You Know You Live in a YA World When…

5 Apr

by Kat Zhang


I posted this over on my personal blog a little while back, but the general consensus was that the list really should be longer. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of fun ideas, so I’m asking all of you to help me out! Read MY idea of what living in a YA fic world is like, then give me yours! 🙂


Have you ever caught yourself wondering if maybe your life isn’t real? That out there, somewhere, someone is writing your story and…OMG, it’s a YA novel? Never fear! Just ask yourself if the following statements are true. Then you, too, can know for sure if you’re living in a YA novel world!

1. You have never, in your life, done a group/partner project that didn’t end in drama of some kind.

2. When you’re stranded somewhere, your crush just happens to show up and ask you if you need a ride. Bonus points if his car is something old that he fixed up himself, or something that he got handed down from his father/older brother/uncle that he apologizes for but that you find rather vintage and cute. Super bonus points if he sticks in a CD that you just happen to LOVE and you shout, “Oh, I thought I was the only one in the world who liked ____!” and the two of you Bond.

3. The waitress checks out your crush on your first date. Bonus points if she tries to leave him her number.

4. Your worst enemy likes the same guy. Bonus points if your worst enemy used to be your best friend years and years ago, before you two hit puberty and she went off to be a cheerleader.

5. Your mood swings change the weather. You don’t remember the last time you cried when it wasn’t raining outside.

6. Your parents always seem to ignore whatever you do until it’s convenient to the plot to ground you—I mean, until you’re ABSOLUTELY needed somewhere for something VERY important. (but then, isn’t that real life, too?)

7. If your best friend’s a guy, you’re either together by the end of the book (I mean, um…the end of…um…well, you know what I mean) or he’s gay. If your best friend’s a girl, she’s prettier than you are. Bonus points if she’s smarter/more athletic/both, as well.

8. Your grandparents are awesome. And quirky. And probably less conservative than your parents.

9. And finally, you know you live in a YA novel when your life is a constant stream of ups and downs, ups and downs, but you can afford to be completely chill because hey, you know you’ve got a 99.9% chance of everything working out more or less perfectly in the end 🙂

Do YOU live in a YA novel world?

(PS, please nobody be offended by this, ‘mmkay? I’m not pointing these things out to make malicious fun, and having these things in your story does not automatically make it stereotypical or cliche. And yes, I’ve used these things in my own stories, as well! 😛 )


Now it’s your turn! What else should be on this list? 😀


Kat Zhang is a Spoken Word poet and a Creative Writing major. She is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen and her book HYBRID–about a girl with two souls–is currently on submission to publishers. You can read more about her writing process and books at her blog.


26 Responses to “You Know You Live in a YA World When…”

  1. Kat April 5, 2011 at 4:03 AM #

    This reads like a list of NaNoWriMo dares =) How about:

    10) You are a plain Jane but right before the big dance you suddenly discover the magic of make-up and cute clothes. Your “we’re-just-friends” crush sees you from the side of the room, where he’s dancing with his evil-girlfriend, and comes to dance with you. He’s about to kiss you when *BOOM* something epic happens and it ruins the moment, as well as your relationship for the rest of the book–or, you know… a while.

    Looks like my life is NOT a YA novel. Maybe the unwritten sequel… But that’s OK, I enjoy living vicariously through the novels themselves!

    • Kat Zhang April 5, 2011 at 4:06 AM #

      Ha! Yes, perfect 😀

      And my life is not YA novel worthy material, either ;P

  2. Meredith April 5, 2011 at 8:08 AM #

    This was hilarious!

    But seriously though, I’m pretty sure every group project I ever had to do in high school did in fact wind up in some sort of drama. C’est la vie.

    • Kat Zhang April 5, 2011 at 8:52 AM #

      Thanks, Meredith!

      And yeah, group projects are breeding grounds for drama 😛

  3. savannahjfoley April 5, 2011 at 11:27 AM #

    My favorite part is how you capitalized the word ‘Bond’. 🙂

  4. Stephanie Relf April 5, 2011 at 12:08 PM #

    A cute guy did give me a lift home from school once … but I wasn’t stranded … and we definitely don’t have the same taste in music. … and although he didn’t fix the car himself, it had been completely submerged in water …. does that count?

