How YA Has Lied To Me

Yes, YA is fiction. So obviously that means it cannot all be true. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t read books about high school before I got there, and used them to base my expectations of high school off of. We all know YA makes things a lot more convenient for the characters until it needs to make it hard. Some of these conveniences just don’t happen in real life. Some of which I am glad don’t exist, and some of which I still feel cheated of. But here is a list of ways that YA has lied to me.

(PS I saw this post on Analee’s blog, and while I can’t find the original post, thanks for inspiring me!)

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1. Teenagers have no homework

I know in high school, my life is basically wake up early, go to school, come home, do homework, eat dinner, do more homework, go to sleep. Then repeat. But somehow in YA these teenagers just go hang out after school. Like they go on mini spontaneous road trips or watch a movie or go shopping. Um, shouldn’t you be doing homework?????? How can you afford to have a life after school???? I know I was extremely let down when I in fact did NOT have time to just hang out after school, but instead had to hunker down and read my textbooks. A rude awakening. 

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2. The stereotypical “popular kids”

This is one trope I am EXCITED did not appear in real life. Maybe it’s just my high school, but we don’t really have annoying popular kids that are on the cheerleading team and football team* and only talk to each other and are super mean and bullies. Sure, there are the more popular people, but maybe because our school is so large, they aren’t such a large presence. It’s not like they are tripping people in the cafeteria or inviting everyone but one person to their parties. Which I am not complaining about. 

*Probably because our football team sucks TBH but still

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3. Teachers are secretly matchmakers in disguise

THIS ONE IS FALSE. How many times have you read a book where the teachers pair two students together for an entire year just so they can fall in love????? News flash: this does not happen in real life. They don’t secretly pair students up so they can date which makes it a lot more difficult.

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4. These teenagers have money???

I don’t know about y’all when you were teens, but my friends and I are currently BROKE. Even though we work and have jobs. You read these books where they go to the same diner every week or go out to the movies every Sunday. How do they have money for that????? That’s like $20 a week- I can’t just spend that all. But all teens in books make social plans without even considering the money, which is SO NOT TRUE.

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5. Every town/city/suburb has a hidden piece of beautiful nature that only the main character knows about

You know, when they want to impress their love interest so they bring them to some beautiful rock overlooking a waterfall that flows into this lake with a sunset and is conveniently always empty and they’re all like “I’ve never brought anyone here before”. This goes one of two ways in real life: 1.) There is no hidden lake because you live in a suburb not a nature reserve or 2.) if there is it’s always really crowded because it is the only piece of pretty nature in a 20 mile radius. If there is a secluded piece of nature near me, someone let me know because I think that is fake. 

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6. Characters can eat whatever they want with no consequences

Sure main character, eat a cake and a milkshake and a giant stack of pancakes AND stay your slim 105 lb self. I wish I had fictional characters’ metabolism. If I ate all that, I’d be a balloon.

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7. The right person always has the right thing to say

Whether the right person is a best friend or a romantic partner or a parent, at some point they say the exact right thing that completely sets the main character’s world at peace. If that exists in real life, I want to find that person. Sure, many people say many right things to me when I am sad or angry or frustrated or feeling insecure. But also in life there are times when you just don’t know what to say. Not everything said can be perfect.

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8. You will find your match in high school

For some people this does happen. and I am not bashing that or anything! But is is extremely rare, and YA makes it seem like everyone is falling in love left and right. I know maybe three couples in my school that I could see staying together for a long time. The rest are all fun and games. Some new YA does show two people dating and loving each other but to being in love and breaking up, which is great. But so much YA just shows falling in love and presents it as if that’s forever right way and if you didn’t find your forever in high school you did it wrong. 

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I’m sure there’s more I am forgetting and 8 is a weird number of items in a list, but that is all I can remember right now! Thanks YA for giving me unrealistic expectations of high school and setting me up for disappointment.*


Let's Chat!

How has YA given you unrealistic expectations? Was there anything on this list that was true to your high school experience? 

