Dear John (Green),
You wrote an entire essay online about how groundbreaking it is
for a teenage girl
to kiss a teenage boy in a tragic movie about being white and pretty and dying.

Meanwhile, the only times I see girls like me
getting kissed on screen is when they’re being felt up by some old man in a tragic movie about being
colored and poor and abused.

Brown teenage girls do not get love stories like the movies,
even though we are taught straight from the womb that
we are no more than curves and wild fight that still shines in our eyes after the white boy kisses us in secret,
after the white boy does not want to be seen with us in front of his friends.
Because we’ll always bring drama and bitterness,
with our loud voices
and attitude,
until we are finally broken
on the night something is slipped into our drinks,
or we’re evicted from our house,
or we lose the basketball game,
or a family member climbs on top of us,
and wraps the silver screen around our bodies like butcher’s paper
for the meat
that we have been portrayed as
since birth.

No, we do not get Shakespeare quoted to us,
instead we become the bitter narrative,
the comfort to the suburban parent,
thank goodness their little girl is the one with the “nice young man,”
and not the one getting her teeth knocked out by the “thug”,
and why does Hollywood only
find colored girls palatable when they are hardened by the world,
to the point where we see them as grown women?

You want groundbreaking story telling?
Write about a girl with brown skin
who is so filled with joy,
each one of her breaths is like tasting cinnamon,
and she lightens even the darkest moments.
Write about a hijabi girl,
who is so empowered,
that she can convince a generation of young women of every shade
that we don’t need to kiss a boy first
to feel in charge of ourselves.
Write about a Latina girl,
who is so in love with life that she tiptoes on the heads of her problems.

Portray colored girls as soft,
as naive,
as quickly,
as teenage girls in love,
because we deserve a narrative as sweet
as diverse
and as powerful
as we are.

—  Dear John Green, or, How Hollywood Told My Me I Would Never Find Love Like the Movies
The Signs as YA Tropes
  • Aries:Has the exact power for this exact moment to save the plot
  • Taurus:The innocent who deserves to live forever (but fate won’t allow it)
  • Gemini:Grayest of the grays since they themselves don’t quite know what side they’re on
  • Cancer:The grouch who somehow finds love interests to fawn over them
  • Leo:The chosen one who likes to point out the burden on their shoulders
  • Virgo:Thousand-year-old faerie who still looks hot and seventeen
  • Libra:Elusive, grey-bearded wise magic man who disappears at crucial plot points
  • Scorpio:Secondary, but cuter and cooler, love interest who probably ends up with someone better post-series anyway
  • Sagittarius:Accidental leader of the revolution against the dystopian totalitarian world
  • Capricorn:Super genius who thinks pointing out flaws is cute
  • Aquarius:Secret royal who, despite having no normal human contact for years, is a perfect ruler
  • Pisces:Brown haired, brown eyed, journal-writer who hides behind their hair
  • me:*approaches mom with handful of books* i need this.
  • mom:you bought 6 other books the other day
  • me:... i need this.
Diverse YA reads for each sign:

Aquarius: MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera
Pisces: OTHERBOUND by Corinne Duyvis
Aries: ORLEANS by Sherri Smith
Taurus: SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli
Gemini: WRITTEN IN THE STARS by Aisha Saeed
Cancer: LIES WE TELL OURSELVES by Robin Talley
Leo: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
Virgo: ABOUT A GIRL by Sarah McCarry
Libra: UNDER THE LIGHTS by Dahlia Adler
Scorpio: NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED by Hannah Moskowitz
Sagittarius: UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee
Capricorn: SERPENTINE by Cindy Pon

All the above are recently published, brand new and shiny! More diverse: black YA leads! Hispanic / Latina / Latino YA leads! East / Southeast Asian YA leads! Queer YA leads! Genderqueer and transgender YA leads! And many moooooore~