    11. I would say that if you have an older/ younger brother who’s a slob/dweeb but turns out to have really useful advice, you’re in a YA novel 😉

    • Stephanie Relf April 5, 2011 at 12:09 PM #

      Oh and the wing mirror was hanging on by a thread!

      • Kat Zhang April 5, 2011 at 4:15 PM #

        I think that counts ;P

        And ooh, that’s a great one!

    • Nil Zed April 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM #

      It wasn’t a rescue, but I fidget offered a ride home from school once by the guy I Most Secretly Hoped would (Vintage Beetle inherited from dad). Within a block we’d passed a particular church that a sophomore girl I’d barely heard of attended. His dream girl evidentl as he spent the rest of the 20 minute ride telling me every perfect thing about her. (I got to know her later and she was every bit as nice as he said. By then he was dating my Bio Lab Partner (Vintage Mustang her dad had mothballed the week she was born).

      • Kat Zhang April 5, 2011 at 4:35 PM #


        Vintage Beetles are cool cars, though! 🙂

  5. Heather April 5, 2011 at 3:58 PM #

    12) You have an incredibly important conversation with your friend in the girls’ bathroom and your sworn enemy comes out of a cubicle just as you reveal a Big Secret.

    Corny as it might sound, I think 9) makes perfect sense! Whenever I’m worried about something, I figure that since things always work out fine at the end of the books, that must eventualy happen in real life too. Literature = optimism! 🙂

    • Kat Zhang April 5, 2011 at 4:38 PM #

      That happens way too often in real life, too, haha. (or maybe I’m just especially unlucky!)

      And I’m glad you believe in #9 🙂

  6. Beth April 5, 2011 at 4:04 PM #

    You’re humiliated at or just before the big school dance. You rise above it, defeat the oppostion and still get the guy.

    • Kat Zhang April 5, 2011 at 4:39 PM #

      Because in YA, you always get the guy! Well, unless he’s the red herring love interest!!


  7. Regina April 5, 2011 at 4:31 PM #

    Such a fun and interesting post. Thanks for the smile today!

    • Kat Zhang April 5, 2011 at 4:35 PM #

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  8. Gabriela Da Silva April 6, 2011 at 12:07 AM #

    My group projects ended with my dog terrorizing everyone. She just wanted to play, dammit! It’s not her fault she was bigger than any of us…

    And Imma brag here, but… I don’t have a prettier, more intelligent friend. I *am* the prettier, more intelligent friend. I’ve been doing sports lately, too!
    Which means I’ll never be the main character. ‘S cool, friend/rival/secret enemy suits me fine >D

    • Kat Zhang April 6, 2011 at 4:46 AM #

      Hehehe, well, I can definitely see you being the prettier, smarter one 😉

      • Gabriela Da Silva April 6, 2011 at 8:19 PM #

        By the photos and the writing, I’d say it applies to every lady in this blog 🙂

  9. Susan April 6, 2011 at 2:13 AM #


    Kat, 1) you have just summarized my life to a tee. How did you know the weather changes with my moods?


    ❤ ❤

    • Kat Zhang April 6, 2011 at 4:47 AM #

      Oh noes! Does that mean that terrible storm we had the day before yesterday was because you were sad?? Or does this power not reach all the way from Germany? ;D

      Glad you liked it!! ❤ ❤

  10. Sophelia April 7, 2011 at 2:50 PM #

    LOL. Bravoooo, Kat. Oh man, I remember back when my best friend and I would lament about how utterly lame our lives were. Where’s the drama? Where’s my mysterious-hot-loner-new-kid-at-school?? Our minds were so saturated with that fluff…

    • Kat Zhang April 7, 2011 at 6:27 PM #

      Haha, yeah, lol. On the other hand, I’d always be so amused when something happened in high school that was seriously straight out of a YA novel…

  11. lostinbelieving April 9, 2011 at 11:42 AM #

    Haha this is 100% true xD

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