I can’t believe I’m going to say this.
I have been reading YA books for inspiration for my own book.
So far, it’s actually been quite an eye-opener. The teenagers in those books actually sound and act like…well, teenagers. Some of them are quite unlikeable, but they still act their age.
Two of the best YA books I’ve read are Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge. The worldbuilding is amazing and the protagonists are understandable. Nyx, the heroine of Cruel Beauty, is a product of her world, but she still sounds and acts like a seventeen-year-old girl.
The Maze Runner trilogy sounds pretty intriguing. Maybe I’ll check it out (and the films as well).
Mare Barrow from Red Queen and Cass from The Fire Sermon are unique heroines. You know where they’re coming from and why they act the way they do. Once again, the worldbuilding is awesome.
Mare, Nyx and Cass had to grow up pretty quickly due to their respective environments (as, I suspect, did the Maze Runner protagonist). Zara hasn’t. As far as she’s concerned, she’s living a pretty ordinary life until an incident that takes place while she’s out with her friends. Now everything they know has been turned upside down and it looks like they’ve got to be very careful. Oh, and Zara’s been keeping a rather large secret.
But at least there are no DLIs (Douchey Love Interests) on the horizon.