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 😄