Let’s Get Chatting…#3


So today’s topic is Why is romance disappearing from YA?
I have been adoring these, and you guys have too, so let’s get chatting…

So, commonly in YA – whether it is a contemporary romance or a dramatic fantasy, there tends to be a cute romance for me to ship. I love this and personally, I would not change this for the world. Maybe it’s because I am a lonely singleton but nothing compares to a good old romance to cheer up a character in need. But I feel it recently has been getting a bad reputation, which means romances are cropping up less and less in genres of YA which are not marketed solely as romance.

I think it stems from three things:
1. Diversity, equality and individuality
2. “feminism” (I have put them in quotation marks because it’s the shortest way to describe it but I don’t know if it’s quite the right term)
3. Reemergence of Realism

And I don’t want anyone to think that I am against either of these things because I am definitely not. But they have definitely affected life (as they should) and in turn, have changed the way romance is depicted in YA.

1. Diversity, equality and individuality have changed it because writers want their writing to be as inclusive and all-encompassing as possible so as many people can enjoy and relate to their work. And while this is great because we are finally getting diverse characters with interesting plot lines and backstories and personalities, it means writers are less likely to write in a romance because it automatically cuts out a demographic of readers depending on what they decide to depict (heterosexual, homosexual, etc) and it forces them to label their characters with whatever they decide – which shouldn’t be a thing…but that’s definitely part of a larger debate. But this is a reason I think romances have been showing up less and less.
I think we should still be getting romance despite these very obvious obstacles. Authors already have to categories their work in the way of genre or type of book etc, they already have a target demographic of gender and age, why can’t sexuality fit in there as well. It shouldn’t limit who reads their work because I am straight and female and white, yet I read books with all sorts of characters of different ethnicity, genders, etc, without taking away from the enjoyment or appreciation for the book. I would dislike a book more for not having a romance than having no characters who I felt represented me identically.

2. “Feminism” as I labelled it for the sake of ease only really applies to heterosexual romances that I personally read most of the time because that is what I am interested in but anyways…
This has altered things because people hate those characters (typically female protagonists) who have a whole host of problems or dilemmas and then they suddenly start dating a guy and (sure they will be some issues at first but they go away quickly) then the guy has magically solved all the issues leaving them free to live their life together happily ever after *this kind of links into my final point, but I will come back to it* Rightfully so, people don’t like the suggestiveness that a girl needs a man to fix her problems, because she doesn’t.
But I personally think that sometimes you need help from a friend or in this case a boyfriend to get through situations, while most of the time these dumb protagonists have been trying to be strong and struggle alone, until they finally see the error of their ways and ask for help in the way of a date (or whatever it may be) where they are finally free from pressure and their problems dissipate -hence the impression that the boy saves them, when a lot of the time it is them freeing themselves by asking or receiving help.

3. And finally Reemergence of Realism. I have noticed recently that there is a revival of interest in making books very realistic. And while this seems like a great thing, I think it’s been impacting romance writings more so than the others. Authors have not been giving stories happy endings because they get often get flack for how unrealistic it would be for these two high school sweet-hearts to get married and live together forever. *told you I would come back to this point 😉* Yes, it’s not realistic in the grand scheme of things…it’s extremely unlikely – but not impossible. Nothing is impossible in fiction…that’s why we read it because it’s an escape. While every book needs an element of realism to ground it in some way taking out the idealism of it completely wrecks its purpose. Bring back the forevers. We all need a little hope every so often.

I know today’s post was a little harder hitting in controversial topics than normal, but that’s why I love these because I feel like I can my opinions and not be judged for them. Please tell me what you guys opinions are down below because I am seriously interested this time! Am I just being too sensitive to a cute romance, or do I have a few good points? No matter the answer, I will be back tomorrow with a much lighter themed post. See you soon 😄

19 thoughts on “Let’s Get Chatting…#3

  1. An interesting topic, and one with a number of possible considerations. I cannot say I have a definitive answer, nor a personal stake in YA romance, although I am certainly not opposed to the genre. Stardust by Neil Gaiman is one of my all-time favorite books. However, I am curious to know – given that you raised the topic – what a good YA romance needs for you to identify with it. I am making an assumption that you enjoy certain YA romance stories over other ones you have come across, and if this is correct what is it about the stories YOU like/identify with that speak to you? Do certain elements within the romance story need to unfold in order for it to captivate you? Or, is it more an open-ended enjoyment where you just find yourself enjoying some, and not others, without any necessary elements being hit in the story?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it comes to romance I am not fussy really. I need it to feel real. A large percentage of YA romances are put in because they are “required” and not because they truely fit the characters or their stories – this is when it doesn’t work because it feels forced and unnatural. If the story’s romance is well-intergrated and has genuine purpose it makes it enjoyable to read. You feel all the joy and happiness the characters feel for this new relationship. For me a good romance just lifts my mood. I would say other than needing for it to feel real I don’t personally need any criteria really, because romance comes in so many varieties and situations that for me to discredit one seems like I am discounting something that could happen to someone, even if it is harder to believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the response! I would agree with what you said about a romance being well-integrated and having a genuine purpose. I want a romantic encounter to have a defining role in a story, playing an important part in the development of both characters involved. And it needs to be organic, arising naturally in realistic moments rather than being forced on the characters. Plus, like you, it has to make me feeeeeeeeeel something genuine. That isn’t to suggest I want to picture myself in the place of the characters. Far from it (which isn’t to suggest that is inherently a bad thing). But I want to experience those moments and be able to identify with them, to have what the characters are experiencing impressed upon me in a meaningful way that I can actually relate to.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I think that is a natural tendency. I certainly do it at times, I just do t necessarily need to do it for it to feel genuine. I think if the story is captivating me and drawing me in it already feels genuine. But that is just me, and far from the only experience.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this chatting post 😊 When I was younger I read a lot of Cathy Cassidy’s book, who writes a lot of the books where the girls problems are all fixed after meeting this new mysterious boy. After a while when I got older it didn’t draw me in as much however every so often I do enjoy that kind of story. I like romance books that are both predictable and cliche that I can just sigh with happiness reading. Please do more of these 😄 YA ROMANCE IS MY FAVOURITE GENRE! So I probably would be bias to say that this is one of my favourite posts

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel that there aren’t as many cliche ya romance books that you can sink your teeth into. I think the points you said are quite true however I wouldn’t agree with the realism one because I think people enjoy the unrealistic part of the book more than they would say. The feminism part I feel is quite accurate as I feel people are thinking to much into a guy saving a girl in a book and think that’s its making women look bad

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I definetly agree. I woulsnt mind a man sweeping me off my feet if it saved my life. Just like if it was a girl who saved me or myself


  3. Interesting post! I’m kind of on both sides of the fence. I like some of he romance in books (not just YA) and sometimes it really adds life to a story (Zuzana and Mik in Daughter of Smoke and Bone for example)
    Other times I find it quite frustrating that a book that has been marketed as Fantasy turns out to a romance with a light fantasy touch (The Binding for example) even if I enjoy the book it then feels … miss-sold

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s