Young Adult Antagonists


Before you read this post, I just want to make it clear I do like young adult books. However, I’m finding a lot of young adult stories lacking these days. So without further ado, today’s topic is…Young Adult Antagonists!

Recently I finished reading Winter by Marissa Meyer. Surprisingly, I didn’t enjoy this book for the following reasons:

  1. The main antagonist wasn’t threatening or scarier (today’s topic). I found her whiny more than anything else
  2. The character development for Winter was lacking
  3. The book dragged on (90+ chapters)

Another young adult book I read this year also had a, hmm, weak antagonist. To confirm my feelings about this, I went to Goodreads and saw other readers felt the same way I did. They felt the antagonist was similar to Joffrey Lannister (*cough* I mean Baratheon). The antagonist was whiny like Joffrey but didn’t have the same killer instincts. Thank goodness Joffrey wasn’t the only antagonist in Game of Thrones, or the books wouldn’t have been very interesting.

I don’t know what it is, maybe I should take a break from young adult books, but I’m finding the antagonists boring and dull. They are supposed to be big and bad, and yet, all they ever do is idle threats. And when they do act, it’s something little, like locking up the protagonist’s friends or “hurting” their family member. I put hurt in quotes because it’s barely anything – more like a slap on the wrist.

As I said before, I do like young adult books. Finding a YA novel with a balanced protagonist, good story development and a scary antagonist is a rare find. Well, there is one young adult novel where the antagonists scared me. In The Maze Runner, those scientists freak me out. Anyone who can lock you up in a maze and fake their own deaths is scary.

What do you think about YA antagonists? Do you find them lacking?

As always, thanks for reading!


6 thoughts on “Young Adult Antagonists

  1. There is literally nothing worse than a whiny antagonist or even main character. When an author does that… They’ve lost me.
    I personally love my antagonists on the same level as my main characters (in fact some antagonists are the main character :P) But they can’t be prissy and weak, ain’t nobody going to fear them.
    But at the same time the whole “I wanna take over the world” thing is getting a little old too.
    Anyway, I do love my mysterious, sinister antagonists >.<

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I agree with you so much. A whiny antagonist is annoying, and a whiny main character is worse because we’re stuck with them through the entire story.

      I know this sounds horrible, but I like Leona (antagonist from Clash of Tides) as much as I like Elena. That’s good you like your characters. I feel like if we didn’t like our characters, we would have a hard time writing them. Lol I love your words, “They can’t be prissy and weak, ain’t nobody going to fear them.” I’m glad I’m not the only writer who has notice that.

      Yes, the take over the world thing is getting old, so old. Ohh, mysterious, sinister antagonists are nice. I’m always attracted to hot guys who are those dark antagonists, it’s bad. I seriously blame anime for that one.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Haha yes, anime guys *looks off dreamily* But the anime artists are just sooo good at their jobs, we are just supporting their work. rofl
    Don’t worry in one of my books I almost kinda want my antagonist to succeed. He’s just so handsome, and likeable (or most people think he is)…but he is evil… So yeah…

    Liked by 1 person

    • *looks off dreamily with you* yes, yes they are, too good =) lol I understand your pain. Assan comes off like an antagonist, but I can’t help think, ‘Noooo, you don’t know his background yet, you have to feel sorry for him and then you’ll love him.’ Ah, #writerproblems

      Liked by 2 people

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