Ah yes, 7th grade, the beginning of my decline into toxic relationships and misguided beliefs, at least in literature. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the ever-addicting app called Wattpad. After years of reading young adult novels, my best friend introduced me to the platform – a never ending abyss of anything you can imagine. I mean, this app has anything you could imagine written. From mafia boyfriends to y//n x loki one shots, you can find whatever your heart desires.
I started reading simple stories like werewolf stories where the alpha is looking for his soulmate or where One Direction kidnaps the main character and Harry falls in love with her. Nothing seemed bad about reading these stories. Each phase I went through, my Wattpad tailored to it. From my crush on Loki (because like, it is Loki) to a crush on Draco Malfoy there are unlimited options to read, but writing this I am realizing I have an unhealthy pull towards guys with dad issues. I could even say that maybe Kylo Ren did not fall into this category, but he actually killed his dad because of his issues so that is not gonna work. Anywho, I loved being able to go from story to story and not having to pay for them, but there were some drawbacks.
Firstly, there were a ton of pieces that were in desperate need of editing, but anyone could be a writer. I’ve read works written by 13 year old die-hard One Direction fans to 50 year old established authors writing side pieces for fun. However because of that, there is a large range of grammar mistakes that you can come across so some pieces are harder to read than others. But if you can look past a couple their, there, and they’re mistakes, then you’ll be fine.
Second, and most alarmingly, were the really toxic and dangerous scenarios within the different works. Depending on what you want to read, any mafia work could involve death, kidnapping, and much more. In fact, a lot of the works on the site hold a ton of damsel in distress scenarios and stereotypes. Some works even have the protagonists facing issues of self-harm and eating disorders, which seem a little taboo. However, some readers might relate a bit more to the protagonist and enjoy reading someone like them getting a happy ending.
Third, some are even movies now based off of Wattpad stories, which Netflix then later adapted. Some examples of this are The Kissing Booth, After, and To All The Boys I Loved Before. Every single cheesy romance plot you can think of all tied up by a pretty boy used to be stories on Wattpad. In fact, I read After when it was still about Harry Styles from One Direction if that isn’t embarrassing. If they aren’t being turned into movies, many stories are now being professionally published after gaining traction on the app. I find it really cool the fact that people are going from freelance to signed authors.
Talk to anyone who went through puberty and had unhealthy obsessions with different fandoms as a teen, and they will know exactly what Wattpad is and their different war stories. Especially during this pandemic, a lot of people have reverted back to Wattpad to find a sweet escape into different worlds. No matter what you want to read, you’ll find something on Wattpad that fits exactly what you want. (Which could be a good thing or a bad thing…)