{DISCUSSION} Whiny A** Teens

Why do authors write whiny ass teenagers?

Oh, hey look! Another pet peeve of mine that I have just remembered because I’m reading yet another bad book! 😂 (Honestly, I think you people read my posts because I’m just super angry and mean to people all the time. But hey! It works, I guess! Hahaha!)

Before I go off on that tangent, I’d like to discuss today why exactly it is that authors seem to think that these whiny ass, completely incompetent, dumb as bricks main characters are going to be good for their story. And I don’t mean likable because I personally don’t believe a main character has to be likable (anyone who has read my stories know my characters usually aren’t.) But I do believe that the main character needs to be capable of driving the plot and NOT because they’re an idiot who makes stupid decisions or just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Those are examples of passive main characters. We want an active main character who does things.)

My biggest issue with these stupid, whiny, incompetent characters is that they do nothing for the plot. They don’t drive any forward movement. They end up running around in circles for most of the book. They never have a unique, good idea of their own and constantly rely on every other character in the book to help them do anything. Without said support characters, the main character would end up dead, in prison, lost, a puddle of sadness, (insert other pathetic option here.) These main characters are basically posing as main characters because the plot isn’t even about them nor are they directly affecting the plot.

Yet for some reason I continue to see these pathetic female protagonists (in YA, mind you) who are imbeciles. The things they do are so stupid that even bad horror movie characters wouldn’t do them, and usually whatever dumb thing this MC does is because of some selfish desire. Now, there is nothing wrong with a selfish character. But MOST people have the ability to discern stupid selfish acts with smart reasonable acts and make the appropriate choice (which also usually ends up furthering the plot in an interesting, realistic way. The stupid selfish act may further the plot, but in a really dumb, super boring, wholly unneeded way that takes literally no brain cells to think up, and doesn’t actually end up being interesting for the reader because it was soooo easy to get to.)

And I really wish I could say there were just a few books here and there that have this issue, but it’s so much of a trend that I sometimes hate myself for reading YA. (Though, to be fair, I’ve seen plenty of these whiny ass women in new adult and adult books as well. Apparently society [including women] think that women are stupid, emotionally unstable, and unable to make rational choices. This worries me, but that’s for another day.) I can list a dozen books that have done this and I have rated every single one of those books extremely low because not only is it frustrating to read from the POV of a main character who whines, cries, and makes bad choices, but it literally drags the ENTIRE book down.

But let me give some examples, shall I?

1) Main character has something that can swing the balance in the favor of a rebellion… they give it up for selfish information that helps… their own emotions. 😑

2) Main character trusts the devilishly handsome dude who is blatantly not trustworthy and then is soooo confused why the dude betrayed them. 😑

3) Main character makes ALL the wrong choices, screws up everything, and still manages to complete their quest or whatever even though literally everything they did should have gotten them killed and caused them to fail. 😡

4) Main character can’t concentrate on ANYTHING when a cute guy walks into the room/is nearby/whatever, BUT is too scared to approach said guy and express their feelings. (aka they end up being a puddle of emotional goop throughout the entire book. God. Shoot me now.)

Now I could go on and on because there a lot of stupid stereotypes regarding female teenagers out there (and some are true, but not everyone was an idiot in high school, thank you very much.) But I think you guys get the point. We all know that certain things happen in real life and are realistic, but they just do NOT work in fiction. Stupid, whiny, pathetic, emotionally overwhelmed female characters happens to be one of these things, and I really wish authors would stop writing them into books because it makes me want to smash the book against a dozen knives, shred it to pieces, throw those pieces off a roof, and then set them all on fire with a flamethrower… and roast marshmallows.

But what do you think?
Are whiny ass teens annoying to you too?
Leave your thoughts below!

