Happy Fathers’ Day Special – Four of the worst fathers in YA

17 June, 2012 Musing Musers 27 comments

Happy Fathers’ Day to all you beautiful Americans.  Of course, as far as I’m concerned, you lunatics are clearly three months shy of the real fathers day that happens in September… in Australia.  But nonetheless, we here are Cuddlebuggery LOVE fathers.  I love my father.  I assume Steph at least had a father.  That or she was hatched from an egg or grown from a petri dish.  Whatever, the point is, Dads are indisputably great and we want to honour them today in the traditional style of gory, violent, blood baths in which fathers are pitched against each other in merciless fights to the death – the winner ultimately achieving the highest honour known to man:

At least, that’s how we always assumed people got those things.

But apparently there are laws about bloodsports and we were going to go to international waters and do a thing, but my passport was out of date and Steph didn’t feel like it the Thursday that we could have gone so we decided, instead, to bring you four terrible YA fathers who will NOT be getting World’s Greatest Dad mug. Also, there may be some spoilers.  BLOOD SPORT SPOILERS*!

4. Charlie Swan – Twilight

Now, it’s not that Charlie Swan actually means ill or tries to be negligent or anything, but he has one basic job.  Get Bella to college without a) her dying, b) her suffering extraordinary psychological harm and c) getting pregnant.

Well, he failed spectacularly at that, didn’t he?  He plainly saw his daughter’s irrational, unhealthy attachment to a creeper, controlling boyfriend who was putting her in dangerous situations, getting her dangerously injured and emotionally crippling her.  Then she goes and gets married, dies and has a baby before college (for those who haven’t read the books – yes, in that order.)

It’s not that he didn’t see the danger.  He grounded her and hated Edward Cullen with a passion.  Then, for some INSANE reason, he just relents and lets her get back into what is CLEARLY a very unhealthy relationship as opposed to getting her counseling, sending her back to her mother, slapping her or fifty thousand other better ideas than letting her date her psychotic boyfriend.

Besides that fact, he’s a father and he’s supposed to be taking care of her – yet Bella acts more like a wife than a daughter – doing most of the household cleaning chores, the shopping and the cooking.  It’s really, really creepy and probably unhealthy.  But, hey, mustache, amirite?

3. Michael – Unearthly Trilogy

We know work is important and there are certain rules about being a super famous angel.  Yet Michael is a high achiever in negligent parenting and bad work/life balance.  He leaves his wife to do all the hard work raising his two children and then unceremoniously shows up just as the only parent they’ve ever known is dying.

He missed all the important stuff, his kids don’t even know him and he proceeds to be all mysterious and vague and angel-like.   Like, he couldn’t have come six months earlier to get to know his kids and spend some quality time with them in order to properly support them through one of the most traumatic times they’ll ever have?   Now they’re left with a stranger and intense danger and  Michael seems to be one of those hands-off workaholic dads – which sucks for Clara since the demons are after her and the daughter of an arc angel is especially desirable.

You’d think he could take time out of his busy schedule of looking incredibly effeminate and having women’s hips (see image to the left) to drop a line to his daughter and let her know about his existence?  Pop in to see her in a play or a recital?  Nope.  Apparently not.

Way to go, arcdouche, Michael!  We hope that promotion to ultra divine being was worth it.

2. Valentine – Mortal Instruments saga

You know, being a sadistic, evil mastermind shouldn’t necessarily relegate you to being a bad father.  Many fathers throughout history have embraced both mass-murdering, fiendish villainy and positive parenting at the same time.  There’s no reason you can’t bring your daughter to work to teach her the right way to dispatch your enemies!

“If I have children and subsequently grandchildren, I will keep my three-year-old granddaughter near me at all times. When the hero enters to kill me, I will ask him to first explain to her why it is necessary to kill her beloved grandpa. When the hero launches into an explanation of morality way over her head, that will be her cue to pull the lever and send him into the pit of crocodiles. After all, small children like crocodiles almost as much as Evil Overlords and it’s important to spend quality time with the grandkids.” –The Evil Overlord list

But Valentine doesn’t do this and seems to relish fucking with Clary and Jace’s head and just fucking around in general.  For shame, Valentine.  Did you even bother paying child support?  Of course not, you evil bastard.  Pathetic.

1. Edward Cullen – Twilight

I suppose people will be wondering how Edward manages to rate higher than an evil villain on a list of horrible fathers.  The thing is, at least Valentine is quite obviously evil and if you’re going to go the route of renowned psychopath who doesn’t even do the obligatory Sunday custody trips to the park, then at least your kid has some satisfaction.  They can recognize that you were busy building a fascist cult to take over the world and that daddy probably didn’t want his prince/princess implicated in case it didn’t work out.  But the problem with Edward is that he’s very likely insane and grossly unstable but doesn’t particularly recognize it.  Add to that, the fact that he is, a pretty shit father but nobody in Renesmee’s world will recognize that or validate her pain.  It’ll take her years of psychological trauma to understand how fucked up her family life is.

The only reason he didn’t literally try to murder Renesmee in the womb was because other people were stopping him.  He tried everything – including begging a werewolf to bang and knock up his wife to avoid having his daughter.  Then when his daughter is born he spends three days far too busy watching Bella do sweet fuck all to spend quality time and bond with his newborn.

Then, of course, when a man declares his love for Edward’s newborn daughter, the solution is to let him hang around and babysit.  And you can tell Edward is kind of relieved that Jacob is stalking his daughter since it means he’s no longer vying for Bella’s attention.  Does he not give a shit at all?  Of course not.  Renesmee is practically raised by the extended family while he goes cavorting around the woods with Bella for long periods of time.

But the final charge, and we can’t stress this enough:

He allowed Bella to name his daughter Renesmee Carlie Cullen.



