like you said. I'd love to see more YA books beginning to model healthy and happy families! Maybe then the real world would lean that way, too. :)

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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  6. Very interesting thoughts, Gray! It is sad how many real-life families are crumbling, but there are good ones too! :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and both should be equally represented!

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  7. The random person was right, you haven't glowed up

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    1. And as I said before; shssssss! Let me dream!!! ;P
      Lol.

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    2. You were a very cute little girl, Gray, and you look like a glamorous and sweet young lady now. :)

      (Is Arie someone you know??)

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    3. Thanks, Jem. And no, I don't think I know her, lol.

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    4. 'kay. Judging from her/his 'profile', it's some sort of spammy account??

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    5. Or a troll, but either way.

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    6. I think you're very pretty Gray :)

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  8. I'm a bit late to commenting on this, sorry. >.<
    But I REALLY LOVED THIS. It's soooo true. (*cough cough* my first novel fell under the category of stereotypical bad family relationships XD)

    Also, the 8-year-old you was adorable. Aaand I think you're really pretty now. <3

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    Replies
    1. I think that happened with all of our first works! It was just easier to have no parents to create for me!!! XD
      And thanks.

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  9. I don't read a lot of contemporary, but I know fantasy is notorious for the orphan. But I have to admit, I'm guilty of writing orphans myself - probably because I struggle with handling multiple non-flat supporting characters?? For the same reason, I expect, my MCs are usually an only child.

    Thanks for the post, Gray; I need to keep aware of this when I write!

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    Replies
    1. Same here, actually. But I'm trying to stop that for myself!

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  10. I tend to write about heartbreaking things, but redemption always finds a way in. And they are always Christian, so that's the bright side. I do need to work on not ALWAYs writing about those sad things, but I do want to bring awareness.
    Thanks for the post, Gray. and yes, I do notice that kind of thing a lot in dystopian and YA novels. It's weird. Lol
    Oh, and that family pic is SO cute. You have a good family! <3

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! We have one more now since we're fostering!!

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    2. You're welcome!
      I'd love to foster. *sigh*

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