Monday, April 14, 2014

A-Z Blogging Challenge: L is for Love in YA Lit


If you’re like me, and read a lot as a teenager, you probably remember a YA romance that stayed with you.  Teenagers are such passionate creatures in everything they do, so why should romance be any different?  (There is evidence of this in the hallway make-out sessions at my school.  And I’ve learned never to frequent the back stairwell.  Icky) 
But as a writer, I find teenage romances difficult to write, and I think it’s because I’m torn between wanting them to be perfect and wanting to make them realistic.
I bet you were hoping for an
awkward teenage photo of me,
but it's not gonna happen.
Let’s put it this way.  When I was a teenager, I wanted to have an idyllic romance, where I ran into a dark, super-hot, mysterious guy at a party who was captivated by me and wanted to sweep me off my feet.  We would have been perfect together, completely inseparable, and our first kiss would be so magical that nothing in my life would ever be able to top it.  I’d get butterflies in my stomach whenever we were together, and no matter how many other hot girls were around, he would only see me.  That is how it was in books, and that was how I wanted my young romances to be.
However, my first teenage romance went more like this:  I formed a crush on a guy who had already dated two of my friends.  He was a typical, gangly, fifteen year-old, but he had a good sense of humor and liked me back, so I took the bait.  After approximately one week of flirting, he bestowed upon me my very first kiss at a party.  We then “dated” (I use the term loosely, because neither of us could drive) for two weeks, writing each other mushy love notes and planning the rest of our lives together, before he promptly dumped me and started dating another of my friends, an event that left me crying to my best friend in the girls’ bathroom.  When I think back, the first kiss was quick and awkward, and though there was a small amount of hand-holding and a few other kisses over our epic two weeks together, it was a far cry from my teenage fantasy romance.
So I find myself at an impasse.  Do I create my ultimate teenage romance for my books, giving girls like me what they want, or do I make them realistic so that girls realize that getting dumped after two weeks is the more likely scenario?
I’d love to know everyone’s thoughts.  Keep it real, or give them what they want?

Beth’s Fantasy – 1
Beth’s Reality - 0

4 comments:

  1. I say keep it real as I was one of those girls that never had a date as a teenager but if I did I would like the fantasy one. So how about two endings one book. I used to love those as a teenager?

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    1. That is an interesting idea! Based on my books so far, I lean towards a "perfect" teenage romance, but sometimes worry I'm doing my readers a disservice.

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  2. Your post made me think back to high school romances...are they all that bad LOL!
    Happy A-Z!

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    1. Based on what I see where I teach . . . yes. They are terrible. I usually tell my girls to ignore boys until they are at LEAST 18.

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