Now, obviously this does not apply to all YA. If I’m reading a romance then of course I am expecting a love story! But why is it that, regardless of the genre, I still seem to be caught up in a love story? The extremely popular love triangle and on some occasions even a love square doesn’t seem to be losing any steam.
I’ll be honest, I have used a variation of the love triangle in my own writing! However, despite it not being a romance, it was integral to the plot. Now, if I’m reading, let’s say a dystopian novel (I’m naming no names) and suddenly I find myself tangled up in a romantic dilemma I start to feel irked. Especially when the protagonist is attempting to overthrow a corrupt government. Surely they don’t have time to fall in love!?
I also can’t help but notice how all consuming love often is in YA. There seems to be little lust in YA, despite the characters usually being teenagers. That’s not to say you can’t fall in love as a teen, I’ve been with my fiance for twelve years and I met him just as I turned fifteen! However I don’t think I have come across quite as many teenagers falling head over heels with one or more people so instantly.
Can’t they just like, fancy them for a bit?
The reason I take such issue with all these love stories is that they seem to leave little space for friendships. Why do so few of these characters have solid friends. Sure you can find someone to fall in love with one chapter in but you haven’t got time for friendship? A lot of the YA I read have female protagonists and in most cases their best friend is a boy AND they inevitably fall in love with them.Why can’t girls be friends in these novels without one of them turning out to be a bitch. It is like we forget how important friendships are at that age. Why can’t the protagonist who is trying to save the world have a best friend by their side? Is this too much to ask?
Love is not the be all and end all when you’re a teenager, even if it might seem like it sometimes! Many novels would still have the same story line even if they eradicated their love story. I just sometimes wish that authors would think twice before creating a love interest for their protagonist..maybe your character just needs a friend.