Today is Shit, so Here’s a Story. ‘How I Met Brooding YA Hero’

To be honest, we’ve all met him.

His eyes are the colour of the ocean, or midnight, or brilliant saffron, or blazing ruby. His skin is either chalky white, like the undead we suspect he might be, or the beautiful, ethnically ambiguous ‘heavily tanned’.

His grades are always top of the class, but we’ve never seen him study. He’d never be seen in a gym, but when you catch a glimpse of his stomach muscles, you have to sit down. He’s a punk street racer, a shy nerd, an outsider who just moved here. He’s softly spoken, but he’s angry, his eyes blaze.

He has a younger sister in our class, or a best friend we know from Biology. He owns a motorbike or sports car usually unavailable to financially-dependent seventeen-year-olds. He’s always seventeen. His parents are never around – in fact, he’s probably damaged from various childhood traumas. Not that you’d notice on a day to day level.

He had a girlfriend – also beautiful and sophisticated – but things ended when he met you. He’s got a past, and you’re getting dragged into it… but you can’t seem to back away. He’s charming, he’s brilliant, he’s in love with you.

Wait, not you.

He’s in love with the main character in the YA novel you’ve been reading. Or the YA novel you read a few years ago. Or the YA novel you haven’t picked up yet. He’s a pale imitation of Mr Darcy or Heathcliff, and he seems to have the same traits as the author’s husband or childhood crush. He’s a bundle of contradictions (or a bundle of whatever the author wants in a man, which is often the same thing). He’s the least-changing, most-perfectly-formed character in the book, and his hair usually smells wonderful.

He’s Brooding YA Hero, and he’s fucking boring.

Thankfully, there’s something out there to help you cope with this genre-wide plethora of unrealistic manliness, and it’s a Twitter page. I actually found it on Tumblr, where someone had screen-printed some highlights. Like these:

I could go on forever, but you should just have a look for yourself.

I’m telling you all this because I recently joined #BroodyBFF, the official street team for old Blazing Eyes Perfect Abs. Essentially it means I get to take the piss a bit more in challenges like this post, and I do it in the company of other readers and writers who’ve seen just enough of brooding YA heroes to know they absolutely cannot take any more.

Unless the main character looks like us, in which case we’re there.

Shit I Have Learnt in 2015

So it’s that time of year when round ups are fashionable, so I decided to make a brief list of things I learnt this year. 2015 has been full of peril, danger and mayhem, if by peril you mean work, danger you mean public transport and mayhem you mean walking your dogs. Some of what I’ve learnt might be useful, so I wrote it down.

  • The Liverpool Street line is way, way less comfortable than the Fenchurch Street line, but passing the Olympic Park on your way into work gives one a sense that anything is possible. Namely building a fucking great red tower thing, calling it art and getting away with it.
  • Ignoring the YA section when you realised you disliked Twilight was a bad move. You should always read YA. YA is better than A. There is more magic, less awful sex scenes and way more interesting story lines.
  • It is completely okay to stop doing something you used to enjoy doing. Like blogging. It is also okay to start it again and do whatever you want with it. Even if you don’t know what that is.
  • Always have an emergency funds bank account.
  • No one who passed their driving test more than five years ago understands how to signal at a roundabout. There is a special place in hell for these people.
  • It is totally okay to reuse bubble bags.
  • That guy in that TV show is way better looking in the TV show than he was in that movie.
  • People who earn money from their blog and social media presence have either done a deal with the devil or have reserves of strength in their soul that I can only imagine. PR-friendly bloggers, you have my unwavering respect and my constant, begrudging, irritation. Usually my irritation. Keep it up you jammy fuckers.
  • Screenplays do not contain magic dust that turned a Word document into a script. You can get a computer to do that.
  • Also, screenplays still look like they did in 1920 because the font size and typeface (Courier, 12) equal a page per minute.
  • Never leave a job while your internship(s) is unpaid. Find a way to do both.
  • Your 2 ft dog can take up more room on your bed than you can. Also, he snores more than you.
  • When you think racist people can’t get any more racist, you should show them footage of Syrian refugees.
  • Louis from One Direction is not the guy in One Direction I thought he was. He is the other guy, who I ignored until I noticed I quite liked his face. I checked and I am still unsure about their music.
  • Mitt Romney was not the worst Republican candidate to ever run for president.
  • Never go to Westfield shopping centre on Black Friday.

I may add to this. What have you lot learnt?