Discussion: What Do You Want to See More of in YA?

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I've been thinking lately about what I'd like to see more of in YA, which is a thing I tend to do whenever I'm in the figuring out what to write next stage, because oftentimes, asking this question helps me story ideas I really want to write. But more than that, I like discussing this in general, because it often brings up book recommendations for books I'm really looking for.

So! Here we go. Some elements I'd really love to see more of in YA include...

  • More nonbinary major characters. So far, I've read three novels with nonbinary major characters—two of which weren't YA (*waves to Cam Girl and George*), and one of which was released yesterday *waves to Symptoms of Being Human.* I've got some others on my list that I definitely want to read, including some new releases this year, but this is something I'd really love to see more of in general. 

  • Chronic illness representation. I wrote an entire post on the lack of chronic illness representation in YA, so I won't go into super detail about this, but things haven't gotten any better since I wrote it, so this is still I think I really want to see. Specifically, new releases and double bonus if the representation isn't epilepsy or diabetes, as that seems to be, like, 70% of the representation out there.

  • More LBTQIAP major characters. There are a lot of great books out there that cover the G, and I will still very happily read more, but I'd very much love to see more of the other letters in the spectrum covered. This is something I have seen a bit of an improvement with recently, but there's definitely room for more. Bring on the LBTQIAP major characters! 

  • Marginalized characters in stories not *about* their marginalization. Contemporary books are awesome, and issue books are absolutely 100% important, so I don't want to ignore that. But up until recently, the majority of books featuring marginalized characters were about the marginalization, and while this is also a thing that is slowly changing, I'd definitely love to see more books with marginalized characters having adventures totally unrelated to their marginalization. Like Six of Crows, and The Girl from Everywhere, and The Abyss Surrounds Us. More, please!

  • More disabled characters kicking ass. This is related to the last point, but I specifically want to hone in on disabled characters because this is something that is still extra rare to find. Six of Crows and Far From You did a really fantastic job with this, and I absolutely want to see more of it. 

So those are five things I'd really love to see more of in YA—now I want to hear from you. What do you want to see more of in YA?

Twitter-sized bite:
What do you want to see more of in YA? Join the discussion on @Ava_Jae's blog. (Click to tweet)

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