Happy father’s day everyone!  Love you, Dad!


*not really bloodsport spoilers.

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

27 Responses to “Happy Fathers’ Day Special – Four of the worst fathers in YA”

  1. Nicola

    It’s actually Father’s Day here in Ireland too!

    Edward is definitely the worst. Especially with that creepy Jacob thing. It makes me shiver just thinking about it! And I’m cracking up at that picture of them as ”parents”. Oh wow. I also think that’s the only facial expression Kristen has.
    Nicola recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #8My Profile

  2. Judith Oyama

    This list is my heart, and yes, Edward is evil, he deserves the number one position. I remember opening this email and going, “Charlie Swan makes this list, right?” because he has to; the guy needed to hand over his dad card SOOO many times! This just makes me appreciate my father even more.
    Judith Oyama recently posted…Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsMy Profile

  3. Kara @ Great Imaginations

    Only one I haven’t read is Unearthly. I’ll get on that soon, but I definitely agree with your other choices. I’m laughing that you placed Edward Cullen ahead of Valentine, but I see your points. It’s less dangerous to have someone completely crazy–and therefore you can avoid–than to have a father who is mentally unstable but he and no one else recognizes it. Well done, Kat!
    Kara @ Great Imaginations recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #5My Profile

  4. Molly

    I agree wholeheartedly with this list, though I haven’t read the sequel to Unearthly yet so you did spoil it for me some….though that’s okay. Charlie Swan though, I think, is probably by far the worst offender a lot of the stuff that happened in those books could’ve been avoided if he would’ve just put his foot down a little bit. It’s weird, I actually did my own list about parenting in YA recently, it’s been an issue that’s been bothering me a lot lately when reading. I think when you get down to it, the parents-especially in paranormal YAs-are essentially props which is a shame because I think with some proper character development the parents could really enhance the story.
    Molly recently posted…Super YA Nanny: Bad Parents in YAMy Profile

  5. Alexia561

    Excellent list! But who told you about the mer­ci­less fights to the death in order to be crowned World’s Greatest Dad? That’s supposed to be a secret! *L*

    Love that Bella’s husband and father both made the list, as she has some freaky men in her life! You would think she’d want to protect her daughter, but guess not…. 🙁
    Alexia561 recently posted…Mailbox MondayMy Profile

    • Stephanie Sinclair


      You’ve never read Twilight?! Well, don’t worry you aren’t missing much. But with all the other YA novels with similar story lines and characters, you may have read it in some form of incarnation.

  6. Alicia

    God, yes to everything on your Edward Cullen list.

    Or when Bella tries to make the kid feel better about not sparkling like the rest of the family Edward says that she’s prettier. He really couldn’t throw his kid a bone?

    Or how Rosalie and Jacob rank higher in her dreams than her own father.

    Or how whenever Bella handed off the kid to someone it was never, ever Edward always Rosalie or Jacob.

    Or not breaking in half the 16-year-old giving his toddler a freaking promise ring bracelet.

    He was seriously the worst!

  7. AnimeJune

    Hilarious post!

    For me, one of the worst dads is from Jennifer Echols’ FORGET YOU. First of all, the heroine’s dad knocks up his 24-year-old employee and dumps his wife (which makes his wife attempt suicide). Then, when his daughter gets in a car accident, he gets mad at her for having a concussion and DEMANDS that her health problems not ruin HIS HONEYMOON to his pregnant 24-year-old wife.

    He then threatens to send the heroine to the same psych ward as her mum because, again, he would really rather go on a honeymoon with his bimbo than deal with his daughter’s brain injury. ARGH!
    AnimeJune recently posted…The Weekly Wanting (9)My Profile

  8. Becca

    This post made me laugh. But then I started to wonder, who would be on the list of best dads of YA? I was disturbed to realize that none immediately came to mind (although I have a feeling I’m missing some obvious ones).

    Looking through my reading list for this year, the only person who springs to mind is Aral Vorkosigan in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series. But that’s not even YA, so…

  9. Lexie B.

    Man, Renesmee is going to be such a fucked up teenager. I pity the child.

    Also, for the record, aside from lack of child support, there’s also the fact that Valentine ran his son through with a sword. 😀
    Lexie B. recently posted…This is not OkayMy Profile

  10. Mari - Escape In A Book

    First of all why can it be so hard to set ONE date for celebrating Father’s Day world wide?! Here in Norway, along with Finland, Sweden and Estonia, we celebrate FD on the second Sunday in November each year. According to the truthful source that is Wikipedia FD is celebrated around the world on eight different days…very practical – NOT.

    I had to skip a few fathers on your list Kat, I was afraid of spoilers but I laughed out loud when reading about the Twilight dads. Ok, so I really loved the Saga, a part from BD, but I’m a grown woman and I agree the relationship was unhealthy(and I was on Jacob’s side all the way, except for in BD, that story just grossed me out!).
    Mari – Escape In A Book recently posted…Book Review: Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. ClaireMy Profile

  11. Lissa

    I love this list, and as much as I dislike Edward, I have to say that that photo of the three Cullens is really awesome. Bella’s totally in charge protecting her daughter while Edward tries to pull her away so he can do all the manly saving.
    Lissa recently posted…Camp NaNoWriMo Update (1)My Profile

  12. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Haha! Another hilarious list, Kat, although I’m pretty sure you missed some important ones. But it made me laugh which is the whole point, right?

    I so agree that Edward’s worst quality as a dad was letting his child be named Renesmee. He should almost be thanked for trying to prevent her birth.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…On My New Arrivals Shelf (8)My Profile

  13. Sofie

    I agree with everyone on this list. Thank you, Kat, for making me laugh so hard my sides hurt. I really needed that. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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