YA Books and What They Get Wrong About High School

For those of us who are currently in high school or have graduated that so called “hell hole” know that young adult literature fails at accurately portraying the day in a life of a high school (most of the time). Alright, yes sometimes we’ll find the occasional book that does it right, but we don’t really like those usually because one of the biggest reasons I read and I’m sure many of you guys read is to escape reality.

For those of you who aren’t yet in high school, I’m sorry to disappoint but high school is not High School Musical. There is no Troy. There is no dancing throughout the hallways. It’s just school. Let’s get to this and see what young adult books get about the hell called high school

*these are based upon my own current high school experiences!

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1. Mean Girls

Sure, I’m not saying there isn’t mean girls in high school. But me personally, I’ve never
come across one truly stereotypical blonde white mean girl. While I’m sure there are mean girls out there who are truly the epitome of evil, but at my school there hasn’t been one girl I’ve heard about who has done anything that’s incredibly horrible.

2. Hot Guys

While there are cute guys at school, we never come across one of those cliche “so sexy I can’t even breathe” guys if you know what I mean. I find it funny that in young adult lit we come across the same guys over and over again. While it can be a nice day dream (I suppose that can be the purpose of YA sometimes, to escape reality), it often gets boring to hear about his “piercing blue eyes, mussed hair and lean toned muscles”.

3. Nightmarish Teachers

None of my teachers are a true nightmare. Except maybe my french teacher, but that’s another story. Anyway, all of my teachers are nice, fair and chill. In YA we often see teachers who stack tons and tons and tons of homework, don’t accept late work ever and snap and kids who talk in class.

4. Detention

We don’t have detention at our school.It doesn’t exist. It seems like detention in young adult lit is a common thing for our main character and they are consistently getting caught in detention. …Like everyday. It’s a little ridiculous in my opinion. Yes, of course not every school is my school so for some of you, sorry! You might have detention!

5. Stress Free Life

Let me tell you there is no such thing as “stress free”. I promise you there will always be a time when there is something to stress about. In YA somehow our hero or heroine manages to not only save the world but also get straight A’s and keep a healthy relationship with his or her boyfriend/girlfriend. Let me just say this…ridiculous. I can’t even get 8 hours of sleep at night.

6. Boyfriends/Girlfriends

YES! Of course you date in high school! I have never done it but I’ve seen lots of people date at my school. The difference between real high school and YA high school is that in YA it seems like the relationships portrayed there are long term relationships. It portrays these relationships as something that lasts forever and I personally think that is highly unrealistic. True love in high school is so so rare.

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That’s it for today! Ar

\e there any other things YA books get wrong about high school? Tell me about them! Do you like seeing YA books as more realistic to real high school or not? Tell me why in the comments below! Thank you for reading!

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7 thoughts on “YA Books and What They Get Wrong About High School

  1. I think I know of two couple who dated in high school and then got married. (I mean recently, not people like my grandparents’ age.) But, yeah, I didn’t date anyone in high school, and I don’t think most of my friends did. Dating wasn’t a big deal, and there were definitely no stereotypical hot YA guys walking around….

    And I’d say I had some “bad” teachers, but they were mostly of the boring variety–they were just not invested in teaching and would nap through their own classes and whatnot.

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    1. My husband and I are high school sweet hearts 😀 We got together when I was in the 9th grade, he in the 10th and stayed together since! And I would say that my high school had EVERYTHING your high school doesn’t have except I agree about the “stress free” life. There was definitely a lot of stress! But yes, I had a lot of girls that were really cruel to me – nothing as dramatic as the movies, but there was a lot of trash-talking behind my back/in front of my face. High school was basically the worst for me! Thank goodness undergrad/grad school is so much better 🙂

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      1. I really enjoyed high school, but I think teenagers can be the worst (and middle schoolers depending). I realize, in retrospect, that teens think being mean is just absolutely hilarious. I see them at the library or in public or when I’m volunteering with them or whatever and they’re just like “Hey, let’s go on Jane’s Facebook profile and make fun of her photos!” like that’s normal entertainment. I’m not sure it even occurs to them they’re bullying or being cruel or anything. So while my high school didn’t really have a “mean girls” group either, it did have “popular” cliques, and the people in them often weren’t nice. They tended to turn on each other though, and I was perhaps simply lucky that they left me alone.

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      2. Yes they probably do find it fun. Not to mention they’re all so insecure their only way to cope is to take down others. I am glad I am beyond those years! And yes, it’s true that a lot of the popular folk turned on each other! Definitely better to be out of their circle and away from their bullying and unmeetable expectations.

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      3. Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s possibly that I was in all honors English classes and the “popular” kids often weren’t. (That sounds really stereotypical, but that’s factually what happened at my school so….) The reality is that I simply didn’t see much of them. We weren’t in the same classes. We didn’t do the same extracurrriculars. Teen books/movies tend to have this idea that everyone is always in the same classes and interacting all the time.

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  2. Great post! I agree with all of that except detention and boyfriends and girlfriends. We had detention in my school. And it SUCKED! Lol. There were also several couples in my high school that had been together several years, believe it or not. Like, since middle school all the way till graduation. (One couple I know for sure is married now.) But anyways, that was just my personal high school experience. As for the other stuff, mean girls, teachers, hot guys, etc. Nope. Didn’t exist. Lol 😂

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  3. Great list!
    I’ve personally never had any problems with “mean girls” at my school, but the news often say that in other schools here there’s a huge group of girls and they all attack a girl when she’s alone (and for stupid things, even yesterday I saw it on TV and it was because she apparently texted a boy???) :/

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