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39 thoughts on “How YA Has Lied To Me

  1. Elizabeth says:

    So true! This makes me laugh, especially about the hidden nature and teacher pairing. Like, what teacher has time to think about their student’s love lives?
    And yep, everyone is going to hang out at the nature place. The Entire City. You cannot keep it hidden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink says:

    YES!! everyone in YA has their “secret places” and like?? UM EXCUSE ME HOWWWW. I have a town…and there are no places I hang out where its all secret and closed off. And yes abotu finiding “true love” in YA? I mean SERIOUSLY its really unlikely hahahah

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sahi says:

    This is hilarious 😆 😆😆…. I had a whole different kinda experience in high school coz I studied in India , so everything in YA is very fascinating for me… In my school, boys and girls were explicitly forbidden from talking to each other, so there were no friendships in the open forget couples… v din work n din get an allowance, so had no money ever.. all v did was go to school and did homework… I probably went to a movie with my friends for the only time in my senior year…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Camilla @ Reader in the Attic says:

    Should I quote every point? I think yes!
    Strangely, while I totally get how school and homeworks are realistic in books, it’s still a bit fun to do not read about them. It’s like a free space. I’m doing and academy after my university and it’s like getting back in school. I had so many of it before and right now again. But also, I come home nearly sleepy everyday… so I guess that it would reletable too anyway, so I will end enjoy it.
    But also yes: they always hangout or work, and I don’t even have time to read, blog, find a work and create stuff for the academy.

    And also, what kind of secret place they have? I can only think that in my city, the secret place are nor really well know and it can be easy to find on but also can be a place where it’s not safe to go.

    OMG, saying the right thing! Sometimes I cannot even complete a normal phrase, let’s see if I will ever be able to say something poetic. I need preparation 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books says:

      That’s fair. I don’t think I would want to read a book where the characters just do their homework all the time. Not superrrr exciting 😜
      They always have like a secret bookshop or river or cafe that for some reason no one else knows! And then they’re like “ I’ve only ever brought you here” and everyone cringes.
      Yes! My thoughts are all over the place, saying the right thing in the moment is so difficult. I need a lot of preparation 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Winged Cynic says:

    Hahaha this is awesome! Yeah, a lot of YA fictionalizes and fantasizes stuff for teens, but I do get it; I mean, teens are stressed out as they are, so I guess these are outlets of hope for them. Doesn’t mean it’s realistic, but oh well. Terrific list!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reading with Rendz says:

    The first one. The first one. The first one. I always thought that teens in YA either had extremely good work ethic and passed with flying colours or their report cards were slashed in big red Fs. I guess it would be kind of boring to read about someone doing their homework…but I’m pretty sure hmwk would impede on their ability to go out shopping and meet in these super secret beautiful nature scene in the suburbs.
    Great post, I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books says:

      Or some teens in YA have no work ethic and STILL get straight As. You have to WORK for those As.
      It would be boring but also too inconvenient for all the drama they have to deal with. How would they have time to go in spectacular spontaneous dates if they have to study for a test instead???
      Thank you!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cas @ Lovely Paranormal Books says:

    Awesome post! I totally agree with all your points; especially with the popular kids. I found that at my intermediate school the “popular kids” thing applied more but never to the extreme described in books. At my high school the popular kids really aren’t a big deal, as a school of around seven hundred kids there are many groups and most leave each other alone especially if they’re of different year levels.

    I haven’t actually read any books where the teachers are matchmakers but now I want a teacher like that! I could enlist them to help me set up a friend haha. As for secret places only the main character knows about, these certainly don’t exist everywhere! Last year I found a nice spot in the suburbs but it’s not like I’ve shown anyone and while it’s not a popular spot it’s not secret? (Maybe I’m just weird, because no one else would think to sit on a rock next to a hidden set of stairs.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ellyn says:

    Yes, I loved this, so relatable! Also, yeah, what’s with #5?? You just happen to have a random piece of lad that absolutely nobody else knows about?? WHAT
    Also, yeah, why do none of them ever do homework? – we don’t have to actively read about them doing equations but so often homework is never even mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marie says:

    Hahahaha I love this post so much – it’s crazy how unrealistic even contemporary YA books can be, just because of these little details. HOW do people NOT freak out about homework? Where do they get all the money and HOW can they just go on spontaneous road trips like that with no consequences and without freaking out?? I don’t get that hahaha 🙂
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books says:

      Hahahahaha. Yeah I want a nice secluded waterfall or whatever to take a boy to or a river like where is that nature?? And they are all so rich like never worrying about going to see a movie and dinner. That costs like $40 that’s a big deal lol.


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