Discussion: Love triangles, insta-love, and other love-related things that irk me in YA

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I love a good YA read — especially a good ROMANTIC read. I love a YA book that makes me feel all the butterflies I’ve felt in my stomach for some of my first loves — and still feel for my husband these days.

BUT when I think of romance in YA books, I sometimes don’t think about the boy or the girl, or the first kiss, or the awkwardness — instead, I think about the insta-love and the all-encompassing type of love such young people are feeling.

Insta-Love & All Encompassing Love

LOTS of people have griped about insta-love in YA books. While I do agree that I may had felt infatuated with someone when I was that young, I have to admit that it just doesn’t seem normal. Are books teaching kids that it’s okay to just immediately dive head first into love and to want to give EVERYTHING to someone so soon? To think that the first love of your life is your soul mate?

Yes, I know that this DOES happen, but it seems like it happens in LOTS of YA books. Is it a realistic thing that should be written about often?

Love Triangles

Another romance thing I see in YA books is the love triangle. Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m SURE a love triangle has happened at some point for some people, but it seems like it happens in MOST YA books nowadays. I don’t think I ever encountered a love triangle when I was growing up, but it feels like YA books show young people that a love triangle is the norm. Would it be wrong, then, if you’re NOT part of a love triangle? I mean, some people just can’t find that ONE person until out of high school — would books with love triangles make them feel different because they haven’t been able to find at least ONE love?

Love triangles happen way too often in books, in my opinion, and if I don’t think of myself, I really haven’t encountered that many youths who are constantly part of one. Is a love triangle a realistic thing? Or can it be something that we can do without in most books? Is it just a tension creator?

When it comes down to it, I’m sure that everyone is picky about the romance in their books and maybe I wouldn’t gripe about it as much if I were talking about an adult read. That might make me seem judgemental and biased, but insta-love, all encompassing love, and love triangles just doesn’t seem to be that realistic to me when I think about YA books.

For me, I much prefer a slow build kind of love in my YA romance — something that’s more, and here’s that word again, realistic. A love where people can get to know each other first, maybe they knew each other all along but never saw each other in that way, or maybe they’re complete opposites and forced into a situation that makes them get to know one another better. Either way, it just seems way more … true to life.

What do you think of these different kinds of love in YA books? What kind of depiction of love do you prefer to see?

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7 thoughts on “Discussion: Love triangles, insta-love, and other love-related things that irk me in YA

  1. “For me, I much prefer a slow build kind of love in my YA romance — something that’s more, and here’s that word again, realistic. A love where people can get to know each other first, ” YES. YES. YES. As a 16 year old avid reader, I am sick and TIRED of Insta-love and love triangles. I have friends who do the insta-love thing in real life, but then a few months later they’ve broken up. I think far too often, these books portray insta-love not only as the norm (because it DOES happen), but being a firm basis for a solid and healthy relationship. Too often I fell like if they weren’t both in some horrible situation, they would never fall for eachother.

    The other romance issue I have with YA is the “relationship of convenience” as I call it. AKA: guy meets girl. They become friends. They are physically attracted to each other. They both want to be in a relationship with SOMEBODY. They make out. I just wish more authors would do the slow build of a romance. Makes it so much more enjoyable! You also get much more invested in the series. My favorite romantic YA novel that properly depicts love, is Peresephone – By Kaitlin Bevis. FANTASTIC depection.

    • Relationship of convenience is interesting. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. And I hate to think that these instalove relationships might not last … Make me sad!

  2. Pingback: Weekly Recap| Jun 15-21, 2014 | Oh, the Books!

  3. I don’t read much YA, but I will say that the insta-love and the auto-soulmate thing bug me EVEN THOUGH I’m someone who did marry her high school sweetheart. So, yes, I know it can happen… but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to roll my eyes when they’re SO SURE it’s going to last forever.

    Also, I’d venture a guess that, yes, a lot of people have been in a love triangle, even if they aren’t aware of it… but not the very obvious kind of triangles that you read about in books. It’s no more realistic for hormone-ridden teens to neatly pair off with no complications than it is for the girl who doesn’t realize how special she is to suddenly have to choose between two guys who are both obviously into her.

    • You know what’s interesting about you saying that is how I always forget that I’m reading the book, an observer outside of the characters. What seems so obvious an annoying to me, isn’t quite so obvious to the characters.

      That’s great that you married your high school sweetheart!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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