Welcome to my new series of posts Musing by Moonlight, where I take the opportunity to get off my chest anything and everything to do with books.
Or maybe not.
Depends how I feel.
A small rant on inevitable romance in YA novels
I primarily read Young Adult (YA) novels. I love them. I love teenage angst and normal things like going to parties because I never did, and I love the firsts of a new relationship you find in nearly all YA books. YA basically revolves around teen romance – you’re hard pressed to find a YA book that doesn’t have romance in it. It sells, so it’s what editors, publishing houses, and consumers want. So it’s what authors write.
But I am sick to death of seeing over and over again a teen girl falling in love with a boy who may or may not be her soul mate just because they spend some time together. I’m not naming any books in particular, but I’m talking about epic soul-shattering LOVE with a boy who just happens to be spending some time with our main gal. They probably argue all the time. There may be sexual tension. What I can guarantee you is you can basically pick any boy and any girl from any book, stick them in a room together, and watch the ‘I can’t live without you’ begin.
- A boy and a girl thrust together and forced to survive in a hostile place? LOVE.
- Two people working together to plot the downfall of some higher authority? LOVE.
- One dead character and the other the only person who can see/hear/touch them? LOVE.
- Road trip? LOVE.
- Support group? LOVE.
- Partners in school? LOVE.
- Childhood best friend? LOVE
- Student/tutor? LOVE.
JUST STOP IT.
TEEN GIRLS ARE DESPERATE FOR LOVE AND APPROVAL, YES, BUT THEY DO NOT ALWAYS FALL IN LOVE WITH THE FIRST BOY/ONLY BOY THEY SPEND TIME WITH.
It is completely possible to spend time with a good-looking boy and NOT fall in love. These beautiful people confuse attraction and lust for love, yes, but it does make me wonder if we can just pick up any old boy with a crooked smile and washboard abs and plop him down in the story and our lead girl will fall head over heels for this guy, too.
Because it doesn’t matter who he is. Only what he is.
What about having stuff in common? What about believing in the same things? What about having hobbies that complement each other? What about real attraction beyond crooked smiles, and deep blue eyes?
Really? YOU WANT REALISM IN TEEN ROMANCE, HOW DARE YOU.
No, not necessary realism. Just, fuck, give me something different. Stop producing the same stories over and over. You can predict who the love interest is the instant you meet them.
And the sad thing?
YOU KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOVE INTEREST.