Time and time again, I pick up a young adult novel expecting a good romance that will sweep me off of my feet. And time and time again, I am really freaking disappointed.
Well. I’ve compiled a list of 6 ways that YA ruins romance here for you today.
Okay, so can we all just agree that insta-love is the worst, most awful thing in existence? IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. You can’t just have two characters see each other and immediately fall in love, unless at the end they die, because I suppose that’s what they get for being pansies. Thanks Shakespeare. You the real MVP.
- The Most Trope-Ish Couple Ever
I hate this so much. I don’t want perfect, gorgeous characters. I don’t give a damn about the captain of the football team and the head cheerleader, nor am I any more affectionate concerning the top jock and the goth girl who’s actually super beautiful and funny and perfect (but of course SHE doesn’t know it). CAN WE STOP WITH THESE TROPES?! What ever happened to creativity?? I want unique, realistic characters with quirks and flaws and interesting histories.
- A Lack of Realism
This obviously piggy-backs off of the idea of insta-love, but let’s examine this a little bit. I just read a book where the girl was supposed to die about fifty different times, and didn’t, because her prince rescued her. In fact, she failed to die SO MANY TIMES that I actually wanted her to just freaking die already. THIS PERFECT TIMING IS IMPOSSIBLE. More impossible things, shall we? -insert funky list music- Having “him” in every class, the underdog prevailing over the jock in a fight, the heroine having a miraculous makeover and stunning everyone at prom in a sexy red dress, the clumsy heroine suddenly becoming a badass, cheating death (over and over again)—I could go on forever, but I’ll save you the cringe-fest.
- The “Perfect” Competition
Usually there’s some competition for the hero or heroine in YA romance, but here’s my problem: these characters are frequently there for the sole purpose of being bitchy and otherwise perfect. They’re not real; they’re barely even characters. Y DO U EXIST?! These characters may be necessary, but at least give them a personality. Please. I’m begging you.
- The Kiss That Makes Everything Okay
Situation: Protagonist and boyfriend. Fighting. Fervently fighting. He called her a dirty hoe. But then he kisses her and everything’s okay.
Okay, so maybe “dirty hoe” is a stretch. But so is that kiss that shows up in almost every YA Romance I’ve ever read. The kiss that makes it all better. Does it happen in real life? Yes, with horribly stupid and shallow people who divorce after being married for a whopping year and a half. Please, let’s make young adult characters realistic, intelligent individuals who are not sated with physical touch as an apology for a horrific act of cowardice, selfishness, or cruelty.
- Same. Freaking. Guy.
You know who he is. Crooked smile, eyes that are the bluest blue, that muscular but not-too-muscular physique, a terrible past that controls his current actions. Yep, that’s right- that guy whose name changes when he shows up in most YA romances. Dear Mister Guy: you’re cute, we all like you, and you obviously work. But maybe, just for a while, go away? Sincerely, Me.
This concludes the list, though a lot of ideas were omitted. I hope you enjoyed reading my word vomit. So, do you have any pet peeves about YA romance? Tell me in the comments! I hope you read a romance that doesn’t suck today.