Happy Mother’s Day: Bad Moms in YA


Not all moms are supportive, loving, or selfless.  Some moms make you give up on your dreams to support her habit, some moms blame you for putting their husband in prison, and some moms try to kill you because you are a disappointment. The bad moms in YA on this list might make your mom look like the best mother ever. Happy Mother’s Day!

heartless marissa meyer coverHeartless by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: November 8 2016
All Catherine wants to do is to open a bakery with her friend and the last thing she wants to do is marry the King. Because of the immense pressure her mother is putting on her, Catherine feels hopeless until she meets an intriguing young jester.

flannery lisa moore coverFlannery by Lisa Moore
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release Date: May 1 2016
Flannery’s childhood friend Tyrone has returned and she falls hard for him. Flannery has a chance to reconnect during a school project but her best friend ditched her for a guy, her younger brother is out of control, and her flaky mother refuses to get a job.  With all of her issues, Flannery may never be able to share her feelings with Tyrone.

everything everything nicola yoon coverEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: August 1 2015
Maddy has a disease that keeps her literally in a bubble and her mother won’t let her live.  When a new boy moves in next door, the chance at a life is too much for Maddy to overlook even though it could mean her health.

the serpent king jeff zentner coverThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 8 2016
Dill’s father is in prison – and Dill put him there. Wracked with guilt, Dill focuses on a getting a part-time job to support his god-fearing mother. Being a part-time worker, full-time student and the town pariah leaves little time to obsess over the best friend he loves.

girl in pieces kathleen glasgow coverGirl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: August 30 2016
Charlotte is homeless and wakes up in a mental hospital where there are beds, food, and friendly faces. Unfortunately, Charlotte cannot stay and moves across the country to stay with a friend where she finds a new family and new troubles.

an ember in the ashes sabaa tahir pbk coverAn Ember in the Ashes (Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 9 2016
Laia’s family has been murdered and her brother taken, so she disguises herself as a servant to get him back.  Elias is one of the best soldier’s in the army commanded by his brutal mother but he doesn’t want this life.  When Laia and Elias’ paths cross, Elias decides to help Laia, which could mean death for both of them.

eleanor and park coverEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: February 26 2015
Eleanor decides to move back in with her mother and her stepfather, hoping it will be better this time.  As the new girl, Eleanor becomes friends with Park and together they share music, comics, and their lives.

asking for it louise o'neill coverAsking For It by Louise O’Neill
Publisher: Quercus UK
Release Date: September 3 2015
Emma likes short skirts and kissing her friend’s boyfriends. After a night of partying, Emma wakes up on the front porch of her home and illicit videos on social media. During this horrible time in Emma’s life, she needs the support of her friends and family – if she can get it.

essential maps for the lost deb caletti coverEssential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 5 2016
Madison is taking a swim when she sees a dead body.  Obsessed with the reason why the woman committed suicide, Madison befriends the deceased’s son, secretly hoping for answers to her life with her needy mother.

burn baby burn meg medina coverBurn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: March 8 2016
In the summer of 1977, NY is in the midst of civil rights and the country’s most infamous serial killer.  Nora doesn’t see much of a future with a father who abandoned his family and a brother who’s on the verge of madness.  While Nora’s mother makes excuses for her brother, Nora feels pressure to keep the family together.

Who are your least favorite mothers in YA? Sound off in the comments below!

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About Author

Dawn Abron

I’m a YA Librarian in Chicagoland and YA blogger at bangbangbookblog.com. I’m a Slytherin, a Nerdfighter, a Sherlockian, a Whovian, and a Game of Thronesian (?). Wesley is my king and tacos are my jam. If you can’t find me, I’m probably in a book.

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