5 Things We Love To Say In YA

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I read a lot of books, but I read a WHOLE lot of young adult books, and I’ve noticed a few repeats here and there.

Here’s the thing… there are a lot of words in books, and there are a lot of different emotions, actions, looks, and such. So, I am cool with the repeats. Heck- I’ve kind of embraced some of the repeats and even tried to make them my own from time to time.*

  • Blushing- Man oh man do those teenagers blush. Their cheeks flush, their faces burn, the blood rushes. We’re all about a good blush. I don’t know about you–but when I was a teenager, I was like the queen of the blush around the cute boys, so I am in for this one.
  • Trembling Hands- Oh those crazy hands. They tremble, they shake, they sweat. Our hands do all sortsa stuff in YA, it’s like the hands are our key to the kiss scene emotions the main character is feeling.
  • Washboard Abs- All the boys have a great six pack. I don’t know what they do to get that way, but damn boys of YA Land have a seriously amazing workout regimen.
  • Eye Rolling- She rolled her eyes, Her eyes went to the heavens, Moms tell them not to roll their eyes. If ever there was an overused facial expression its this one. But, I have to admit that pretty much every time I’m in the presence of a teen, there’s some eye rolling going on.
  • Butterflies- What is up with those fluttering tummies? I think they make an ointment for that, or um– maybe a bug spray?
*Notice how I said repeat several times in a row. That was me embracing them. 🙂

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  1. I’m guilty of blushing and eye-rolling, but I try to use it wisely. Unfortunately some things are a cliche because they’re true. I remember being embarrassed by *everything* as a teen. And eye rolling? Yeah.

    However, I don’t think I’ve mentioned washboard abs, though I have mentioned thighs more than once. Justin is a runner. Mmmmm.

  2. I’m a HUGE offender of the blushing-type. But I never use the eye rolling (as directed by my criting group, thank you Jamie). However, now that you mention it, I do have some hand shaking and shivering going-on…maybe I should look into that…
    .-= Chantal Kirkland´s last blog ..5 Reasons I Hate Spring Break =-.

  3. I think I’m guilty of all but the trembling hands. Although, sometimes my characters get sweaty hands. But, my adult characters are guilty of eye rolling, too. Maybe because I do it all the time myself! Ha, I so never grew up.

    – Liz
    .-= Liz Czukas´s last blog ..Interview with Steve Novak =-.

  4. My boys don’t have washboard abs…they’re skinny geek hot. *lol* And my girls never giggle. They gag, they glare, they purse their lips, but they will be caught dead before a giggle escapes their mouths. And their bellies? Hot lava or painful turning, sometimes flipping and flopping, but no bugs.

    I am, unfortunately, an eye-roller and sometimes blusher. But never, ever, ever a hand trembler.

  5. Ah the blushing and the eye rolling, yep I’m guilty of that. But hey, it’s what teens do!

  6. Great list!! I’m okay with the blushing because people blush all the time…especially teens who are at the height of their awkward, embarrassment ridden phase of life.

    I’ll honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever used ‘washboard abs’, ‘butterflies in the tummy’ (although I’ve probably used another phrase to convey the same feeling) or the trembling hands (except in conjection with things like defusing a bomb…in which case I think it’s justified). 🙂 However, the one time I had the hubs read some of my work the first thing he said was “this is good” followed by “she rolls her eyes an awful lot, did you know that?”

    Uh, no, hadn’t noticed. When I went back through the pages I realized that my MC rolled her eyes enough that she probably should have been going to the doc to have it check out. *hides*
    .-= Rhonda´s last blog ..Merrie Monday! =-.

      1. @@jmartinlibrary, HAHA I think we KNOW how I feel about them 🙂

  7. I don’t write YA, but I cop to the blushing anyway. Got rid of most of my eye-rolling, though, and have not one washboard (though plenty of abs). Can’t think of any trembling hands, but there may be a butterfly or two I haven’t yet exterminated. 😉
    .-= Linda G.´s last blog ..Me & St. Pat, we got a thing going on… =-.

  8. I don’t know how you would talk about teens without mentioning the eye-rolling. As an adult, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a teen for more than 30 seconds without getting an eye roll.

    I do think “butterflies in the tummy” is overused. There must be more creative ways to describe teenage nerves.

    Enjoyed the post!

    1. @Cathy Bible, HAHA That is so true. Heck, when I’m with a teen–even my eyes are rolling. It’s all wobbly up in there!

  9. I go with blushing because that’s, I don’t know, not cliche to me. People DO blush all the time, and it’s not perpetually used as a stand-in for every feeling of embarrassment ever written.

    Hands don’t really tremble all the time, boys don’t all have washboard abs, and butterflies don’t really flutter in tummies, making it a silly cliche to boot.

    The jury’s out on eye rolling because it IS done a lot by teens, but it’s overused as a conveyor of irritation in YA fiction.

    I really have no concrete reason for accepting blushing but not eye-rolling. That’s why it’s an opinion!! 😀
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..INTERVIEW: Lisa Mantchev, EYES LIKE STARS =-.

    1. @Jess, I agree… my characters blush because PEOPLE blush ALL the time…

      but yeah, we overuse eye rolling–but then again, SO do teenagers!

  10. If I ever do get around to writing a novel, I’ll be sure to leave these out.
    Great post 🙂

    1. @Marissa, hehe and now when you read, they’ll be all up in your kool-aid

      1. @Jamie, Reading will never be the same for me, haha

  11. I’ll confess to not butterflies, but breakdancing giraffes in one of my MC’s stomachs.

    But yeah, serious blush offender right here. *hand raise*

    1. @Ellise, ohhh I like breakdancing Giraffes. That might hurt a bit, though…

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