And check out my discussion from last week:
DNA on Book Covers


12 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Whiny A** Teens”

  1. Despite being a teenager (or maybe precisely because I am a teenager…) I have to completely agree. The representation is sometimes so bad in certain books that I’m just… astounded, at times.
    Out of curiosity, which book/books prompted this post?
    Great post, nonetheless! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy you responded to this, Andie! I am excited to see that teenagers also agree their is inappropriate representation in books, because I worry when I see so many dumb teens in books. I know there are smart, competent teens out there. I mean, the number of teen bloggers is a perfect example of this so it baffles me that authors continue to write dumb teens.

      A few books, but in particular I was reading Quantum State (which I just reviewed today.) And another book that comes to mind is Ever the Hunted. Awful book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t heard of those two particular books, but I have come across authors writing main characters like they’re stupid or, even worse, keeping from writing particularly deep topics or thought processes, under the impression that you need to spell things out for teens and YA readers to understand… I couldn’t hate it more when that happens!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t understand it. I thought we lived in a world of strong woman role models. I didn’t read the book, but the movie “Hunger Games” sure didn’t have a whiny, stupid teen girl as a MC! Nor did the movie “Rogue One”. So why the stupid, whiny teen girl in fiction? I’d like to blame the authors for putting out such an idiotic stereotype, but somebody must be buying these books for it to be perpetuated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Trent, I am glad you don’t see it. This makes me feel a little better, but it does exist. IT was ten times more common back in the 90s. We have made huge strides over the last two decades, but it’s still a problem. And I don’t know why.

      Katniss was not whiny or stupid. She is one of the exceptions and Rogue One’s character is, to be quite frank, too old to be lumped into this category. There are always going to be books out there that have well-written characters, but too many of them have these stupid females like teenage girls are all idiots who make stupid choices.

      The only thing I can assume as the purpose for this is that the author doesn’t know how to write an actual intelligent character who will also push the plot forward. Most of these dumb characters end up doing stupid and/or selfish things that cause the plot to move forward. However, that is still a passive action. They aren’t actively trying to push the plot. So, I chock it up to just inability to write well. :/ Which is sad considering how many of these books are published (and, let’s be honest, most younger readers don’t know what good writing is. sigh)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am with you on this. I also hate that 90% of the time the MC in these books are women. Like come on now.
    I also hate that when I write a review and complain about the stupid things that the MC does, almost always someone says, “But they’re teenagers!” So what? Youth and stupidity are not synonymous so stop supporting that trope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! It’s almost always whiny women. I honestly can’t recall a single book that has a whiny male protagonist in it, which really just shows how affected women are by societal pressures. Even they think of themselves as weak and whiny. It’s just garbage! (reasons why I don’t write young protagonists and I don’t write whiny little sh- Ahem!)

      THANK YOU! That’s my point, too. Teenagers are not stupid. But even young adults are tagged with the ‘stupidity’ on many occasions. It’s like… if you’re not at LEAST 30 (and even that’s low sometimes), you’re an idiot. Which is garbage. Plenty of young people are smart and wisdom so does NOT come with age. 😡

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, I’m glad I picked a good one this week and I’m really happy to see I’m not the only one who has noticed this. 🙂 And people really need to stop making excuses. It’s just a waste of time and stops progress.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. YES. Flawed characters are fine, but come on, there’s a difference between flawed and stupid. Selfish, foolish, and flawed characters are fine with me so long as they further the plot in a viable way. If all they do is create filler, needless drama and obstacles, then NO thank you. It’s got to be realistic, and good tinder for the plot. Idiotic useless whiny characters (and somehow whiny teens in YA specifically) are a definite pet peeve of mine as well.

    😜Reading your discussion/ranting posts are always fun haha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hee hee! I always aim to entertain, Angela. 😉 Glad you enjoy my rants. 😂

      And I completely agree with you. It’s okay for teenage characters to be a little less intelligent and selfish because science states their brains haven’t fully formed the section that judges consequences. But even that can be better written most of the time. It’s just kind of sad, really, how so many books have weak plots and no forward movement (it’s even sadder that they get published, though. >.>)

      I really hope we’ll see a change in this in the future (but it’s also why I don’t like writing 15/16 year old characters anymore. I know I won’t do them justice. :p )

      Liked by 1 person

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