Feb 12, 2013


It's come to my attention that most YA protagonists these days are . . . well, sullen. Sullen, quiet, angsty, unhappy-and-not-afraid-to-show-it, etc. So I'm wondering: Do happy or cheerful seeming characters even exist in the YA department?

 I have no problem finding smiling faces when reading MG. Quite frankly, those books are essentially lighter, less dramatic, and--excuse my grammar--funner. Not saying that YA isn't fun. It's just it's own kind of fun. But what happened? Get a few years older and then suddenly we're engulfed by angsty, depressing, know-it-alls?

 Which brings me to my main point: Why can't we have happy characters? Or at least some characters who seem happy. After all, our characters must always have problems, thereby making them unhappy, but can't we have a character who likes to smile and wave at the neighbors as they pass by? Possibly stop to sniff the unscented, but blooming lantana?

 For example: A character could seem like the epitome of cheerfulness on the outside, but a mess on the inside. What if people saw the monster (not specifically being literal here) he/she really was? What if the character was sick of hiding who they are and how they really feel, but doesn't know how to stop pretending?

 Why do characters always have to be black clouds of utter depressingness?

 The point I need to make up for this? Uh . . . don't feel like your character has to be depressing because everyone else's are. Okay. Rant over. Peace out.

 Also, if you know of any happy peppy characters, don't hesitate to she'd the light on me and allow me to join the thousands of happy peppy people and buy a bottle of vitameatavegamin today.



  1. I love your choice of vocabulary used in this post. And you are so right! I'm trying to remember what was the last YA novel I read which had cheery, happy MCs in it. *crickets chirping* I try to balance it out with Emma, give her a happy-go-lucky, stop-to-sniff-the flowers side, but at the same time make sure she is realistic and believeable. Everyone has their struggles...their 'good' days, and 'bad' days. Great post!

    1. Exactly! I'm not in a happy mood all the time, but I'm not solemn and depressing all the time either. It really is just something that has to be balanced.

  2. LANTANA! Oooh, I just saw some today--about an hour ago, actually--and remembered the lantana bushes in our old yard.


    I happen to like cheerful people, and my MC is usually pretty cheerful. Well, on the outside. She's not always cheerful, of course.

    Actually, I'm usually very cheerful. Everyone happens to think I'm strange (for many reasons, but that's one of them) because of it.

    Lovely post as always!

    1. Of course! I don't expect 100% cheerfulness. I just get sick of 99% sullenness, you know?

      And you are very cheerful! You bring a smile to my face. I don't think that's strange at all.

      Herbert! We had lantana in our old yard! Well, technically we have some here too. . . Just a different color so it seems different.