Young adult novels (contemporary and otherwise) manage to fit a lot of different types of teenagers. Artsy types. Bookish types. Sporty types. Loner types. Popular types. Aggressive types. Passive types. Sometimes characters who are more than one at the same time.
I always appreciate the variety. I like finding novels with characters similar to students who don't seem to be represented so much in pop culture. A particular type stood out to me this week, though, and I realized I don't recall ever reading a character that quite matched up with it.
And please, my fellow YA authors, don't feel any need to change that.
I'm not talking about teens who get whiny now and then. That happens, both in fiction and in life. Part and parcel of being not-quite-kid, not-quite-adult. No, I'm talking about teens who do nothing. But. Complain.
All. Day. Long.
I can barely take it for an hour at a time with those students. If I had to read it in a book, that book would get put down and never picked up again.
And from a math teacher standpoint, let me just say that complaining that it's hard and you don't get it before I've even started explaining anything isn't conducive to learning. It doesn't endear the student to their more open-minded classmates, either.
If you know someone like this in real life, please find a way to rehabilitate them. When you find a successful method for doing so, drop me a line.
I could use the help.