A Major Bookish Pet Peeve


Ok, so this might be more of rant because I’ve discovered one of my bookish pet peeves and it has to do with high school parties.  Now, I have absolutely no problem with drinking, drugs and sex in YA books.  Teens drink, do drugs and have sex in high school, so sometimes it is important to portray it in YA. I also have no opinions about them actually doing those things.  I just felt like I should say that before I start.

Recently I was reading a NA book where the characters go to a frat party and they slow dance. As soon as I read that I got, admittedly, irrationally angry because, no. Sorry. I didn’t go to that many frat parties in college (because there are only so many nights you can stand around on the quad waiting for a ride just to drink in a dirty basement) but I can tell you for a fact, that at none of these parties were there any people slow dancing. A slow song totally brings down the mood of a party, everyone knows that.

But then it got me thinking to how the majority of high school parties I read about in YA are just so out of control with how they are portrayed. There are always hundreds of people, someone’s mother’s expensive vase always seems to break and a lot of times, the cops show up. And for some reason, there always seem to be people dancing. The dancing part is actually what annoys me the most.

Now I’m not saying there aren’t wild high school parties that are thrown at the richest kid in school’s mansion where the entire school shows up, but come on. For the most part, they are usually just a core group of friends getting drunk in someone’s basement or garage. We would play beer pong, card/dice games, or sit around a table and talk.   If there was music playing, it was never loud enough that you couldn’t have a conversation. And the only dancing I can ever remember is the group of girls choreographing a dance to Vanessa Carlton’s “White Houses”. No one was grinding in dark corners or slow dancing to a love song.  Basically, it wasn’t a middle school dance.

Of course, I’m basing this off my own high school experience, but still. The majority of “parties” I went to in high school, there were at max, 50 people, but most of the time it was just a core group of friends. Very rarely did anyone who wasn’t invited show up, no one’s house ever got trashed, and the cops were never called. And we still had a lot of fun.

I’m sure there were high school parties like this, but I’m just so sick of every single party I read about being portrayed this way. I’d love to read one book with a more realistic version of a house party. Just one.

Does this annoy anyone else? Am I alone here?




10 thoughts on “A Major Bookish Pet Peeve

  1. Back in HS I didn’t ever go to parties (I was homeschooled), and honestly I never drank/did drugs/had sex (my hubby and I dated/were engaged for 5 years and we were both the big V. until our wedding day-see above ie homeschooled lol!). I also never did anything remotely wild in college and had my first beer when I was 35, I kid you not. Soooo, yeah these kinds of scenes in YA books are another reason why I’m just so over YA. Cannot relate. At.All. 🙂

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t party in high school ever, but I don’t think the dancing part in house parties are very common either. Maybe in clubs, but not in homes and not for high school aged teenagers. Great post! 😁


  3. This cracked me up! This is definitely annoying to read about. Stereotyping within books is just a major no-no for me. All of the parties I have went to have been super-low key and not really any ragers. But there was definitely NO slow dancing. Lmao


  4. All this time, I honestly thought that parties are always like book in America xD The ‘party’ here in my country is very different. It’s more like a formal party where the girls wear a dress and the boys wear a tux, and it’s either at a restaurant or a ballroom (kinda like wedding party). There isn’t any that kind of party where we invited bunch of people to our house. That’s why, I didn’t know that parties are actually not that wild, though I have my suspicion 😀


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  7. Ha! That’s pretty funny. It’s been a LOOONG time since I was attending high school parties. There were a few times when we’d play a favorite tape (ahem–long time ago, like I said) and everyone would dance like crazy for a few songs, but that was about it. No slow dancing, for sure, and no “dance area” or whatever. And we’re talking like 6-12 people. I did once attend a party at an older co-worker’s house that included dozens of strangers, the trash can full of jungle juice, and cops stopping by to ask us to keep the noise down, but that was about it.

    There’s a lot of ways high school life is portrayed in books that is highly unrealistic, and TV and movies are even worse!


  8. Ha! I always thought this was just me – that I just wasn’t in the crowd that had these sorts of parties. Mostly the parties I went to were a bunch of friends who got together and hung out. Sometimes there was alcohol involved but not a lot and I didn’t really partake, which was just fine with my friends. My brother threw parties sometimes when I was a kid (he was six years older than me) and those were maybe a little wilder than mine – he was definitely into some things I was not – but even those were VERY tame compared to the type you see in lots of YA books. And the only time I can ever remember anything ever getting broken is when I kicked him and we broke a coffee table – we became fast friends at that point and joined forces to fix it! 🙂


  9. I went to some crazy parties in college–nearly every day–but not during high school. The ones at people’s houses were never that big or wild. However, we used to have bonfire parties on the beach that were huge. Those got pretty crazy, mainly because they were far enough from nosy neighbors to not risk having the cops called on us.


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