Top 10 Tuesday #4 (April 28): Top 10 Books Which Feature Characters Who Have Parental Issues

Yay! Another Top 10 Tuesday (a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)! πŸ™‚ This week’s theme isΒ Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____. I have decided to fill the blank in with “Parental Issues”. I was mostly inspired with this idea since parental issues (dead parents, abandoning parent, abandoned parent, distracted parent, etc.) are over-used in so many popular YA books, I just wanted to point them out. Β Let’s get started. πŸ™‚

Note: All ‘series/trilogy’ link to the series’ Goodreads page. If I have a review for any of the books in the series, the first book’s review will be linked on the name of the series. Otherwise, the series name will be linked to the Goodreads page of the 1st book in the series.

Note 2: There are a few books listed here that include SPOILERS. You have been warned. (I believe the books guilty of charge would be Divergent, Legend and the Mortal Instruments.)

In no particular order:

1. Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan:

Percy’s lives with his mother, Sally Jackson, and hadn’t known his father existed (and was a Greek god!) until further in the first book. His parent problem would be an AWOL parent case I suppose.

Percy Jackson series
Percy Jackson series

2. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead:

There are several characters who have parent problems, however I’ll go with Rose’s ones. Rose’s father is dead, and she has a strained relationship with her mother (at least at the start). The dead parent, as well as the abandoning parent (since Rose’s mother has been absent in most of Rose’s life) is the case for this issue.

Vampire Academy series
Vampire Academy series

3. Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins:

Katniss’s father is dead, and her relationship with her mother is a bit strained due to the fact her mother became depressed and zoned out when Katniss’s father died (leaving Katniss and Prim to fend for themselves). This strained relationship does get better, however.

Hunger Games Trilogy
Hunger Games Trilogy

4.Β Hush Hush saga by Becca Fitzpatrick:

Nora’s father is dead, and Nora’s mother works over-time and is often AWOL, leaving Nora lots of free time. This particular type of parent is quite popular in YA I’ve noticed, along with the dead parent.

Hush Hush saga
Hush Hush Saga

5. Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth:

(SPOILER) Tris’s parents died in the first book. Tris loved them of course, so there wasn’t any bad blood, this was simply dead parents issue.

Divergent trilogy
Divergent trilogy

6. Legend trilogy by Marie Lu:

June’s parents died when she was really young. (SPOILER) Day’s father was killed before the events in Legend and his mother is also killed in the first book.

Legend Trilogy
Legend Trilogy

7. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling:

Harry Potter’s parents were murdered by Voldemort as you all [should] know, and he goes to live with the Dursleys, who hate him. The popular dead parent stereotype is used here.

HP series
HP series

8. Tiger‘s series by Colleen Houck:

Kelsey’s parents are dead, and she lives with foster parents who aren’t much involved in Kelsey’s life. Of course, Kelsey is 18 throughout basically the whole series, but still. Even before that, it didn’t seem like they made that much of an impact on Kelsey’s life.

Tiger's Curse series
Tiger’s Curse series

9. The Dark Elements trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout & the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

I’m kind of cheating here by putting two series but oh well. Layla has been living with the Wardens her whole life since her mother and father abandoned her. She believed her father was dead but later finds out he was alive and wanted her dead. Her mother’s been MIA.

In the Lux series, Katy’s father died of cancer before the events of the first book, and her mother is kind of the abandoned and distracted parent (which basically lets Katy do whatever she wants).

10. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare & The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare:

I’mΒ cheating again, but too bad. πŸ™‚ Tessa Grey’s mother and father (at least the man she thought was her father) are dead. Don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll leave it at that.

Clary Fray has a mother, and the man she thought was her father is also dead. She only found out about her real father later on in the first book I believe. (SPOILER) Her actual father also dies in the third book.

Honorable mentions:

Cath and Wren have been living with their father most of their life since their mother left them when they were 8 years old and hasn’t been present as a mother figure in their lives.

Fangirl bookcover
Fangirl bookcover

Bella Swan goes to live with her father, who hadn’t remarried since he and Bella’s mom divorced. With Twilight it’s not a case of a dead parent or a parent MIA/AWOL, it’s more of the divorced parent case as well as the distraced parent/parent-who-isn’t-an-active-part-in-child’s-life case.

Twilight saga
Twilight Saga


This series (trilogy, more accurately) is a different parent-problem case, since they’re not dead nor divorced, simply estranged from their daughter (Della Tsang). Della is a vampire, and since her parents don’t know that they think she’s become a bad child and distances themselves from her.

So that’s it for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday! This one was more of an open-ended question and I’d love to know what you did for yours! Link your post below or comment! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Tuesday! For more Tuesday fun, check out my Teaser Tuesday.



22 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday #4 (April 28): Top 10 Books Which Feature Characters Who Have Parental Issues

  1. I’ve noticed the missing parents trend in YA and it bugs me. When I write I try to have at least some parent interaction. Kids who read YA probably aren’t *that* distant from their parents, and I feel like family is something so important to everyone that it shouldn’t suddenly vanish when a young reader graduates to YA. It gives a kind of mixed message…parents are around for a reason!

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I’m glad you agree. It’s a common trend in YA to have divorced parents, dead parents, absent parents, etc. I have yet to meet a case as such in real life! I know issues like this exist but they are not that common as YA novels make it seem. And thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. ❀️


      • No worries! After reading it I scrolled down and saw a few more spoiler warnings so stopped, nope I haven’t read it. And yes I know, people over here want to strangle me for not being able to read mainstream books but I’ve promised to read them all during summer. It’s also one of my 2015 book challenges, to read 2 mainstream books which annoy me. Don’t worry about it! πŸ’™

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yay!!! I usually don’t do spoilers since I know how annoying they can be, but I made an exception for this time. I probably should’ve put a spoiler warning at the very start, going to do that right now. πŸ˜‰ I’m extremely glad I didn’t ruin the books for you, but I definitely recommend that you read them! ❀ I think you'll enjoy them. πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

        • As I said, don’t worry about it! Obviously it wasn’t your intention. Thank you so much for the recommendation, I’ll make sure to give it a go sometime during summer vacation. Feel free to recommend more mainstream books which you think are worth the hype! πŸ’™

          Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve got opposite topics! It’s so overdone, I agree. All great books though πŸ™‚ I know how complicated the Mortal Instruments family is already, and I’m only up to book 4, so thanks for warning me about the spoilers! πŸ™‚
    Thanks for visiting Addlepates and Book Nerds! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep! πŸ˜€ The parents thing is definitely overdone, however for good books like the ones listed here, it can be overlooked. πŸ˜‰ Oh yes, it’s quite confusing, the family tree! I believe my spoiler is from the third book, but better safe than sorry! I hope you enjoy the rest of the series, I know I did. πŸ™‚
      And no problem, your blog rocks! ❀ Thanks in return for visiting Book Snacks!

      Liked by 1 person

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