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27 Things Writers Get Wrong About Teenagers In Books, According To Teens

"YA novels always seem to show two people having an extravagant love story at the age of 16."

We asked the teens of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what authors usually get wrong when writing teen protagonists in books. Here are some of the most popular replies:

1. Not everything revolves around being in a relationship or wanting to be in a relationship in high school.

2. Not every teen is having sex ALL the time.

3. A lot of teens are queer, or they're going through a phase of figuring out their sexual identity.

4. Witty banter between crushes isn't a super relatable high school experience.

5. Teenage stereotypes of cliques are usually wrong. Teens aren't defined by specific "groups."

6. Being in high school is super time-consuming! Intense homework loads and after-school activities are hardly ever recognized in books about teens.

7. Uniforms aren't as cute in real life as they are in books.

8. When it comes to getting ready for school, a LOT of teens love "lazy fashion" aka sweatpants.

9. And I hate to break it to you, but there's not a ton of enormous high school house parties.

10. Parents in books don't seem realistic because they're either not mentioned or don't EVER enforce rules.

11. Most teens don't have bad/distant relationships with their parents. In fact, they need their parents.

12. Teens really do care about involving themselves in important issues, like climate change and politics.

13. The college application process is never accurately portrayed in books.


15. There's a certain level of privilege seen in characters who just go off on these grand adventures in books.

16. Teens definitely aren't made of money.

17. Authors will make teens seem MUCH older than they really are by the way they talk.

18. Books just don't nail the teenage lingo.

19. And not EVERY teen is a mega-smart hacker.

20. Bullying is often exaggerated in books when in reality it happens in a subtle way (if at all).

21. And a dark sense of humor is common among teens!

22. Most teachers aren't terrible, awful people who are out to sabotage students.

23. International school trips, in reality, are rare.

24. Peer pressure isn't as cliché as it appears in books.

25. And PSA: Teens get zits.

26. They also have — gasp! — periods!

27. Finally, not everyone is searching for the meaning of life in high school.

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Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.