YA in Real Life – Romance

Posted November 7, 2014 by Emily in YA in Real Life / 6 Comments


I should really rename this feature… Rant of the Week seems more fitting than YA in Real Life…

Oh, romance. Romance, to my great disappointment has seemed to become a permanent fixture in YA novels. In every novel you read, there always seems to be a romance of some kind. Now, romance is great and all, but seriously? Every. Single. Book? This itself is unrealistic. Not all situations produce a romantic relationship. But it seems like that is almost always true in YA books. Sigh.

Instant Love

Insta love itself doesn’t represent reality well. At all. In real life, most people first experience crushes and then dates, and then love. In YA, it all seems to happen in an instant. YA characters don’t seem to develop those tiny crushes over time. They seem to meet a person and fall in love a few seconds later. Seriously? They also don’t go on dates. While it is understandable, (if you’re busy saving the world, when do you have the time to go on a date?), there still should be some courtship of some kind. Instead in typical YA romances, not only do the characters seem to fall in love at first sight, they also tend to skip the whole “getting to know you” stage of the relationship. A guy could be a murderer and the girl wouldn’t care. What?!? My other issue with insta love is that it can place more value on physical appearances, but that’s for another post.

Knight in Shining Armor

Why are knights in shining armor so popular? We are in modern times. Girls don’t need knights, not that that wouldn’t be nice but… why can’t we be strong independent women? And not to mention not all girls have knights in shining armor in real life. Even if they do have a “knight”, his armor is probably a bit rusty. YA does a fantastic job of creating strong heroines. But it also does a great job with pairing the heroine with a male, who is perfect in every way, and usually helps and identifies with the female’s cause when the female is perfectly capable of tackling the problem on her own. I’m going to stop here, but stay tuned for a YA in Real Life about Feminism.

Enemies / Romeo and Juliet

“They say there’s a thin line between love and hate”. Okay, you got me on this one. Both love and hate revolve around passion. But let’s just say all the couples I know in school and in my family have never hated each other before they became romantically involved with one another. In fact, in school they only time enemies become lovers is in Romeo and Juliet which we were forced to read Freshmen year. Other than that, I can’t name any couples who started off hating each other and are still in a relationship today. Sure, some people had… err, not so great impressions on their current significant other, but that’s as close to enemies as they get (in my experience, at least).

Stupid Love Triangles

This one is the worst representation of real life. How many love triangles from YA novels can you name? Now compare that to the number of love triangles you can name in real life. Do you see a difference? I feel like one in every five books has a love triangle of some sort. And I’m being a bit generous with that statistic. There’s Peeta and Gale with Katniss in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Ren and Shay with Calla in Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, Dorian and Chaol with Celaena in The Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas, Simon and Jace with Clary (sort of) in The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and Alex and Julian with Lena in Delirium by Lauren Oliver just to name a few. And I was just getting started – I could go on and on. My point is, while love triangles seem to happen everywhere in YA, they don’t in real life. Sure, you might hear about two people pining over the same person, but that rarely happens to the same extent as in YA novels. In YA, the heroine always seems to have two guys fighting over her. But how many girls do you know have two guys fighting over them?

What do you think?
Do you agree or disagree?
Can you think of any other romances that don’t reflect real life?



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6 responses to “YA in Real Life – Romance

  1. Absolutely fab post! Basically sums up everything nicely. While YA Fiction, among others, can represent love unrealistically, part of me likes that. I enjoy Hollywood and Disney movies for the same reason, they are whimsical and totally fictional – love rarely works in real life how it does through these types of media, but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?? I also don’t like it, because it is such a misrepresentation, that it almost depresses you that love IRL isn’t like that!! It would be really nice to read about more relatable and realistic content!

    Rachel recently posted: Review: Life After Life
    • I agree the happily ever after ends are great and all, but it be a lot nicer if they reflected real life… It would be nicer to read about romances that you can relate more to instead of ones with perfect relationships.

      Thanks for stopping by Rachel! 🙂

  2. I hate how romance is depicted in YA. I get that the characters are teens and there’s raging hormones but, seriously, that kind of romance will probably not happened in real life. This kind of romances are the reason why some girls are still single. LOL. Kidding.

    Anyway, I’m a big YA fan. I have read a lot of ya romance books, some are really cute and realistic and some are not-so-good. Insta-lurvvve are midly okay as long as they don’t say shit after 1 day of meeting each other like “I can’t live without you”. Love triangle, on the other hand, NO. I’m with you. It’s the worst representation of real life.

    Lisa @ Perky Reads recently posted: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
    • Actually I do kind of think all the unrealistic romances in books kind of give girls high exceptions and when their own romances don’t measure up… I hate it when couples think they are each other’s life force just after they met. They barely even know each other! How is that possible?!

      Thanks for stopping by Lisa! 🙂

  3. Great post! I’m sharing this for sure. Instalove has always bothered me because instacrush is one thing but people need to get to know each other. Triangles might be more realistic because it is normal to have multiple crushes at the same time, and see if any of them develops into anything bigger.

    • I’m glad you liked it! I’ve always hated how in a lot of cases of instalove the two people are attached at the hip. Like seriously? You just met! Triangles are okay when it comes to crushes but when the three (or more) people involved are dealing with feelings of “true” love…

      Thanks for always stopping by Julie! 😀